Essentials of Aligning Goals
by Hedda Bird, 3C Associates Ltd


Aligning Training and HR activity to an organization’s strategic goals is much harder in practice than in theory! Cascading goals down through an organization can sometimes end up like Chinese Whispers.  However, aligning goals is a key aspect of both measuring and delivering a good ROI in training.


Aligning Goals – Essential First Steps


1. Start at the  top. What are the financial goals of the organization and how are they translated into strategic goals (public sector organizations will look at strategic goals first and financial goals second)?  This is a job for the Board, often aided by a good facilitator.  Your company strategy document should make these links clear.


2. Value the goals.  This can be a challenge:  If the goal is to be Number One for Customer Service – what is that worth to the business?  If the public sector organization has a major delivery target, what proportions of reward/resources are at stake?  By valuing the goals, even if only roughly, it will become clear where the business needs to invest resources.


3. Ask each person to align their goals with their managers.  This is the acid test – each person needs to understand how their work enables their manager to deliver the results that are needed.  Note that this is the exact opposite of daily management practice, where each manager ensures that they are supporting the team below them to deliver their individual goals.  However, for the business to really be aligned, each person should understand how what they do contributes to the whole.


In many organizations, the impact of this step – asking people to align themselves upwards – is that a gap appears between what the organization strategically has committed itself to deliver and what each person is focused on doing. Sometimes major organizational goals are missed because the organizational goals are not fully converted to personal goals through the team.


A Practical Tool for Aligning Training with Organizational Goals


ADVISOR Enterprise “Align Training with Organizational Goals” module provides simple tools to facilitate this process.  Once organization’s missions/goals have been defined and prioritized, each unit can define its goals as well as how they support parent’s missions/goals.  Moreover, tasks, knowledge, skills and attitudes needed by each group to achieve their unit’s objectives can be identified.


As a result, clear links between training activities, tasks, goals and missions are established to identify which actions are generating the greatest impact and why, and where money and resources should be allocated for greatest impact.  To request a free trial account, please click on Free Trial and complete the registration form.  To schedule an online demo to walk you through ADVISOR’s main features, contact BNH at (800) 747-4010, (514) 745-4010 or




Contributions, on what worked and didn’t – including practical tips, advice, white papers, case studies, articles, reviews, online seminars, software tools and research reports – are welcomed.  Please send to  Full credit will be given to author.


For information, comments and questions please contact (Jay) Bahlis at (800) 747-4010 x 21 or or visit the ADVISOR site at


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About BNH


Established 1987, BNH helped hundreds of organizations align learning strategies with business goals. We are result oriented. We offer products, services and workshops to assist HR, training and business professionals in managing training budgets, measuring impact on the bottom line as well as identifying ways of reducing costs and improving productivity. Our products include ADVISOR Enterprise – Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Management Tool, ADVISOR – Media Selection and Return on Investment Tool, ADVISOR – Needs Assessment Tool to Improve Performance, and Answer Me THIS…! – Create Educational Games. BNH can be reached at (800) 747-4010, (514) 745-4010 and found on the web site at

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