Trainercraft – objective setting

So let us get it out of the way…. the thing that is least likely to excite all you creative trainers. Let us face it though, without business focussed or learner centred objectives, your credibility as a trainer/facilitator will be compromised.

I am speaking to a client today and will be taking them through the same process I go through with every client prior to running a workshop. We have already agreed the topic and the areas that they would like to improve. Today I need to find out what impact this workshop will have on the organisation. Some of the questions I will be asking are:

  • What would you like to see differently in the organisation as result of the workshop?
  • What will people be doing? Not doing?
  • What will happen as a result of this?
  • What will not happen as a result of this?How will it impact the bottom line?
  • Will there be any money savings?
  • Will it affect productivity/sales/quality?
  • If nothing changes after the training, what will you do?

These will help to illicit those high level outcomes for the workshop, which  will form part of the evaluation. With the right high level outcomes, you can measure the impact of the learning that has taken place. The impact though, will be organisational, sometimes measured according to the affect on the bottom line (ROI) and sometimes by what is to be perceived as a welcome change in the way they operate (ROE). They will also alert the client to the fact that they also have  responsibility for making the change “stick”.

Once the high level outcomes are agreed, I will then discuss the learning outcomes. “When you say you want your learners to be more creative, what do you want them to be able to do?” is a question I might ask when discussing creativity workshops. One learning outcome may be “By the end of the workshop, the learners will be able to use 3 creativity techniques to generate ideas around existing problems in the workplace”.

Some topics are notoriously difficult to set objectives for, so here is a short video on how to set objectives for “Feedback skills for managers”. In the video, you will see how to set both the performance objectives(what you want to see them doing differently) and the learning objectives.


If you would like to know more about this then check out my website. For training teams or subject matter experts – check out the learning Loop. For lone trainers, consultants or training managers – I do one to one coaching.

©Krystyna Gadd 2014

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