Let’s be real; the word ‘training’ rarely sparks much excitement in the workplace. And the word ‘mandatory’ makes it even less appealing because it seems like school. If you’re the type of employer that mandates training without accounting for your employees’ schedule or preferences, employees won’t be motivated to attend.
Another barrier to employee motivation is boring or irrelevant content. Giving workers a general PowerPoint presentation on how to do their job well isn’t going to cut it. Even apparently relevant topics can seem boring if the content format isn’t engaging for the employees. Companies that don’t pay attention to this aspect of training make it tough for personnel to truly engage in learning.
The good news? There are ways to reignite the spark you once saw in your employees. Whether you’re an L&D facilitator or an HR manager, you can motivate your team to attend – and gain from – training. We asked our team of employment recruiters to share some ideas for fostering a training environment that leads to employee engagement. Read on for expert advice.
- Present training in a different light
Training doesn’t need to look like a corporate chore. You can take steps to present it as a fun learning activity. Host the training outside of the workplace, gamify employees’ participation, host training parties – anything that makes employees look forward to attending. Above all else, host it in short bites, rotated into people’s normal workdays and weekends. Longer training sessions (above 2 hours) are like those long-haul flights: dull and boring. With shorter sessions, you indicate that employees don’t need to waste their full or even half-day. And make sure to pique interest by telling them in advance how you plan to make it different from a traditional session.
- Incorporate employee preferences
One of the most effective ways to motivate employees to attend training is to incorporate their preferences into the session. Do they want to learn via video? Arrange a video. Do they want actionable, on-demand content to be made available after training? Make that happen. You can conduct an internal survey asking employees to tell you what type of training they’d like you to arrange. You can decide what content to include in the training, but let employees dictate how they want to learn and what type of resources should be offered post-training.
- Have a clear outline
Along with the training invite, send employees an outline that is logical and well written. It should tell them what they can expect to learn in the session and how it will help them in their personal development. You can even share examples of senior personnel who made significant progress in their profession courtesy of training. A few success stories can go a long way to make your employees excited about training. Plus, doing this shows that you value employees who have gained or improved their skills over time. And who knows? Maybe it will create an insider club of people who are fast tracked in their skills advancement.
- Social collaboration
Once your employees start to feel excited about training, you can further increase their motivation via social collaboration. For instance, you can use a learning management system (LMS) that allows attendees to connect and share their thoughts on the session in real-time. Let employees from different departments socialize and learn from each other. Exposure to new ideas or suggested processes can help employees venture into a new zone of learning, which can really get them motivated.
- Offer Rewards
While a potential salary increase and career advancement are effective motivators, sometimes you need an immediate reward to encourage employees to act. A cash bonus for completing a training program might work for some organizations. For others, a gift card or a certification of recognition might serve as the best motivators for attending the training. You can even make a contract with an LMS agency to offer free courses to employees who finish specific training. Meanwhile, highlight how the training can help with future career goals as some workers require the big picture to stay motivated.
- Provide Feedback
Schedule regular meetings to talk about learning and development. Give personnel the opportunity to ask questions and report on their experiences. A learning management system can help in this regard by providing you with analysis and insights into workers’ learning progress. As the employer, make sure to offer support and praise so that employees are motivated to show up for every training. It’s also a good idea to empower them to share their newfound knowledge with others, which can increase the intrinsic motivation to learn and grow.
- Don’t forget branding
When creating or selecting training materials, pay attention to elements like layout, copy, and color choice. Does your startup have a witty personality? Think of fun, snappy ways to introduce new concepts. Choose brand colors that draw people in. Maybe even sprinkle some work-related jokes into the content to keep things fun and light. When you’re able to make training a mashup of learning and entertaining, you excite employees and make them curious to know what will happen next.
- Go cross-platform
Today’s staff comprises remote and in-house workers, and you want them to absorb the training. One way to do this is to make training materials available on-demand and across devices so that personnel can access them on whatever device they prefer. If you’re considering using an LMS platform, see if you can find one that allows people to create playlists or bookmark content to read at a later time.
Taking these steps can make employees want more of your training. Those who perceive training as valuable for their growth are more likely to apply what they learn on the job. Remember that workers hate training not because they dislike learning but because it doesn’t tie in with how they want to learn. But with the right execution, training can be life-changing and immersive.
And if you need help finding the right employees to learn and grow in your company, make sure to enlist PrincePerelson. We have been serving as a strategic recruiting partner to businesses in the greater Salt Lake area since 1992. We take a different approach to recruiting, getting to know the unique needs and culture of each of our clients. Whether you need temporary staffing or permanent placement, contact us to learn more about our relationship-driven recruiting efforts.