How to Write Learning Objectives for Employee Training: A Practical Beginner's Guide (2023)

Summary:Learning objectives are the canvas on which to build your content and a powerful motivator for employees. But how do you convey your message in a few words? Let's see how you can create learning objectives for employee training, even if you have no prior knowledge.

How to write successful learning goals

Learning objectives describe the learning outcomes of a training course. It sounds like a simple task, and it is. Therein lies the challenge. You only have a few sentences to summarize the learning outcomes of your course in a way that employees resonate with.

But why should you care about learning objectives? Can a few words really make a difference? Good yes. The development of learning goals plays an important role in training and ultimately contributes to the success of your company.

Sometimes employees don't see the purpose of training. Clear learning objectives are the best way to convey the tangible benefits of your course to employees and get them to participate wholeheartedly.

Even if you don't have much experience writing learning objectives, fear not. To write learning objectives for employee training, beginner's edition:

1. Align learning goals with your business goals

They create online training courses to improve employee performance. So your first step should beAlign your training goals with your business goals. Thinking about your future goals is a good place to start: what do you hope your company will achieve in the next X months (remember to set a specific number there)?

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Then go back to your team and think about how your training will help your organization achieve its goals. When you're done, review the business goals and make sure they still align with your training goals.

2. Keep them short and simple

Remember to keep your learning goals short and concise. One or two sentences will suffice. In the meantime, try to be as specific as possible. You don't need to go into the details of the learning material, just focus on the learning outcomes. Use simple language and don't make exaggerated statements. Otherwise, your learning goals will sound like sales pitches.

It helps to formulate learning goals according to a fixed format. This format should include a timeline (but not necessarily a deadline), an audience, a measurable action verb that describes the learning outcome, and any details needed to complete the description.

Learning objectives for eLearning should be as follows: "At the end of the training (deadline), project managers (audience) will be able to delegate tasks (action verb) (details) more efficiently."

3. Be specific

Learning objectives should address a specific pain point, not generic learning objectives. Employees want to know what to expect from training. Ideally, it should be something relevant to your needs.

For example, you want to increase sales. Your first instinct might tell you that your learning goal is to improve your sales skills. But that's more of a learning goal than a learning goal. In this case, in order to improve sales skills, you need to improve several individual skills. This can be product knowledge or interpersonal skills. How do you know what your employees need? Do you dare to take a lucky break?

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The key to identifying knowledge gaps and writing meaningful learning goals is aAnalysis of training needs. Set aside time for e-learning assessments or workplace observations. This is the only way you will know what to focus your training on.

Later, your learning goals will be more like, “After this sales training, salespeople will be able to see the differences between our new line of products and our competitors.” That's a lot more specific and meaningful than “improve sales skills,” right?

4. Be realistic

Aiming high usually works well in life. But when it comes to training, it's better definedrealistic learning goals.

The results of your training needs analysis help you to assess the level of knowledge of your employees. You can adjust your learning goals accordingly, which in turn will help you articulate them more clearly. Try to find that sweet spot between challenging and discouraging employees. You should also be careful about the amount of information you put into a course.

It's hard to tell if your training goals are appropriate unless you have a lot of L&D experience. A reliable way to solve this is to create eLearning assessments in an LMS liketalentoLMS. If you see high failure rates, you need to reconsider your training plan and set new learning goals. You can also monitor student behavior through the LMS reporting tools. Do they get through the sessions quickly and still manage to pass the tests? Then you may have set the bar too low.

5. Use a Bloom taxonomy

Bloom's taxonomy was first developed in 1956 by the American educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom. It is a classification of learning goals based on the cognitive processes involved. Each learning objective corresponds to a different learning level. L&D practitioners often use this taxonomy as a guide for writing learning objectives.

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Let's look at the 6 learning objectives of Bloom's taxonomy and some action verbs for each (this is not an exhaustive list). You will also find examples of training goals and goals using these verbs.

