Training is vital to ensure a skilled staffÂ… but employees don’t always take it seriously. Here are a few tips to ensure enthusiastic participation!
Companies invest carefully in training and some companies define this as Professional Education. However, despite the time and financial investment made, people are not coming to the training sessions that you have planned. Always getting last-minute notice that people are not going to turn up? Or people only showing up for part of the session, with their mobile ready to be used?
This can happen for many reasons and has a high cost in terms of lost training opportunity and financial cost (the trainer’s cost is incurred anyway).
Let’s explore a little further to find out what could have happened and how to make sure your next training is a hit!.
Have the goals of your training been clearly conceived?
Before organising any training, a company always sets a goal to why the training should be held. Goals can usually be the following:
– Educating and upgrading the skills of a staff. This is usually the main objective. Make sure you define very clearly which skills have to be developed (avoid being too general or too specificÂ… one is often fruitless and the other one is scary!,3),
– Communicating and sharing a vision
– Motivate employees
– Make employees work together on specific topics, develop teamwork and ability to work with other departments for instance
Though setting good goals for your company is important to make this investment worthy, sometimes the objectives may not seem to be attractive or compelling to the attendants. Before your attendants walk into a training, they need to assess and make a personal decision whether to attend and participate.
There are three questions to explore before deciding on a training:
1. What would make you decide to attend and participate (or not)?
2. What would you expect to experience in the training?
3. What would make the training more attractive and of higher value?
Unless you let the attendants know what to expect and what is the promise that will be delivered through the training, it is almost impossible to attract their interest and motivate your attendants to come to the training session.
Defining the Promise of your training
The promise is the value that your attendants want and the training session is the platform that brings the company’s goals and the attendant’s goals together. For example, if your company’s goal is to educate end users on a specific skill, the promise may be to deliver the most up-to-date, concentrated information on this specific topic that attendees will not find anywhere.
This is the challenging part of the organisation because you have to think from the attendant’s point-of-view – What do they want and can gain by attending the training.
Getting the right people into the right training session is important. So, if you want to get them to participate, you need to think from their perspectives.
You should do the following:
– List all the goals and the benefits which may motivate your attendants to attend the training. To immerse yourself into the attendant’s point-of-view, ask your potential attendants to contribute their goals as well. Then discuss and prioritise these goals. The more goals you can match with your training session, the higher is the value of your training, and the more attendants will choose to participate.
– Draft the promise. What is the promise to your attendants when they come to the training? For example, if the training’s goal is to increase the sales skills of your sales staff, then the promise is that they will get the most effective sales communication skills with the latest technologies and methodologies to meet and exceed their sales targets.
Always start by focusing on the top priorities and promises and then move down to the secondary priorities.
Communicating the promises
Include these promises in the agenda for the training as part of the communication to generate interest and encourage attendance. Be factual and avoid the commercial pitch. There is always the temptation to over-sell the training with an overload of enthusiasm, which may make the promises look unreal.
Evaluate the Training
It is important to get feedback from the attendants to find out if the promises to them have been delivered. Draw valuable learning to plan the next training and get the attendance you want!
This can be done via a survey form with questions to answer which should be collected before the attendants leave, or a 10-minute session immediately after the training where the attendants can voice their experience. Make sure you take your notes.