9 Tips on how to make training engaging for your team
Learning never stops, no matter how old or experienced we get. There’s always something more to learn, and there are always ways to better ourselves. In the workplace, creating a positive learning environment is an excellent way to encourage positive training outcomes, positive interactions, and positive relationships.
If training is often greeted with a collective groan in your workplace, it’s time to consider what you can do better, and consider how to create a positive learning environment for the whole team.
This article will give you some tips on how to create a positive learning environment engaging and ensure everyone benefits from your employee training programs.
1. Make sure it’s relevant content
One of the biggest complaints that staff usually have about training is a lack of relevance. This often occurs when you implement blanket training modules for everybody to complete, regardless of their role. That being said, there will always be some form of mandatory training in most workplaces.
However, when it comes to more technical training or even professional development courses, there should never be a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, it may sound great to have everybody trained in certain aspects of leadership. But the reality is that some people don’t have aspirations to move into leadership, so it’s not relevant for them. The content within courses should be relevant for everybody attending.
It’s also a good idea for the training material and course content to be regularly updated so that it reflects the latest trends in analytics and related methods of working. Outdated training modules are pointless and can lead to frustration from your staff.
2. Provide staff with space in their schedule
Another problem that crops up in workplaces is that people get scheduled for training courses but they’re still expected to manage their daily workloads as usual. If you take people out of their roles for half a day or even a couple of hours, you need to understand that productivity will be a bit lower that day. It’s a trade-off to give your staff the effective training they need without stressing about the work that’s piling up in their absence.
3. Utilise virtual training programs
Following on from the above point, virtual training for employees can be an excellent way to ensure your team members complete their training without impacting the day-to-day functioning of the business. There’s less time away from the desk, and it’s easier to stagger people’s attendance, making it an effective learning experience for everyone.
Many people thrive in virtual training sessions as it often allows people to go at their own pace, or revisit course content as required. They can also access it from a physical environment that suits them. Instructional videos are a handy tool for those that are visual learners and can easily be delivered via a virtual training set up. Just make sure to use short videos that are straight to the point to keep team members engaged.
Virtual classroom settings are especially helpful for remote workers, and can be handy in getting the whole team online at the same time for group discussions and group work.
4. Keep training content engaging
People quickly lose interest in training when the content itself isn’t engaging. And while people are willing to forgive one poor training session, if the trend of boring training continues it can create a negative learning environment in the workplace.
When people start to dread training sessions or go into them with negativity, this feeling spreads throughout the employees. To improve the learning environment of the workplace and hold the learners’ attention, you need to make sure that people get some value from training. This will also ensure they’re actually taking in the course content and have a higher chance of remembering what they’re being taught.
Training sessions don’t have to be boring. Think of different ways you can make training fun, such as with interesting activities or quizzes.
5. Provide multiple training delivery methods
If your training sessions mostly involve somebody reading information to participants, they’ll zone out almost immediately. When planning your training sessions, try to change up the teaching methods used to encourage plenty of active participation, interactivity and allow room for group discussion. This prevents the course content from becoming stale and boring for participants.
If the learners remain engaged, they’ll learn more and they’ll also have a more positive mindset when discussing training with other team members. That means less complaints when training is next scheduled.
Remember, everybody has different learning preferences. Some of the popular training methods include:
- Self-paced online courses
- Scheduled virtual classroom and online training
- Facilitated in-person training
- Bullet points with key points instead of large paragraphs of content
- Instructional videos
- Group discussions and group work
By offering a good mix, you’ll ensure that everybody has their preference accounted for. You won’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but they will appreciate the variety of training sessions.
6. Development Programs
A structured training and professional development program makes sure that employees have a consistent level of expertise and understanding. It also means that employees that have aspirations to move up have the opportunity to grow their skills to do so.
Employees who have access to company-sponsored training and development programs have an advantage over employees at other firms who must seek out these opportunities on their own. Many team members will be grateful for in-house corporate training and professional development.
7. Give staff some control over their learning
As we touched on earlier, mandatory training is essential in some cases. Whether it’s diversity training or onboarding, there are always some non-negotiables in the annual training calendar.
But not all training sessions should exist purely to benefit the business. A focus on training topics that staff really want to participate in goes a long way toward creating a positive environment and encouraging learner engagement.
This is where it pays to know your team members. Talk to them about their training wants and needs. Perhaps most of your team prefers to learn in a virtual environment or wants further training in a certain aspect of the business. You can then arrange training that helps people achieve their specific goals.
If you look after your staff and their training needs, they’ll usually be happier, more fulfilled and more loyal.
8. Define the links between training and career development
Sometimes, people struggle to see how training benefits them. They understand that training needs to benefit the business too, but there’s always a question of, “What do I get out of this?”. In your communications with your team members, define the links to why certain training sessions can help people advance their careers.
This can be as simple as making the learning objectives clear at the start of each session. Just tinker with the wording a little, and you can let people know exactly what they should be able to do with the skills or knowledge they gain during training.
9. Inclusive training sessions and content
Last, but absolutely not least, is inclusivity. The modern workplace is diverse, comprising people of different backgrounds, orientations and beliefs. As such, you need to ensure that training sessions speak to everybody. Most companies are quite good at managing social awareness these days, but it’s always something to be mindful of.
Images, videos and even the general content of your training sessions should be sensitive to all cultures, religious beliefs, sexual orientations and genders. It’s all part of making the learning environment positive, comfortable and relevant for all staff.
Need help creating a positive learning environment for your team?
Have you tried the above tips, or are new in your team leading role? Need some help making training programs that don’t make your team yawn? With industry leading tools and innovative processes, MCI Solutions can help you motivate your team and create a productive work environment. Contact us to discuss how to a positive learning environment and improve employee engagement in your training sessions, today.