On the job training is a great way for employees to further their expertise, which in the long run can increase their salary and value to the company. These days, many companies choose to offer training programs, as this enables them to use existing expertise to create value. It is also cheaper than hiring another or additional employee with that particular skill set.
On the downside, however, it can be challenging to motivate staff to sign up for training programs for several reasons. The remedy to this problem is relatively simple, and the key to motivating staff to attend training programs is creating a company culture that embraces training. The following 5 steps will get you there.
This may seem a bit controversial, but if you know what is preventing your staff from getting excited about training programs, it will be much easier to remedy the problem. In most cases, staff see training programs as a waste of time. It is something that keeps them away from their actual job and if they have to sit through a three-day training program, their work piles up, causing additional stress.
Take some time to spend with your employees or set up a survey to find out exactly what is holding them back from joining training programs. Whether it is time, interest or incentive, choose to work alongside your managers to figure out a way around the problem.
Consider delaying deadlines when an employee is involved in training, or if possible, delegate some work to another employee. Revamp your course modules to be more engaging and relevant, or consider offering employees a day off on completion of the course.
Although each company naturally has a set of skills it is interested to see in employees, not every program needs to be only about those skills. By consulting your employees on what skills they think they should have, and what would best benefit both them and the company, you may end up with more relevant courses that employees are excited about.
If they are accommodated in terms of time and workload and offered a course they are interested in, you will have no problem with motivation. Also, if staff know that they are actively involved and appreciated in the decision-making process, it will increase morale and fuel interest in training programs.
If time is an issue for most of your staff, then offering a training course in bite-sized chunks is a much better way of getting the information across. Instead of offering a three-day course, split the course into 10 small modules that can be taken for half an hour twice or three times a week.
Even though it will extend the total time to complete the course, it will be much more manageable, and most likely more effective than cramming a lot of information into a couple of days.
This is obviously a more feasible option when the training is offered by one of your staff. If a trainer from outside the company is involved, it may be a bit more difficult. This brings us to point 4.
This is another very effective learning option for employees that find it difficult to carve out the time in the schedule to attend training courses. Statistics show that most workers receive only 24 minutes of training time per week, while mobile learners study an additional 40 minutes per week on their own time.
Online training courses are very popular and with the advances in online learning platforms, it is very easy to design your own online course that can be completed on an employees own schedule.
Creating a learning culture in your company begins with you. If you and your managers make an effort to attend courses on a regular basis, it will set a good example for your employees. When senior management makes the time to attend training courses, it sends the message that anyone can take the time to learn something new and that no one is ever done learning.
It fosters a sense of equality and unity in a company that will go very far in motivating your staff not only to attend training courses but also to take pride in their work and their place in the company. This, combined with fun, applicable and engaging courses will revamp your company culture to inspire learning that is fun, rewarding and valued by all.
Engaging your employees in learning & development activities might be challenging, but it is not impossible. It's not that people do now want to learn or invest in their professional development, but rather they have the feeling that they waste valuable time while engaging in trainings. So, make them understand that value is found, not lost in training programs, and listen to their needs and concerns while doing this.
This article is part of a bigger topic called: Interactive learning
Some (final) thoughts