SMART Training Goals

Having clear and concise training goals is essential. Without defined objectives, you can’t measure the success of your learning and development (L&D) program. You won’t know what parts are working and which segments are falling short, and that can lead to less-than-desirable results.

Luckily, setting training goals can be a simple process. All you need to do is use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aligned with Corporate Goals, Relevant, Time-bound) approach. If you don’t know how to begin, here’s what you need to know.


First and foremost, your goals can’t be ambiguous. Vague objectives like using training to “improve customer service” or “reduce call times” isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you need to hone into something highly specific.

Usually, the critical step is to identify the core issue. What is causing the company to struggle in that area? What could be done better to alleviate a pain point?

Once you understand the problem, you can create a goal that speaks directly to it. This allows your efforts to remain focused.


You can’t monitor the success of a program without metrics. If your goals aren’t measurable, you won’t be able to observe whether the training is driving positive results.

For example, instead of “reduce call times,” use “reduce call times by 10 percent.” Call times are a well-defined metric, and the “10 percent” gives you a clear line that defines success.

Aligned with Corporate Goals

Keeping your training and business goals aligned is critical. It ensures your priorities are cohesive and that everything is working toward the same primary objectives. For example, if you want to make your team more technically efficient, offering them training in the tools they use daily is a smarter choice than having them spend time on customer service modules.


Many training programs feature modules that aren’t overly relevant. Either everyone has to take the same courses, regardless of whether they are applicable to each person’s role, or the information is so painfully vague or elementary that it doesn’t provide value.

If you want your training to be impactful, relevance is critical. Create personalized learning paths based on employee positions and make it clear to learners why the coursework is important. When you do, you’ll increase worker dedication to the program and overall engagement, leading to better outcomes.


It’s essential to set realistic timelines for the completion of any training. Otherwise, some employees may feel that they need to finish faster than is necessary, upping their stress levels and harming knowledge retention. Others may assume that they can move forward at a snail’s pace, causing them to make progress too slowly.

When you make your goals time-bound, you can create a sense of urgency without overwhelming learners. Just make sure your expectations are reasonable and achievable.

Are You Looking for L&D Pros Who Can Help You Create SMART Goals for Your Training?

At Clarity Consultants, we have more than 25 years of L&D experience. By partnering with Clarity, you immediately gain access to talent-locating allies. If you need to locate L&D professionals who can help you set SMART training goals, the staff at Clarity Consultants can streamline the process. Contact us to learn more about our services and see how our L&D expertise can benefit you.

Contact Clarity

For over 30 years, we’ve managed projects touching every element of learning and talent development.