How do you encourage participation in training for your employees? These are the people who have been around for over a year and know what they are doing. Maybe you want them to learn a new skill, take sensitivity training, or just refresh their memories on certain topics. It’s hard because they usually don’t want to disrupt their workday and take training when they think they know better.
So how can you encourage them to participate? Naturally, some employees are going to be eager to sit down and learn something, but a majority of them will probably fight back. Professional development is an important part of being an active employee, but even the best employees can struggle to actually do it.
Too often, we take the, “We pay them so they should do what we say,” approach, but that doesn’t work. Right now in particular, employees have the upper hand: everyone is hiring. You need to take things to the next level to encourage participation in training. Here are 11 ways:
Does everyone in a department undergo training or only a few people? The all or nothing method works for some organizations and doesn’t work for others. You need to think about the best approach for your workforce. Maybe only one or two people need to take the lessons to make an impact on your organization – or maybe everyone needs the training.
If only a few people have to participate, ask for volunteers. Adding an element of scarcity to the training will not only help people participate, it will encourage them to actively participate and engage in the training, which is another battle entirely.
Make It Interactive
No one wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair for more than 20 minutes. Over the last few years, we’ve worked from beds, couches, and even beach chairs – going back to a traditional folding chair without a lot of space for arm movement just isn’t going to cut it. Even if someone is going through remote training, sitting there and watching a lecture isn’t going to work.
You need to build training that is interactive, exciting, and gets them to move. You can do this in a few different ways, including by mixing up training sessions and combining virtual, online modules with in-person training.
Money is the biggest motivator of all. If someone wants to be promoted now or in the future, they need to learn more and expand their horizons. The best way they can do this is through training. If someone wants to be promoted to manager, make more money, or just have the chance to get a promotion, make it clear that attending training isn’t enough. Just passing through isn’t enough.
They need to actively participate and, if possible, encourage other people to participate as well.
Tell Them Why
We’ve talked about this before – you have to tell your employees why they are going through training. Even if you don’t agree with it, even if it isn’t necessarily the “why” they want to hear – knowing why they have to do something is going to give them a reason to participate.
It has to go beyond the why they have to go through it for true participation, however. Why do you want them to participate? What does participation do? Not only does it help the training stick, it makes training more fun, encourages more creativity, and they get to set an example for their fellow employees.
Create Interesting Modules
Want people to participate? You have to make it interesting. Sometimes, you aren’t the problem – the information you have to convey is often dry and boring – but sometimes you are. Try to be more creative when you are building out training programs and materials.
Use real people as examples (with permission), add some humor to the situation, and don’t always do the same things.
No one wants to sit through lectures. It feels like a huge waste of time, it is boring for everyone, and most people don’t actually have hearing or listening as a learning style. When you design your training, you want to try to incorporate different types of learning and learning styles.
Of course, lectures are always going to be part of training – that’s why lectures still exist in colleges and universities. It is a good way to present a lot of information. However, you have to pick and choose what you want to lecture and what could be best given in another way.
Increase Multimedia Usage
Videos, pictures, clips, gifs, songs – anything that is different, unique, and moves people will add to the overall participation rate of your training. You don’t want to go overboard – because if you use things too much it will limit their impact – but you should try to mix in a healthy amount of multimedia, whatever that looks like for your organization.
Be A Storyteller
Try to create a throughline for your training. What is the story you want to tell? Is it about how your customers will be impacted? Is it how your employees will benefit? When you put your training into some kind of narrative, whether on a collective basis or for each individual employee, you are more likely to see results.
Do you need to put some kind of game in every training you do? Absolutely not. However, you can gamify training. Break your organization into groups – you can do it randomly, by department, by shift, or in some other way that makes sense. Then, have them compete against each other for scores on quizzes, hours trained, modules completed, time to completion, or whatever else you think will encourage them.
Then, have a prize. Whether it is something like a pizza party, a free cup of coffee, or just an early Friday.
If possible, make your training flexible. For most employees, particularly healthcare employees or people who are busy, getting training done when they have a chance works a lot better than rigid timelines or training sessions.
Sometimes, however, that is the best way to get important training in – so you just have to do what feels best. Try to be flexible when you can be and when you do have to be rigid, people will take it more seriously.
Provide Next Steps
Where do you want your employees to go from here? How do you want them to react? By providing next steps and then carrying through with them, you are setting up your next training session to be better and have more participation.
Building training for your employees is difficult. If you want to find a way to encourage employee participation in training – not just employee attendance – schedule a free demo of Trakstar Learn today. We can help you build better modules, automate training, and ensure all of your employees get what they need.