Properly trained employees are the key to efficiency in any organization. This shouldn’t be news to anyone working in employee development but one thing many fail to consider is that training is only truly effective when employees care about what they’re learning. When an employee isn’t invested in their training programs then engagement goes out the window as do most of the potential benefits expected from said training.
So now the real question comes down to how do we as learning and development professionals get employees motivated about their training and development? This is especially important in a world where more and more training programs are being managed and delivered online, which let’s be honest is a vastly superior method of developing staff from an organizational standpoint in almost all situations.
Emphasis on Benefits to Job.
Training is often perceived by employees as necessary when starting a job but mostly compliance based after the fact. This is the result of poor training programs and little to no effort to demonstrate training outcomes effect on employee’s ability to work in their role. When staff don’t feel training will truly help them be better in their profession it becomes another meaningless task which gets in the way of their job. When this mentality is present it is very hard to get staff motivated which leads to little to no engagement and a far worse learning outcome for staff. By connecting the dots on how training will directly benefit your staff they better understand its value and the motivation follows.
Thankfully the days of a giant binder followed by a comprehensive test is coming to an end. Training doesn’t have to be as mind-numbingly boring as it once was with some of the amazing tools available through online training. Utilizing things as simple as multiple media formats for delivering content is a very refreshing way to break up information. Mixing up training content between videos, documents, narrations, virtual scenarios, and using various quizzes in different styles keeps things more interesting and ultimately engaging for staff. Using blended online delivery methods in training and development typically results in information retention improvements of up to 30%!
One of the easiest methods of getting employees motivated about training is to make them part of the process. Instead of simply providing them training modules to complete, explain the importance of the learning outcomes and provide them with some actual feedback. They should be aware of how they are progressing through their development and understand what milestones are long the way. This becomes much more of a learning path or curriculum to employees as opposed to various one-off tasks and is much more likely to result I’m employees caring about their progression through the development path.
Culture of Training & Development.
When you have a culture promoting continuous individual improvement then employees begin to see greater value in investing in their own professional development through taking advantage of training opportunities. This requires more than simply promoting the importance of training, your organization will need to show employees that investing in themselves will benefit them. To accomplish this management and hr must track employees’ progress and reward them for their development accomplishments, with a modern online training system this is incredibly easy for management and hr to do. Beyond that employees should see their continuous development efforts leads to opportunities for promotions or at the very least rewards for improved capabilities.
At the end of the day when it comes to employee development the most important thing organization leaders should consider is “How would I ideally want to go through this process?” If there are some discrepancies in your ideal and actual current process maybe it’s time to revamp your online training, your staff will be thankful for it!
Donny McGrath, Development Solutions Strategist