Hearing a lot of griping, moaning and whining from your employees?
It must be mandatory training time.
Everyone knows that training is essential to continual improvement. Whether it’s for new-hire orientation, safety, certification, professional development, performance improvement – or any other reason – training helps everyone in your organization elevate their game.
But that doesn’t mean your employees like it. When training is dull, repetitive or takes time away from the work they need to do, it’s easy to understand their negative attitudes. Thankfully, it’s also pretty easy to turn those attitudes around. Here’s how to eliminate the complaining from training – by making it more bearable for employees (and dare we say fun?):
Turn it into a game.
“Gamification” is the application of game principles (like point-scoring and friendly competition) to workplace tasks. This approach works particularly well for online or self-guided training (i.e., videos or other individual training with discrete learning modules). To gamify a training course, create and display a “leader board” for employees, awarding points and small prizes to those who meet training goals first. By turning training into a bit of a game, you can improve employees’ attitudes toward it and maintain their enthusiasm.
Break it down.
After just 20 or 30 minutes of training, employees can begin to become bored and mentally check out – especially if material is repetitive. To keep employees interested and focused, break down a big course into smaller “mini courses”:
- Create a training overview, including an introduction to core concepts
- Provide the bulk of the training as a series of digestible “mini courses,” each between five and 20 minutes in length.
- Be sure to include periodic re-caps or quizzes, to ensure long-term retention of prior learning.
Sitting and watching videos or listening to a trainer speak all day can get extremely boring. To keep them interested, get them involved! Here are two ways to make learning more interactive:
- Group work. Break your class into small teams. Allow them to choose a leader, and then assign a project to apply the concepts being taught. Share and compare results together.
- Arts and crafts. Markers, clay and Legos aren’t just for kids – they can help your employees learn, too! Get creative and find a way to liven up a dull theory with a hands-on project. Your employees will enjoy the break, and the variety will help to cement their learning.
Mix things up.
If your training is typically either 100% classroom learning or exclusively online, a blended approach may improve engagement and results. For example, try using online training to introduce new concepts, and then complement it with manager-led group training. By balancing individual with group-learning components, trainees have an opportunity to explore complicated topics together – without being stuck in a classroom the entire time.
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