In 2016, companies spent a whopping $70 billion on corporate training across the United States, according to Training Magazine. They spend that much because spending on training provides a huge return on their investment. They can improve their employees’ skills while also keeping them up-to-date with industry trends and the latest technologies. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg — there are plenty of other ways training can benefit employees and employers.
Yet, in spite of the upside, getting your employees motivated to actually attend can be a challenge. People are busy, and if your organization does not have a culture that promotes training, employees don’t have the proper incentives. If you’re wondering how to motivate your employees to attend your next training session, here are seven effective tactics that you can utilize.
1. Tie Training to Career Advancement
Employees want to understand their path to career growth. If you can directly link your training to opportunities for employees to grow or increase their earning potential, you’ll find they are much more motivated to attend your next session. Coordinate with your colleagues in HR to find ways to formalize a program that links the two.
2. Personalize the Training
Generic just isn’t good enough. If you want people to attend your training, it has to be tailored to them and their specific jobs. You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if your training is about a new software, the descriptions and examples you use with the finance team might be very different than those for sales or marketing. By customizing your approach to your audience, you’ll make your training more relevant and effective.
3. Make it Engaging and Fun
Most people have pretty short attention spans. Try making your training sessions interactive experiences where everyone actively participates. Use games to reinforce skills, humorous examples to illustrate your points, and make sure that your trainers are energetic and enthusiastic. There are loads of creative ideas> for making training more interactive.
4. Promote a Cultural Shift
If you’re still struggling to get people to attend your training, see what you can do shift attitudes in your organization. Launch an internal marketing campaign that’s focused on getting employees excited and managers on board so they will encourage their direct reports to participate. Communicate the value of what you’re doing and everything that participants can expect to get out of it.
5. Make it Available On-Demand
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in getting people to attend training sessions is working around their busy schedules. If you’re only offering sessions on certain dates and at certain times, you’re bound to limit the number of people who can attend. Yet, today you can create compelling online training modules that people can access when they want and from wherever they want. That added flexibility will go a long way towards motivating more employees to participate.
6. Lure People with Great Food
Never underestimate the power of food. Serve up a free breakfast or lunch, or even an afternoon snack, and you are guaranteed way to get more people to attend your next training session. Feeding people means that you’re saving them time, which increases the likelihood that they’ll attend. It’s always an added perk if you’re offering high-quality, tasty food that people like. Plus, when your employees have the fuel they need, it will be easier for them to focus on what they’re learning.
7. Use Raffles and Giveaways
Unfortunately, sometimes you have to use bait to get people in the door. Let employees know that you will be raffling off gift cards, buying lunch for a random attendee, or even just giving away company swag at your next training. Even small gestures can be enough to pique people’s interest. Once you get them in the door, make your training engaging and deliver value to help employees develop a positive relationship with training.
Most employees want to advance their career and training offers the perfect path to that advancement. The trick is getting people in the door and there are plenty of ways to do so. If the training you offer is interesting, engaging, and informative, you can also be confident that they will keep coming back for more.
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