For many employees, training is about as exciting as a trip to the Bureau of Consular Affairs (Zzzz – am I right?). This kind of boredom makes it tough for employees to truly engage in learning, complete their courses, and ultimately, achieve the training goals that’ll help your company succeed.
It’s a sad reality, but it doesn’t need to be your reality. Because we’re about to offer you a ton of fun ideas to motivate employees during training. Grab your coffee and we’ll jump right in.
7 ways to motivate employees to engage in training
You already know that training drives business results, or you wouldn’t be investing in it. But when employees find their courses dry, inconvenient or inapplicable to their jobs, your investment isn’t going to give you the results you’re looking for. In this case, it’s time to start implementing simple learner engagement strategies – just like the ones below!
Make training practical and job-relevant
The best way to motivate employees to participate in training is by making every course practical and relevant. Analyze performance objectives, ask employees what they’re struggling with or how they could improve, and then give them the training they need to get better at their jobs.
Once they start practicing new skills in the workplace, and see how their performance improves, employees will understand the benefits of training. Then, the next time a course is allocated to them, they’ll grab it with both hands.
Make training a company priority
Imagine you’re in a training workshop with the head of your department. She huffs and puffs, says that she has “better things to spend her time on”, and only half engages in the group activities. Are you likely to feel motivated to engage in training? Nah. Because it feels like the company doesn’t even value training.
On the other hand, when training goals are set, and you’re recognized and rewarded for achieving them, you’ll become a self-motivated learner – even when it comes to compulsory training. So, start offering training incentives for employees. These could be certificates, a little public recognition, or even additional leave days.
Use a mobile-friendly LMS with microlearning features
Wondering how to motivate reluctant corporate learners? Make training convenient and easy to access. There are two ways to do this. First, leverage a powerful LMS that’s compatible with Android and iOS. This way employees get to learn whenever they want, wherever they want, using whichever device they choose.
Next, use microlearning best practices when designing your courses. This is one of the best ways to motivate employees to train, because it makes training quick. Employees get to consume bite-sized chunks of information exactly when they need them most. Less hassle, more engagement.
Employ gamification strategies
Games are fun, which is why the results of our recent survey aren’t surprising. We discovered that more than 80% of employees who receive gamified training feel motivated, while over 60% who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive. In other words, your training needs gamification now!
Find an LMS with gamification features like certificates, badges, and leaderboards, and then start incorporating them into your courses. This could be one of your most effective motivational strategies to engage employees in training.
Involve employees in the learning process
There’s a quote that says “Learning is not a spectator sport”, and it really speaks to what motivates workers when it comes to training. Active learning methods involve employees in the learning process by requiring them to participate in activities, make decisions, and reflect on them. There are a number of ways to motivate employees to train using active learning.
For example, branching scenarios and simulations place employees in realistic workplace situations, and then allow them to make decisions without the usual risk. Other training strategies to motivate employees to participate in learning include group assignments and interactive infographics.
Offer regular feedback and quick wins
When anyone asks us how to keep employees motivated to complete training, we tell them to offer regular feedback. If this feels like a big ask, we’re also here to tell you that feedback can be both frequent and easy. Yes, you can use the quiz feature on your LMS to give employees automated feedback throughout their training course.
These quizzes help employees to gauge how well they’re doing, and which areas of content they might need to revisit. When they pass a quiz, employees might receive a badge, or move to the next ‘level’ of the course. These little wins along the way will keep pushing them forward until they’ve completed their training.
Offer employees personal growth
Urgh. Compliance training. This is just one example of training that’s necessary, but also generic. While we’d never tell you to scrap important regulatory and job-specific training, we would suggest that you also offer employees learning opportunities that spark a personal interest.
There are many ideas to motivate employees through personal development. Send an email asking each employee to tell you what kind of training they’d like to get. Make your sales training courses (or any other courses you think of) accessible to other staff in the company. You could even encourage employees to complete MOOCs in their personal time, and then reward them by sponsoring the cost of their certificate.
Why training should be less boring and more engaging
Whether you’re offering mandatory training or opt-in learning opportunities, blended learning strategies or fully online courses, your training needs to be engaging. Here are some of the reasons why this is so important.
Happier employees are better at their jobs
When you use teaching strategies to engage learners, employees learn more, and when they learn more, they feel themselves growing and improving. This often makes employees better at their jobs, which earns them recognition and rewards (like promotions).
You can guess what else this makes employees, right? Happy! Because who doesn’t love appreciation and the odd promotion? So, very simply, avoiding boring training gives you happier staff who are better at their jobs.
Reduced staff turnover
Did you know that a large portion of American employees leave their jobs within the first two months of starting? Or that the cost of each one of these lost employees is enormous? Yip. Turnover is an expensive problem, and it can be solved with motivational learning strategies.
Just look at the point above. All it takes is a few easy ways to motivate employees to train, and they’ll become happier, higher-performing employees. Do you know of many happy, high-performing employees who are looking for a way out? Nope, neither do we. Which is why engaging training is your secret to reduced employee turnover.
Better customer service
Motivating employees to complete training by making it fun is also a great way to improve customer service. Why? Because when employees truly engage in learning (because it’s fun, convenient and relevant), their knowledge, skills and behavior in the workplace will improve.
So, whether product, sales or soft skills training, make learning engaging and your employees are going to be better equipped and more confident to deal with customers. Of course, helpful, knowledgeable staff and high-quality products and services are going to create satisfied customers. In fact, customers will probably become repeat purchasers, and might even tell their friends about the amazing experience they had with your company.
Training is necessary, but it can also be fun. Actually, it needs to be fun, or your employees are going to avoid training – forever. So, start implementing the ways to motivate employees to train that we’ve listed above, and your employees will be begging for more courses in no time.
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