We have all been there, trudging into a boardroom for a three-day conference on the same topic we studied last year, leaving behind a pile of work that just keeps getting taller as the instructor drones on. This type of training isn’t doing your company any favors in terms of employee engagement. Knowing how to get employees excited about training is the key to employee satisfaction (and business success!!).
Why is it so important to get employees excited about training?
Why is it so important to get employees excited about training? Consider the following statistics:
- 20% of workers in the U.S leave their job within 45 days of hire (with that number skyrocketing to 50% in the retail sector)
- The cost of each turnover is between 16 and 20% of that employee’s salary
Well-trained employees who are competent and capable are more likely to stick around and add value to your company. You can’t afford to continuously replace (and train!) new employees. High-quality employee training programs increase employee engagement.
So what are the benefits of employee engagement?
- Engaged employees are happier in every aspect of their lives
- They're more productive and efficient
- Engaged employees deliver better customer service
Put simply, engaged employees feel valued at work and are happy to be there.
Barriers to engaging training for employees
One of the best ways to increase employee engagement at work? Provide excellent training they can get excited about. There are three major barriers for motivating employees around training, including:
- Lack of time
- The perception that the information is not relevant or not applicable
- Company culture does not support training
In a nutshell, knowing how to get employees excited about training means making time for training that is useful and valued by both your company and employees. Here are ten ways to make that magic happen, both in getting them to attend and finish their training materials completely.
How to motivate employees to attend training
If you offer optional employee training options that are valuable but not well-attended, here are five training incentives to motivate employees and help get them in the door:
- Ask employees what they need (and want!)
- Show them the money
- Make it easy
- Make it mobile
- Feed people
Let's look at these in more detail.
1. Ask employees what they need (and want!)
Many employers make the mistake of implementing company-wide training without considering the people that make up the company.
Ask employees what they need to do their job better and what might make their work life easier and more satisfying.
You may be surprised to hear what they have to say.
2. Show them the money
Let’s be honest: financial incentives for employee training work.
There are caveats (and limits) to this. Cash incentives do motivate employees to better performance during any type of competition, but performance tends to drop or level off after. Money is a training incentive for employees that can be used selectively to good effect.
3. Make it easy
Make it easy for employees to complete their training programs by offering bite-sized microlearning sessions, delivered just-in-time.
Short and sweet geofencing options delivered out in the field as a push notification to their phones can also give employees what they need to do their work. Don’t make employees struggle to get trained – let learning come to them.
4. Make it mobile
The average worker has just 24 minutes of training time every week, but mobile learners study an additional 40 minutes per week, on their own time.
One of the best employee training program ideas is to incorporate the mobile devices they're already using. This can help them become more efficient and effective.
5. Feed people
When all else fails, offer employees a delicious breakfast or tempting lunch to get them in the door. This is a time-honored tactic for all but the stodgiest of trainings!
How to motivate employees to complete training
So you’ve got your employees in the door (or logged onto the training module) – now what?
If you notice that there is enthusiasm at the start of training but relatively little follow-through, here’s how to motivate employees to complete their training:
- Make training part of your company culture
- Personalize your training
- Give employees time (and space) to train
- Tie training to promotion and advancement opportunities
- Incorporate more engaging training methods
6. Make training part of your company culture
When is the last time that you, as the head of your company, participated in a quality training program? Been awhile?
Make some time to demonstrate your commitment to employee engagement and motivation by attending a training program of your own. It could be an interesting exercise to put yourself in your employees’ shoes to see why they struggle to stay motivated. Encouraging a growth mindset among all levels of your staff means building regular training and learning into your company.
7. Personalize your training
One of the biggest reasons employees dump a training program is because they are being asked to study something they already know. It’s like making a spider attend a workshop on how to build a basic web.
Figure out what your employees already know before mandating a redundant training. A training needs analysis is a valuable tool that can offer this guidance before you begin its design.
8. Give employees time (and space) to train
Build employee training into your corporate culture by making time for it during the employee's workday.
While employees might be convinced to take home training for a short period of time, expecting them to put in extra time on their own tells them that you don’t value their personal time (or them). It’s a straight line from there to having yet another open position to fill.
9. Tie training to promotion and advancement opportunities
Employees who see a clear trajectory upward within a company are more likely to stick with that company for longer. Nobody wants to look for a new job every six months.
Work with HR to formalize training that provides employees with the opportunity to increase earning potential and their own skillsets. Look to our recent posts for more help on building these, check out our post on "Powerful Leadership Training Activities Employees Love".
10. Incorporate more engaging training methods
So you’ve got them in the door with good incentives (and food!), but you’re still seeing employees abandon training halfway through?
Maybe your training needs a little more zip to keep employees engaged. To add a lighter touch (even with serious information), try gamification, augmented reality, or simulations to make the training delivery more interesting. Learn more about all of your options in our post "Top 10 Types Of Employee Training."
Whether you are considering a total overhaul of your employee training or just a few additional modules of eLearning here or there, EdgePoint Learning can help. From helping you get started creating your own eLearning courses to designing a completely custom training program for you, we have the experience and tools you need.
We know how to get employees excited about training. Get in touch today!