Fried Training Talk - Objectively Speaking

Published: Friday, August 30, 2019
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2019

Early in my career as an instructional designer I wrote many Instructional Objectives that were just plain bad. They used words like “feel”, “understand”, “know”, that were completely unable to be quantified in any meaningful way. Very quickly I started creating objectives that were absolutely measurable. I generally tie success of trainings to elements like: reduced error rates (as measured by quality control), increased production, test results, reduced customer complaints, and even increased retention.


Creating these types of measurable objectives drives the design of the training so that each element of the design works toward that goal rather than becoming that training scrap that might satisfy a client initially, but actually has no real impact on those being trained.



All that said, I find myself with a client who wants his employees to be happier. In an overview needs analysis opportunities for communications, conflict resolution, and team building were presented, but in the deeper dive. The employees’ production already exceeds standards and the retention is very high. From a human standpoint I can do trainings that will help them be a happier team. I can a “smile sheet” before and after survey that will prove they are happier, but otherwise I am finding it to be a serious challenge to create good quantifiable objectives for this kind of training.


Do any of you have similar experiences with this kind of “soft training” and how you overcame the objectives challenge?

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In another post someone suggested I look at this:
While not entirely an answer on measuring the effectiveness of the training I am creating, it does pint in some interesting directions.
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