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E-Learning & Blended Learning

Effective training for employees: The importance and proper use of learning objectives in corporate training

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The significance of employee development is undeniable today. Companies invest in training programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of their employees, improve their performance and efficiency, and thereby boost overall corporate success. The definition of learning objectives is a crucial component in this process.

We distinguish between affective, cognitive, and psychomotor learning objectives.

Affective learning objectives

Affective learning objectives refer to behavioral changes related to attitudes, values, and emotions. When pursuing this type of learning objective, companies aim to achieve behavioral changes that target their employees' attitudes and emotional outlook. Affective learning objectives may include: increasing the willingness to cooperate with colleagues from other departments to enhance collaboration, or raising the proactiveness to increase the work efficiency. Employees may also be encouraged to improve their ability to empathize with customers to achieve higher customer satisfaction.

Cognitive learning objectives

Cognitive learning objectives focus on behavioral changes related to knowledge, thinking, and problem-solving. Companies pursue this type of learning objective to enhance their employees' understanding and skills in specific areas. Some examples of cognitive learning goals are: learn to use new computer programmes more effectively to improve their work, learn to understand new technologies in order to increase the competitiveness of the company, or learn how best to resolve conflicts with customers or colleagues.

Psychomotor learning objectives

Psychomotor learning objectives pertain to behavioral changes related to physical abilities and motor skills. Companies pursue this type of learning objective to improve their employees' skills in practical applications. Some examples of psychomotor learning objectives are: learn how to operate new tools or machinery to improve work efficiency, learn how to work effectively in groups to achieve team goals, or learn how to manufacture new products to enhance quality and efficiency.

Combining different learning objectives

Companies don’t need to limit themselves to a single learning objective. Employees can receive training in various areas to improve their performance and expand their skills. For example, in a training program for sales personnel, affective learning objectives could include employees learning to better understand customer needs and be more empathetic to build better customer relationships. Cognitive learning objectives could involve teaching techniques for persuading customers or improving product knowledge. Psychomotor learning objectives could encompass training in negotiation skills or role-playing sales scenarios.

Defining broad learning objectives

Before creating training content, companies must establish the Learners’ competence level and the competence level they should achieve through the training. This is crucial for selecting the right content. Broad learning objectives, also known as general learning objectives, can be defined to describe what learners should know or be able to do after the training. They are formulated as follows:

[Learning group] [Verb] [Observable behavior]

For example: "The caregiver is capable of identifying strategies for motivational care and support. After the training, they should be able to implement these strategies."


Overall, it is essential for companies to clearly define their goals and ensure that training programs are tailored to the specific needs of employees and the company. Only when it is explicitly stated at which competence level the learners currently are and what competence enhancement they should achieve through the training, can companies ensure that they achieve the best possible results and effectively train their employees.