  1. Remember:recognise, remember, retrieve, enumerate, name, define, compare. Remembering requires the learner to recall previously acquired knowledge. An example: "By the end of safety training, warehouse workers will be able to list the 5 most common safety hazards in a warehouse."
  2. Understanding:interpret, identify, classify, explain, delimit. By now the student should have understood the information well enough to explain it to others. In IT security training courses, for example, employees learn to “recognize common security threats”.
  3. Use:organize, plan, implement, execute, solve. At this level, students use the information to move from theory to practice. For example: "By the end of this time management course, telecommuters will be able to organize their workload more efficiently."
  4. Analyze:categorize, classify, simplify, enumerate, distinguish, compare. The student can break down information into its component parts and see the relationship between them. For example, a healthcare information technician might “categorize patient data” after successful training in the software.
  5. evaluate:select, compare, measure, determine, refute, prioritize, interpret. At this level, students are able to make judgments and decisions based on the knowledge they have acquired. A project manager can learn to "prioritize their tasks" and a quality controller to "pinpoint the quality of a product."
  6. Create:develop, design, improve, adapt, solve, modify, execute. Students can create something new by combining previously acquired knowledge. Just like a sales manager can “develop a strategic sales plan” or HR professionals can “resolve conflicts in the workplace.”

6. Choose the correct verb

Development and learning goals should motivate employees to participate in training by clearly stating learning outcomes. The verb you use to describe your learning goals determines the clarity of your message.

In general, avoid generic verbs like “learn”, “understand”, “be aware”, etc. Prefer action verbs. They are more specific and measurable. Use Bloom's taxonomy to find the verb that corresponds to the desired learning outcomes.

Let's look at an example:

  1. "Employees will understand waste management procedures."
  2. "Employees can use waste management practices."

These two phrases try to do the same thing, but only the second gets the message across effectively.

Because "understanding" is generic, not measurable and leaves room for other questions. Yes, the staff will know. What are they to do with this knowledge?

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“Apply”, on the other hand, is specific. Explain that employees will be empowered to act. It's also measurable. They can create a simulation to test if they can actually use the waste management practices.


You might think that quality training speaks for itself, but that's not the case. You can include all the latest technologies you want. But if employees can't see the benefits of this training, they still won't jump on the right training bandwagon. Specific and measurable learning objectives should be part of yourstraining schedule. Improve your writing skills and create learning goals to help set a clear learning path and engage co-workers!


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How do you write a learning objective for a training session? ›

5 Steps to Writing Clear and Measurable Learning Objectives
  1. Identify the Level of Knowledge Necessary to Achieve Your Objective. ...
  2. Select an Action Verb. ...
  3. Create Your Very Own Objective. ...
  4. Check Your Objective. ...
  5. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
Jun 5, 2022

What is an example of learning objectives in training program? ›

Training objective examples

Employees will gain new knowledge and skills to perform in their roles. New team members will learn how to operate and maintain equipment. Entry-level staff will learn company procedures and policies.

What are the objectives of a training guide? ›

If you want better results, you should be focused while training your audience—including necessary details and omitting nonessential information. A training manual can help you do that. The main objective of training manuals is to organize how you are going to train your audience.

How do you write an objective example? ›

Objectives should be inspirational and easy to remember

Instead, start with improve, create, increase, maximize, grow, build, leverage, etc. Frame an Objective in positive language. For example, do “more” of something beneficial rather than cutting back on something negative.

What is an example of a learning objective and learning outcome? ›

Learning objective: Why the teacher is creating a learning activity. Example: This training session will discuss the new policy for reporting travel expenses. Learning outcome: What the learner will gain from the learning activity. Example: The learner understands how to properly report travel expenses.

What are objectives examples? ›

Examples of objectives include:
  • I will speak at five conferences in the next year.
  • I will read one book about sales strategy every month.
  • I will work with a coach to practise my networking skills by the end of this month.

