Continuing the new blog series on effectively marketing your learning initiatives internally to maximise learner engagement and return on investment, MicroLearn’s Creative Director, Ali Soper, looks at how setting SMART objectives, can help ensure your marketing plan is successful!
As with any marketing plan, it’s a good idea to start your internal comms plan with the end goal in mind. Think about what a successful learning strategy look like for you, is it enough for staff to say they like the digital content available or are you looking for more demonstrable results?
Well, the best way to do this is to set SMART objectives:
S – Specific:
Be specific with your goals and avoid woolly objectives.
Remember You need to define the problem you’re solving within the organisation before implementing the strategy. So, why are you creating a learning strategy?
To achieve a solution to a real problem, be sure you’ve narrowed down exactly what success will look like for your organisation.
M – Measurable:
If you can’t measure your success, whatever that look likes in your organisation, you’ll struggle to manage it!
Set some quantifiable success factors, such as increased uptake numbers, positive feedback form responses or performance improvements (for example, calls taken, reductions in complaints, increased customer satisfaction etc).
It’s a good idea to take a benchmark measurement before the learning strategy is implemented and one at the end, so you can review tangible figures. This can be extremely effective when demonstrating Return On Investment (ROI) to stakeholders.
A – Achievable:
While you should be ambitious, don’t allow your expectations to go overboard! Your initiatives should be achievable. Nothing crushes enthusiasm like unobtainable targets, which leave you feeling like you’ve failed.
Make sure you have the buy in from high level management – the key people who need to back you and your objectives to help drive success. And don’t forget your IT team!
Make sure your project aspirations are achievable, both in terms of scale and plausibility with your resources to be sure you set yourself up for success.
R – Realistic:
Be realistic about what you can achieve, with your budget, resource and time scale. Have given yourself enough time to achieve your goals? Have you got the resource required? What resources could you create in house and where could you consider off-the shelf or bespoke alternatives? Is the organisation ready for what you’re looking to implement?
T – Time:
Time is one of the most important elements, as you’ll need to know when you are going to deliver and implement the strategy?
Establish where the finishing line is if you’re going to measure what you have achieved so far, and if you need to extend the deadline, that’s fine, just make sure you set another delivery date and share this with stakeholders, so everyone is aware of how the plan is progressing. This will keep you focused and allow for solid and useful reporting.
Consider when would be the best time to implement the strategy – by asking yourself which times of the year are the busiest within your organisation, for example the end of the fiscal year or periods with high levels of annual leave, so these can be avoided. You’ll need to time your plan so that it has the best change of successful uptake.
Why not check out our Setting Objective infographic for more info? We have a whole range of content which covers Setting Objectives, which you can try out for free by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.