Attending training is likely one of the least liked experiences for any employee. For many, training is about as boring as college lectures, which often leave them dozing off at the back of the room. As the facilitator drones on, your mind keeps wandering on the pile of work you left behind and the amount of progress you could’ve made only if you didn’t attend the training.
Keeping employees engaged during training is key to productivity, satisfaction, and high employee retention. But keeping them engaged has been a challenge for most employers. The boredom makes it difficult for employees to fully engage, accomplish their courses, and achieve their training goals.
Training programs aim to produce capable employees that will stay with the company and add value to their employers. To increase engagement, employers invest in quality training programs to make employees happier, efficient, and productive. Training organizations such as Realistic Training Options provide training and assessment services to share valuable knowledge and skills for workers who want to be more competitive in their respective industries.
But training programs will only become valuable and well-attended if you know how to keep employees engaged. That said, here are three strategies to guarantee maximum employee engagement during training.
Make it practical and relevant
The fastest way to reduce engagement is to implement a training program that doesn’t apply to your staff. This is a common mistake among companies that implement company-wide training without considering the needs of their employees.
Employees need programs relevant to their job responsibilities. A one-size-fits-all approach in training is a missed opportunity to provide employees the skills they actually need for their job.
Never ignore the most vital aspect of your training—the participant. Ask managers and employees about which part of their jobs they struggle with the most and the type of training they think would help them improve their performance. You can also conduct surveys and interviews to determine what employees need to do better and the skills they need to make work life easier and satisfying. Another way is to review their annual performance evaluation and investigate which parts they need to improve the most.
Employees will likely feel engaged and appreciated if you include them in the training selection. After the completion of the training course, distribute employee feedback forms to know how it helped them. As you move forward, their feedback will measure the existing needs of your employees in terms of professional development.
Most training programs fail to engage participants because they’re not creative and interesting enough. It doesn’t necessarily mean the training should be heavy on theatrics and entertainment, but there are other ways to grab the participants’ attention.
PowerPoint slides are a thing of the past. Forcing employees to listen to a lecture for hours on end, reading course materials, and answering worksheets doesn’t work anymore. Today, companies have a wide range of options at their disposal, such as e-learning, social media, gamification techniques, virtual reality, interactive learning methods.
Interactive learning methods are a great way to keep participants involved and immersed throughout the course. If you want to keep them more motivated, gamification strategies include badges, certificates, and leaderboards that will unleash employees’ inner competitiveness. You can also try blended training that combines interactive, online content with an engaging speaker. This type of integrated training approach will give participants a unique training experience.
Technology has opened a lot of opportunities to keep training courses more accessible and enjoyable. Remember, millennials and Gen Zs are gradually dominating the workplace, and they’re expecting a lot from their employers.
The problem with corporate training is that employers expect employees to learn everything in one go. When designing a training program, they list more than a dozen of topics they want to cover. Basically, they want employees to learn everything after completing the training.
Although this can save you a lot of money, you won’t pretty much achieve the training outcome. Your ultimate goal is for employees to use their new knowledge and skills once they have completed the training. The last thing you want is to overwhelm and confuse them as soon as they leave the training venue.
Start by focusing on a few concepts. People can only absorb one to three key concepts. Their minds shut down and stop learning once you exceeded the required topics. Keep in mind that you cannot teach all the most important topics in a single training. You need to provide resources, follow up the training, and track their progress.
A multifaceted approach is necessary to come up with interesting training programs. Don’t blame employees if a training ends up boring or has few attendees. It’s the employers’ job to keep employees satisfied, interested, and happy in the workplace. Take note of our suggestions above, and you’ll certainly get complete attendance and 100% participation in your next employee training.