November 18, 2020

Alignment Check: Considering Intent for Better Training

By: ELM Learning

considering intent for better training
Artwork by Greg Kozera
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You want a better-trained workforce. Your employees want more opportunities. At the view from the top, it might seem like you and your employees have the same intent and want similar outcomes. When it comes to training, if employee and organizational intent is in proper alignment, like a well-tuned car, the experience is more meaningful, more engaging, and ultimately, more successful. But when these two factors are misaligned, training outcomes are adversely affected and the wheels stop turning. That’s why defining intent is a vital part of the custom eLearning process.  

Culture Check

Before beginning a new learning initiative, it’s best to crawl under the proverbial hood and check your alignment. Employees can be immediately suspicious of new learning initiatives, especially if they seem out of the blue or appear to only benefit the organization. On the other hand, if your organization already enjoys a culture of learning—where employees have frequent opportunities to train, learn, and grow—you know that your intent to train and your employees’ intentions to progress are already in alignment. If your culture hasn’t been geared toward learning in the past, you might need to lay some groundwork before you can expect your employees to willingly drive towards a new initiative. 

Motivation Check

You also need to take into account employees’ motivation to learn: they need to know what’s in it for them. If there’s a disconnect between the reason your organization is offering training and an employee’s motivation for completing it, the steering will falter. For example, if employees want more growth opportunities, create learning experiences that offer extra certification or learning paths that help them plan their next move. If they want specific skills, offer skills training. In the end, aligning training with employees’ motivations benefits the organization with better-trained, more engaged, and more satisfied employees. 

Outcome Check

But how do you know if creating aligned learning experiences results in behavioral alignment? Unlike performance-based checks such as increased sales goals after sales training, or fewer accidents after safety training, behavioral alignment is difficult to measure.  That’s where a custom eLearning approach makes all the difference. Reinforcing your intent by offering post-eLearning support and materials helps remind your learners that you’re invested in making real change and not just more rote training. 

 

Intent is a powerful tool in creating impactful eLearning experiences. While organizational goals are important, learners are individuals with unique motivations. By ensuring that your organization’s and employees’ intentions are in alignment, you can create training that motivates your employees and keeps your bottom line on track.