You don’t like to sit through boring training sessions, so why put your employees through them? Sure, your employees need to stay current with industry trends, understand company processes, and learn about regulations affecting your business —but they’ll learn more if they’re having fun and feeling a sense of engagement, and they may retain what they learn better if the training is memorable. Small tweaks to your current training protocol can help your staff look forward to upcoming training sessions on the calendar.
Make the Content Relevant
A pointless training that doesn’t relate to what your employees do is not only a waste of time, but it leaves your staff feeling frustrated. Providing relevant learning opportunities can keep your staff engaged by giving them new tools they can apply to their work, though some training topics regarding regulations are mandatory even if they don’t seem relevant. If you’re planning optional learning opportunities, consider how they relate to different roles within your company. Get input from your employees to find out what information they need to do their jobs better.
Customize the Training
Choose a training format that lets your employees connect to the information and meets them where they are in their knowledge and personalities. A staff full of extroverts who are comfortable with one another might love an interactive training that involves lots of sharing or being in front of the room. Introverts may prefer training that doesn’t put them in the spotlight. Understanding different learning styles helps you customize the training based on how your employees learn best. Some people may prefer group training while others may prefer learning individually. To accommodate your diverse workforce and spice up training with a little variety, blend together a mix of on-site, off-site, and online training resources.
If you re-train employees on material they already know, they may get bored and frustrated. Customer your training further by building on the knowledge your employees already have. Instead of covering the basics of software your employees already use competently, train them on advanced capabilities of the software to open up new opportunities for its use.
Make Training Interactive
Sitting still and listening to a lecture is the definition of boredom. Your employees may even fall asleep or daydream during such a session, making the training pointless. Find ways to get people actively involved in what they’re learning so you can hold their attention and improve learning. Give them scenarios to discuss, have them try out newly learned skills, create quizzes, ask them to share their experiences, and let them move around during the training.
Keep Training Concise
No one wants to sit in a long, drawn-out training session that rambles. Instead, focus on useful content that gets to the point quickly. Cut out the extra information that doesn’t really matter, and focus on the details your employees want and can use immediately. If you have a larger topic you want to cover, consider breaking it down into micro training sessions. These shorter sessions help employees focus without losing interest or being overwhelmed with too much information at once.
Employees like to own their experiences. They know when they’re missing information or resources, and they understand how they learn best. Talk to your staff to find out what they like about current training offerings and what they want to see change. Always ask for feedback after you hold a new training session to see if it is effective and relevant — and don’t forget to ask whether your staff enjoyed it. Use that information to plan future learning opportunities.
By customizing training and making it relevant, you keep learning enjoyable, actionable, and applicable. Have fun with training, and get your employees involved to maximize learning.