What are the 3 learning objectives examples? ›

These three types of learning include: Creating new knowledge (Cognitive) • Developing feelings and emotions (Affective) • Enhancing physical and manual skills (Psychomotor) Page 2 Learning objectives can also be scaffolded so that they continue to push student learning to new levels in any of these three categories.

What are the objectives of employee learning? ›

Learning objectives are statements that describe what information, skills, and behaviors learners should be able to demonstrate after receiving training. Objectives for employee learning can be broken down into three components: performance, conditions, and criteria.

What are the four types of training objectives? ›

Training Program Goals: 4 Key Areas to Consider
  • Performance Incentives.
  • Employee Development.
  • Process Improvement.
  • Technology Efficiency.
Jun 11, 2018

What is an example of an objective writing sentence? ›

For example, the sentence “The temperature outside is around 10°C” is an objective statement, because that statement will be equally true no matter who says it. Anybody in the world with a working thermometer could verify this statement.

What are 2 examples of learning outcomes? ›

Examples of program learning outcomes
  • describe the fundamental concepts, principles, theories and terminology used in the main branches of science.
  • assess the health care needs of different groups in society.
  • apply the principles and practices of their discipline to new or complex environments.
Mar 8, 2023

Which is a good example of a learning outcome statement? ›

Learning outcomes should address program goals and not specific course goals since assessment at the University is program-focused. For example, the learning outcome “Students completing Chemistry 101 should be able to…” is focused at the course level.

What is an example of objectives and outcomes? ›

For example, if you want to lose weight, your objective should be clear – like dropping 10 pounds in a week or maintaining your current weight for six months – while your outcome could be dropping 10 pounds in a week or maintaining your current weight for six months.

What are the 5 smart objectives? ›

What are SMART goals? The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Defining these parameters as they pertain to your goal helps ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame.

What are five key objectives? ›

The key to having good all-round performance is five performance objectives: quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost.

What is an example of objective in a sentence 5? ›

Our main objective was the recovery of the child safe and well. His objective was to play golf and win. He had no objective evidence that anything extraordinary was happening. I believe that a journalist should be completely objective.

What are smart objectives for training and development? ›

An acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, SMART goals provide L&D teams with a framework that allows them to evaluate the success of their training efforts.

What are 7 learning objectives? ›

A good learning objective, for example, seeks to demonstrate the actions that learners successfully perform – List (Remember), Classify (Understand), Use (Apply), Categorize (Analyze), Appraise (Evaluate), and Produce (Create) – upon completing a unit of learning.

What are the 4 A's of training? ›

It's also helpful to view the 4As as though each 'A' is one of four components in a single learning task; these four parts – ANCHOR, ADD, APPLY and AWAY – complete a single learning cycle.

What is the key objective for employee training? ›

(i) To provide job related knowledge to the workers. (ii) To impart skills among the workers systematically so that they may learn quickly. (iii) To bring about change in the attitudes of the workers towards fellow workers, supervisor and the organisation.

What are the 5 major learning objectives? ›

Types of Learning Objectives
  • Cognitive: having to do with knowledge and mental skills.
  • Psychomotor: having to do with physical motor skills.
  • Affective: having to do with feelings and attitudes.
  • Interpersonal/Social: having to do with interactions with others and social skills.

What are the 3 learning objectives? ›

There are three main types of learning objectives: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Cognitive objectives focus on mental skills or knowledge and are common in school settings. Learning objectives written with the ABCD approach have four components: the audience, behavior, condition, and degree.

What are the top three learning objectives? ›

Examples of 10 educational goals
  1. Think positive to stay focused. Positive thinking can make it easier for you to focus on tasks that need to be done and learn new information. ...
  2. Stay resilient. ...
  3. 3. Make time to read. ...
  4. Manage your time. ...
  5. Find time to relax. ...
  6. Strive for excellence. ...
  7. Build a strong network. ...
  8. Build good study habits.
Feb 3, 2023


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