Most people know how important it is to keep learning, but it’s often easier said than done. When employees get engrossed in their day-to-day work tasks, it can be difficult to step beyond those habits.
Even if you pay for their training and provide time during the workday to train, some employees still might need an occasional nudge to train. Here’s how to encourage your team nicely, and even sternly, to pick up their training — so they can become training superstars.
Provide relevant training modules
To ensure your employees embrace internal training, it is imperative to offer training relevant to their interests and career paths. They won’t be motivated to do training that isn’t related to their current and future job roles.
For example, you probably don’t want to require your DevOps engineer to do hours of Salesforce training, as that could seriously deter their training momentum. The worst-case scenario is that it makes them hesitant to embracing future training initiatives or care less about their professional development.
Instead, provide your team members the training they need and/or want, and don’t force the same training on everyone. However, there may be times where you want everyone to be trained up on technologies that are used universally in the office.
Emphasize link between training and long-term career prospects
It is important to give context to your employee training. The employee must understand the benefit of obtaining new skills and/or knowledge. Think of your staff as your customers: How would you pitch a training session?
Help your team members understand the connection between training and their job. In an ideal situation, every employee would have an interest in the continued success of the company. But, really, they want to know how training will benefit their career objectives.
The question always on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?” To motivate them, you must address this question. Be transparent about how each training session can directly impact their career path and goals.
This is where you want to cascade the vision. Plus, it gives them another reason to truly engage.
Let employees create their own learning plan
Offer various training sessions, then, ask your employees to map out the skills they want to acquire. The next step would be for them to document what types of training they would need to acquire those skills.
If you get them involved in their learning plan, they will feel more personally invested in the process. As they continue with training, they can note their progress toward their career goals. The end result is more confident and well-rounded employees.
Provide Engaging, Fun Training Opportunities
Another way to motivate your employees to become training superstars is by offering a variety of training options. If you’re setting up the same boring modules and sessions, don’t be surprised if your employees lose interest quickly. That training is always difficult and yawn-inducing.
Mix things up for your team. If possible, gamify training. Or at least create a leaderboard. Who doesn’t like friendly competition? Keep your employees motivated and engaged in their training by finding ways to make the content more interactive.
Incorporate ongoing training as part of the company culture
If you set the tone that training is part of the company culture, your employees should be more willing to interact and accept internal training. Of course, it is important to put a positive spin on continued training. Send out emails and newsletters about the benefits, successes, and outcomes of training sessions.
Pick a top achiever and give them recognition and some time in the spotlight. Have team members from other departments speak about how training sessions helped them on the job, or even better, positioned themselves for promotions and further career development.
Create an incentive program
Again, this ties back to the “What’s in it for me?” question. While having the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills through the company should be considered a reward in itself, that might not be obvious to everyone.
So, to provide that extra boost, offer certificates, badges, or points that team members can accumulate and put toward PTO or company merchandise. Think of incentives that your employees would appreciate, but that also fall in line with your budget and resources.
The bottom line
In an increasingly complex business environment, internal training is critical for improving marketability. No one can afford to depend on the knowledge that was relevant 10 or 20 years ago. Learning is no longer a one-time occurrence — it is a means of meeting a moving target.
Therefore, employees must continue to build upon their skills and knowledge. While some may not realize those points immediately, the above tips should help you turn your staff into training superstars, which helps your organization’s bottom line.