If you are an effective IT training manager, then you have team members who are consistently training, learning new skills and techniques, and perhaps even earning certifications. While some may argue that training is, itself, a reward, one key component to keeping your team motivated to train is celebrating their success.
The first step in celebrating training success is to identify what success looks like for your team. Take some time to map out exactly what you need out of your team. Follow the classic journalism method to help you identify your training goals and direct your celebrations of success.
Who on your team needs to be training?
Here's a pro tip: everyone on your team needs to be training!
Celebrate: As you team members achieve their training goals, develop personalized recognition for each person. For example, if you have a team member who loves going to movies, get a gift card to the local movie theater to celebrate his/her completion of a CBT Nuggets course.
What content do you most need your team to learn? What new skills or techniques will most benefit your organization? What training content will equip your team to meet or maybe even exceed expectations and workplace demands?
As the IT training manager, you have the opportunity and responsibility to help determine the training expectations for your team. Choose wisely!
Celebrate: When a team member is able to apply a new skill to a real problem, find a way to recognize that accomplishment! It may be as simple as calling out the team member's great work in a staff meeting, sending out an email, or even providing a cape to your IT Superhero.
Here's a pro tip: CBT Nuggets offers Certificates of Completion for each course a learner completes! Encourage your team members to print out their certificates and start a Wall of Fame or some kind of friendly competition using the certificates!
There are a couple of ways to use when to direct your training.
When will your team members train? Will a formalized training schedule be effective for your team? Does your team require flexibility in their training schedule due to workplace expectations?
When is the deadline for your team to have completed their training? Choose a course of training for your team and establish a reasonable deadline by which all members of the team must complete the assignment.
Celebrate: Spontaneous celebration can keep your team members on their toes and ready to train! Create a goofy trophy of some kind to spontaneously give to a team member when they are training on schedule.
Where will your team train?
Establish a specific location where your team members can train, uninterrupted. In order to get the most out of their training, most people need to step away from their desks in order to focus on learning.
Celebrate: Surprise your team with some festive decorations to encourage and celebrate their training. If you have one, specific location where your team is training, put up some streamers, blow up some balloons, and make some signs to keep them motivated in their training.
Why is your team training?
Establish clear rationale for your team as to why their training is important. Help them understand the benefit to the organization, but also the benefits for each team member on a personal level.
Celebrate: The ultimate reason for training is for your team to be better at their jobs. Set some benchmarks, establish growth goals, then measure your team's progress at specified intervals. When real progress is evident, whether in training completion rates or in practical application of training concepts, it's critical that you recognize and celebrate that progress.
Consider taking the team to lunch to celebrate a particular member's progress or accomplishments. Or, for significant accomplishments, consider sending that team member to a conference to reinforce the learning and reward his/her commitment to learning.
The how of training (and success) can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For example, you might interpret it as training structure. Perhaps you will expect your team to train three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per training session. Or you might see the how as the logistics of training such as where they train and at what times.
Or the how might be a public commitment from your team members establishing how they plan to achieve their training goals.
Celebrate: When your team achieves the how of your training expectations, no matter how you may interpret it, be sure to recognize their achievements!
Taking intentional steps to recognize the training achievements of your team can have a powerful impact on their motivation and progress. As your team makes strides to improve their performance through training, they become more effective and efficient, which ultimately improves service and function. Everyone wins when everyone trains!
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