If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a manager, supervisor, or HR professional trying to get all your employees trained or cross-trained. With varying schedules and actual work to get done, we know it can be a challenge to get all your staff together under one roof, much less all in one room to finish training. By investing in training, you’re investing in your people, and ultimately your entire operation. We know quality training will improve staff confidence, boost their output, increase sales, and keep quality talent at your organization longer. But what if you have the eLearning tools available, and employees aren’t taking advantage of them?
- Is your staff too busy or pressured to learn right now?
- Have they lost interest?
- How can we re-capture their interest in better training?
With this article, we’ll help you re-engage those employees who aren’t taking full advantage of your eLearning tools. We’ll be giving the nod to your marketing department, who you might tap for assistance. Essentially, you’ll be doing in-house marketing to your organization. So put on your marketing caps, and let’s get this done.
4 Steps to Employee Training Re-engagement
1. Know Your Employees
Your marketing department would call this “knowing your audience.” Everyone is an individual, but look closely at employees who have been lackadaisical about completing training as a group. Ask your HR department questions such as:
- Is your organization currently understaffed?
- Are these employees overburdened?
- Has something upset their morale?
Know the difference between extremely busy employees and those who have lost interest in training. Many situations within an organization can upset employee morale like:
- Loss of a valued customer to the competition
- Loss of a respected leader
- Changes in shifts, wages, hours or duties, etc.
The reasons your employees have lost interest might come in handy later, as you launch your re-engagement campaign.
2. Evaluate Your eLearning Materials
Once you have a more thorough understanding of the dynamics happening among your employees, review your eLearning materials. Quality course development is crucial! If it’s been a while since you implemented a specific training system, sit down and take the courses. As you progress through the training module, ask yourself:
- Is this course too technical, too complicated, or too dull? Employees aren’t excited about boring material.
- Is your material too basic? Staffers don’t like to be patronized.
- Upon completion, will your employees feel like they’ve used their time in a valuable way?
This last question is arguably the most important. Quality talent generally doesn’t like to be micro-managed. As leaders, we know our best employees are self-starters who can re-prioritize, by themselves, throughout the workday. Which begs the question, what is more important to them? Finishing a training module or “putting out fires”?
- Your best employees will aim to squash problems first, then move on to lower-level issues.
- Training that makes “putting-out-fires” easier is valuable to self-starters.
- Employees will be more motivated to learn if they feel the material is valuable to their career overall.
If your eLearning platform is engaging, and the tone is set just right, it becomes a matter of creating a need among your employees to get through more training. If not, consider re-working your training module before continuing to step three.
3. Create Need and Make It Urgent
The best way to create a need for more training is to look at the issue from your employee’s perspective and ask the ultimate question: “What’s in it for me?” Urgent tasks get done first. Make training a high priority among employees. Consider these perks:
- Money - Let’s be honest; employees are at work to earn a living. Is it possible to offer raises or a small bonus for completing challenging training programs? Be careful to include the staff who have already completed training. You wouldn’t want to damage their morale.
- Non-cash incentives and goodies - Not every company can swing a raise or bonus for every employee, and that’s okay. Would your employees enjoy an afternoon off? How about a trip to Starbucks? A lunch, or a harmless and professional office bet?
- If cash is tight - Consider titular advancements. Explain to staff that their progress is important to you and consider offering select titles to employees who finish more difficult training topics. We all love to be recognized for our expertise, and having a team of recognized in-house experts will boost their confidence and performance. In short, titles matter!
4. Launch Your In-House Re-Engagement Campaign
By now, you’ve done your research and have identified which employees need more training. You’ve reviewed your modules and tweaked them, and you’ve brainstormed some ideas that will motivate your employees. Now we need to make them aware of the benefits to them! It’s time to launch an inside marketing campaign among your staff. Tap your marketing department if you have them, and that you want inter-organizational materials aimed at promoting your eLearning training modules. Whether you have access to a marketing department or not, consider these ideas to market the new training perks to your staff:
- Broadcast emails and CC users about new training modules, and goodies or advancement for completing them.
- “Advertise” the training opportunities in your break rooms, on whiteboards, and around offices with fliers.
- Include a note in payroll envelopes about new training topics and the perks for completing them. Explain benefits both to the organization and the employee.
- Acknowledge employees for completing training topics in front of others. Perhaps this is simply a note in an email, a quick thank you at your next team meeting, or a “Learner of the Month” section in your employee newsletter.
- Set up social media groups for your company’s new “experts,” and encourage them to discuss training topics, research those topics, and advance new ideas.
- Mention the new training modules in meetings, and make those meetings FUN! Offer refreshments, and keep the tone lighthearted.
- Set up a friendly competition among shifts or departments. Whichever team finishes the most training modules in a month gets a reward. Rewards don’t always need to be cash-based - the winning team could get a small trophy on their desk, or throw a pizza party, or create their own non-monetary, fun reward!
The key takeaway: employees do their best work when they’re well trained and motivated. Would you like to learn more about training course design or implementation? Get in touch with Knowledge Anywhere. We’d love to share our ideas and help you train that team.
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