Learning opportunities in the workplace must be communicated and organised in just the right way to inspire and engage your employees.
Training, learning and development is brilliant for employee upskilling, future employability and company performance. Yet the reality is that staff sometimes feel it’s a low priority amid the rest of their workload. Some simply don’t look forward to training, as being in a learning environment is outside of their comfort zone. Others enjoy the learning, but feel unable to apply it once they get back to the routine of the workplace.
Here’s how you can help your people feel more motivated to embrace training opportunities:
Normalise Learning in the Workplace
If it’s something that your employees only do once a year, it’s bound to feel more daunting or less desirable than if it is a continuous part of a company’s culture. As well as offering off-site training, broaden the organisation’s ability to deliver other learning opportunities more frequently. This could include on-site training run by employees who are experts in certain fields, work shadowing and the use of online portals.
Ensure Targeted Learning
If an individual can see a learning opportunity is a great fit for them, they’re much more likely to be excited about it. Find opportunities that fit an individual’s needs as closely as possible to generate a workforce that is more excited about learning and development.
Be Open about Career Progression
It’s no secret that employees rarely stick with one job in a single company for life nowadays. As a result, make it acceptable for employees to talk about their career aspirations in the workplace and help them map out a route towards reaching their goals. Not only will this help identify training opportunities they are genuinely motivated to engage with, they’ll feel more loyalty towards the company for supporting them as individuals.
Make the Career-Training Connection
As well as offering employees’ well targeted training, it’s important to make sure they see the connection between the learning opportunity and career prospects. Pull this information out clearly when communicating opportunities with your people, including whether the learning is a requirement in certain career fields and what additional skills individuals will gain as a result of undertaking it.
Use Experiential Learning
Ensure you are offering employees learning opportunities that involve some proven techniques, such as experiential learning. Some individuals imagine a training session to mean eight hours of listening in a classroom. They’ll be pleasantly surprised if they hear the training will involve interactivity and techniques that are proven to work. Experiential learning is one of the most effective ways of learning; being the process of discovery through experience, it’s the most natural form of learning. Through practice, employees can try out real life situations, learn from practical sessions and refine their approach, making them more engaged and able to transfer back into the workplace.
Build Employee Confidence
A key aspect of helping your people understand that training is worth it, is to show them how it makes a difference. Follow-up is a crucial part of any learning exercise. Ensure employees will have opportunities to put their new skills into practice soon after, and have regular conversations about how they are applying these skills in their work. Seeing how the learning transfers back into everyday work will boost employee confidence and buy-in to the training opportunities available.
Timing is Key
Offering training at a time that ties in with a new project can be beneficial. If employees know they’ll need some new skills in order to deliver a forthcoming project, they’ll find this to be a natural source of motivation to participate and get the most out of the learning experience. Being able to put new skills to tangible use is part of a self-reinforcing cycle that promotes the value of training.
By getting to the heart of the value of training, employees will feel motivated to engage with opportunities for learning and development.