The learning and development (L&D) industry has been rapidly changing to keep up the technological advances, current trends and recent events impacting the modern workplace. Businesses are working with their L&D departments to find learning solutions that will help solve common business challenges, such as low levels of employee engagement and high rates of turnover.
Although there are numerous employee training methods and strategies to choose from, industry leaders are using an outcomes-based approach to align their training goals and organizational goals and achieve results.
What Is an Outcomes-based Approach to Learning and Development?
Outcomes-based learning occurs when the learning content within a program is focused on helping the learner build specific competencies to master a certain skill set. This type of learning and development is often self-paced and personalized so that learners only take the courses that are relevant to them and their role within the organization.
An outcomes-based approach to corporate training can be very effective, but in order for the strategy to deliver maximum benefits, the learning programs’ goals must be strategically aligned with the organization’s larger business objectives.
Aligning Learning Outcomes With Your Business Objectives
Aligning your training goals with your business objectives is the best way to maximize the effectiveness of your training program. The first step is measuring the gaps in the employee performance, skills and knowledge needed to achieve business objectives.
Once you have identified the gaps, you can create high-quality learning experiences that will improve employee performance. The best training programs often use a blended learning strategy that leverages multiple training methods to deliver effective and engaging learning experiences. Although there is a blend of strategies used to deliver content, such as instructor-led formal training or video-based microlearning, each piece of content is focused on building the skills needed to close performance gaps.
What Are the Top Three Benefits of an Outcomes-based Approach to Learning?
Providing your employees with effective learning experiences is always beneficial to both them and the business. Those benefits multiply when your organization focuses on aligning its training and business goals. Here are the top three benefits of training alignment:
1. Maximize the Return on Your Investment
Aligning your learning outcomes and business objectives will help you maximize the return on your training investment. Each element of your training program will be carefully designed to influence the specific behavior changes and performance improvements your organization is working to achieve.
This approach to learning ensures that every dollar you spend is helping you move closer to your organization’s goals, whether they are improving customer service, increasing the number of sales or reducing the rate of errors. Aligning your training program enables you to create a custom training program that is focused on driving behavior change and business results.
2. Increase Operational Efficiency
One of the most common mistakes organizations make in the training development process is using a blanket approach to creating content. Instead of measuring knowledge gaps and creating focused pieces of training content employees can access when they need them, they create lengthier, more generic content. This approach can cause information overload and reduce employee engagement.
Aligning your training with the outcomes your organization is striving for will reduce the time, effort and cost of developing an employee training program. It will also be more effective — which is especially important when you consider that an employee training program is only valuable if it can produce measurable results.
3. Improve the Quality of Learning Experiences
The demand for quality learning experiences is growing. Modern employees want to work for companies that are willing to invest in their development. Not only is it important to provide these opportunities, but it is also critical to build programs that can meet the specific needs of a diverse group of learners. Aligning your learning outcomes and your business objectives in a blended program is a great way to do so.
There is nothing more frustrating than participating in irrelevant training. Fortunately, if your organization takes the time to measure gaps in performance and knowledge and create a training program that teaches the specific skills employees need, you — and your learners — will achieve better results.
A Final Note
In the current marketplace, having a comprehensive employee development plan is a competitive advantage in more ways than one. Modern employees want more opportunities for learning and development, and they are willing to work with companies that offer these kinds of opportunities for longer periods of time.
There are many strategies and techniques you can use to engage learners, but employee training is only worth the money you spend on it if it delivers measurable results. If your program isn’t aligned with your company’s goals, you are not likely to achieve the results you are looking for.
Aligning your learning outcomes with your organization’s business goals will ensure that your employee training initiatives are effective and deliver benefits such as increased profitability and a maximized return on investment (ROI), increased operational efficiency, and the ability to provide employees with high-quality learning experiences.