How to create the perfect training: Aligning training goals with business strategy
Instructional Design

How to create the perfect training: Aligning training goals with business strategy

, Content Writer at Epignosis

In an effort to engage employees in training, companies often focus on making their courses fun and interactive and forget about the essence. That is, they forget to align training goals with business strategy.

From teamwork skills to compliance, training should first and foremost serve your business goals and strategy. What do you want to accomplish? How can employee training get you there? When you put pen down to paper to write your training goals, remember one phrase: eyes on the prize.

It’s not always clear how you can align training goals with business strategy; let alone create engaging training at the same time. That’s why we’ve created this 7-step strategy to help you stay on the right track. The secrets to perfect training, with concrete training goals examples, are revealed right below.

How to create the perfect training: Aligning training goals with business strategy

7 steps to align training goals with business strategy

Aligning training to business needs has a positive impact on the organization. And the better the organization does, the more its employees benefit from a stable job, year-end bonuses, and career advancement opportunities. Fortunately, all of this can be accomplished with a 7-step, rinse-and-repeat strategy. Almost as easy as 1-2-3!

1: Define the future
2: Find the gaps
3: Set strategic training and development objectives
4: Communicate training purpose and objectives
5: Deliver the perfect training
6: Support continuous learning in the workplace
7: Measure and repeat

Let’s look at them one by one.

Step 1: Define the future

The past is the past, but what about the future? Oh, the future is something that you have control over. This strategy begins by focusing on the vision, mission, and goals that make the future of your business an exciting one.

Are you aiming to halve your production time? Double your customer base? Or maybe you want to expand operations to at least two more cities before year-end? Whatever your business strategy, make sure to define any goals clearly and SMARTly. The SMART goals definition is simple: aim for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Step 2: Find the gaps

Next, you’ll want to find out how well (or not so well) your employees are performing against these business goals. This process is often referred to as a training needs analysis (TNA).

Do employees have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) to achieve the organization’s vision? If not, what are they missing? And how appropriate have existing training programs been in developing the KSA’s required to reach business goals?

Once you’ve identified the gaps, you’ll know where to direct your training goals and development objectives.

Step 3: Set strategic training and development goals

This step is all about setting objectives of training and development to fill the gaps identified in Step 2. Here, the focus should be on developing training goals that will help employees get the KSA’s they need to achieve the business vision.

So if your business strategy is to reduce production time, your training goals should be to upskill employees to use machinery more efficiently and manage their time more effectively.

Step 4: Communicate training purpose and goals

It’s not enough to align training goals with the business strategy. It might be obvious to you how training will help employees reach business goals. But does this mean that employees can make the connection between training and business goals? Not unless you clearly communicate the purpose of training.

Employees need to understand how completing training helps the business to reach its aims for learning and development, and how that moves the organization closer to its longer-term vision.

Every new skill they learn improves their performance on the job and brings the organization closer to its mission. When employees understand the purpose of training, they will be more committed to it.

Step 5: Deliver the perfect training

Start the drum roll, because the time has arrived to deliver training that you can be confident will benefit both employees and the business. But this is still not the time to relax. Because your training needs to be engaging, accessible, convenient, and suited to your target audience if it’s going to be effective.

Depending on who you’re training and what skills and knowledge they need to learn, you might consider eLearning. With the help of an LMS, you can tailor learning content, design, and delivery to suit your learners.


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Learners will be able to access bite-sized chunks of learning, like infographics and short videos, via their mobile phones. This means learning what they need, when they need, just in time!

Step 6: Support continuous learning in the workplace

Once training is complete, your employees are going to be excited to test-drive their newfound knowledge and skills in the workplace. But if their colleagues and managers don’t support these new behaviors, then you can be sure that employees will return to the old way of doing things.

So, for training to have a lasting impact on achieving learning and development goals, create a modern workplace culture that supports continuous learning. From leadership levels and down, there should be active encouragement for employees to practice their skills in the workplace.

Step 7: Measure and repeat

Benjamin Franklin, a strong believer in lifelong learning, once said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. So how do you measure that interest?

Measuring the return on training investment involves a number of criteria, like training completion rates, learner feedback, performance in training. But tracking employee training progress is linked to the learning itself.

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Take measurement a step further by returning to those SMART business goals and employee performance aims. Evaluate the change or improvement in employee performance, and how much closer the business is to achieving its strategic goals. Then, with areas for improvement in mind, return to Step 1!

Strategic training = Organizational success

Identify specific training needs and weave them into the fabric of the business strategy to ensure that every learning opportunity translates into tangible benefits for the organization.

As organizations prioritize the alignment of training goals with their business strategy, they unlock the true potential of employee development as a strategic asset. Plus, craft engaging, effective, and goal-oriented training programs that ultimately lead them to success.


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