Does it seem impossible to get your workforce excited about new training programs? Poorly organized training feels like a waste of time, especially when the information seems unnecessary. To keep employees engaged and motivated, make sure that you are offering a meaningful learning experience.
92% of U.S. employees say learning something new on the job makes them more motivated and engaged in their work (source: Training Magazine)
What is meaningful learning?
Traditional learning focuses on the contents of the training material, as though you were handing a box full of information to trainees. After a quick introduction, the “traditional” training session delivers the block of material as efficiently as possible.
By contrast, meaningful learning shapes and handles the training like a puzzle piece—rather than a self-contained box. What’s important is how your training fits into the worker’s prior experience, and how it will affect their future workflow. After they see how your training addresses a past frustration or inefficiency, then employees become more interested in the information.
Changing how employees think about learning
If employees dread upcoming training sessions, then you may have to prove that new methods will be more helpful. When you talk to employees about their skepticism and past frustration, make sure your new training strategy responds to those specific complaints.
No longer “Required” → Instead, make it “Purposeful”
Training shouldn’t feel like a mandatory distraction from productivity. Make sure employees understand the purpose and benefits of a particular training.
Instead of “Ordering” participation → Make it “Flexible”
Sessions shouldn’t waste time, but they also shouldn’t be too rigidly structured. Facilitators should be prepared to respond to unexpected questions.
Avoid “Boring” → Make it “Innovative”
Whenever the trainer reads Powerpoint slides word for word, that meeting literally could have been an email. Find ways for trainees to apply learning and engage with the information.
Adding meaningful learning to employee training
Most educational philosophies are easy to understand in theory, but the application makes a bigger difference. Here are a few practical ways to begin implementing meaningful learning into your training programs:
Multiple learning options
Different people have different learning styles. Some workers have more important tasks on the day you plan to offer training, but don’t stop offering in-person training. Instead, provide additional alternatives like recorded videos and live webinars. Make the material more relatable with storytelling and the presenter’s personality.
Can you make training material more fun and interactive? Some skills lend themselves better to gamification, but a Learning Management System lets you make the whole training process competitive. Let departments compete to see who scores the highest on quizzes and completes more programs. Increased engagement improves the experience for everyone involved.
It’s hard to pay attention and absorb large quantities of material. Small sections of material are more digestible and easier for employees to retain, even if they don’t fit neatly into a one-hour meeting. Try using daily briefs or five-minute videos to introduce bite-size concepts one or two at a time.
Everybody has different “peak hours” when they’re more mentally prepared for learning. A Learning Management System supports remote learning with 24/7 access to training material.
If your software is mobile-friendly, then workers can listen to presentations during their commute or while doing chores at home. When departments are slammed by high volumes of work, you don’t want training to interrupt productivity during office hours.
It’s not enough to make training mandatory. Create a pathway that shows how the new material will affect everyday work. Plan your implementation in a way that improves performance.
One of the advantages of skill-based training is that you can focus on a skill that’s immediately applicable. Allow time for questions and adjustment, and then perform an assessment to make sure that the training was effective.
Communicate your expectations to workers and team leaders. Where applicable, give them options that suit different schedules and learning styles.
Solicit feedback after training sessions to see how the new training style was received. Use brief quizzes before and after training to make sure that new training was necessary and instructive.
Invest in a Learning Management System
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to Human Resources challenges, but a Learning Management System (LMS) provides powerful tools for meaningful learning. The software personalizes training pathways and makes content remotely accessible. You can even improve diversity and inclusion with an LMS. Talk to the team at Netchex to learn more about solutions like NetLearn.
Discover how Netchex can help you create more meaningful learning via a Learning Management System:
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