Learning & Development, Talent

Tying Training to Employee Career Goals

Employee training is a major activity in many organizations—and for good reason. Regardless of new hires’ credentials upon joining an organization, training helps ensure their work meets company standards and expectations.


Source: Mathias Rosenthal / Shutterstock

Continual Change Means Ongoing Training

While formal education provides employees with important knowledge as they enter the workforce, a rapidly changing business, technological, and global environment means that even the most recent graduates will have skills gaps that employers must fill.

Consequently, employers are realizing that training should be ongoing—not simply for new hires but for the entire organization. However, the challenge for many organizations is a lack of engagement with training initiatives. Although they may attend training as mandated, employees may not necessarily apply what they learn to their jobs.

There are many ways to encourage greater engagement, but in this post, we’ll focus on one in particular: tying training to employee career goals.

Tying Training to Career Goals

By tying training to an employee’s career goals, an organization gives that employee a personal incentive to genuinely engage with the training. For example, an employee in the finance department who has the aspiration to one day manage the department would have an incentive to learn its ins and outs and how to perform all of its key functions.

The key is for HR professionals and trainers to make that connection for trainees. For example, the trainer could explicitly explain how the training can help the employees advance to the next level within the organization.

Policy and Practice

Some companies have a formal policy requiring the completion of certain training courses as a precondition for promotion to senior roles. However, this approach should be used with caution so employees don’t view training as simply a box to tick rather than a means of developing valuable skills and qualifications.

Employee training can vary in terms of effectiveness, so for it to be truly effective, it needs genuine engagement from trainees.

Although there are many ways to achieve this, one of the most effective means is by tying the training directly to the goals and ambitions of employees. That can provide a clear line of sight between their efforts and the impact on the organization—and their future careers.