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How to Drive Higher Employee Participation

 

Posted on Mon, 11/04/2016 - 16:11

Do your employees partake willingly in your training programs? On average, how many courses does an employee start and progress through in a month? Participating in training programs is akin to downing broccoli and peas for employees. They know it’s good for them, yet it’s hard to force it down. It’s indispensable for employees to stay abreast of contemporary information, from new services and products to consumer trends and technology. Knowledgeable employees are more productive and engaged, which leads to higher sales and better customer experiences.
However, aside from making it mandatory, how do you get your staff to get involved and participate in employee trainings? If your employees are not engaging at the level you’d like them to, it’s high time to take some action. Here’s what you can do to drive higher employee participation in your training programs:

Employee Engagement

Ask Employees for Feedback

It’s really as simple as asking your employees for their opinion. Your employees are like your customers. Asking them what they want and tailor making your training programs to cater to their needs, delivers the best results. If you strive for higher participation, this is the attitude you should be aiming to adopt. Keep the surveys direct, succinct, and to the point; about 2-3 minutes in length and prompting for response. Keep the surveys anonymous to encourage honesty.

In addition, you should show willingness to act upon the received feedback. Everything would go down the drain if you ask employees for feedback and then fail to incorporate it. Also, be transparent; publish the survey results and make sure to tell your employees how much you appreciate their suggestions and that you would make improvements on your training programs accordingly. This would give employees a reason to pay attention and listen to you.

Get the Word Out

How can employees get involved if they are unaware of their opportunities? This is even more challenging in organizations where the employees are spread out over myriad locations. You have to get the word out to maximize engagement. Signs around the office and bulletin boards in the cafeteria can help, but are getting more obsolete by the day. It is very crucial to let employees know what’s going on, and how and where they can get involved. Thankfully, technology has made it very easy to communicate opportunities to all the employees.

Strike an Emotional Chord

If you want to capture employee interest from day one, tell them about volunteer efforts. Start by drilling them in your company-wide obligation to give back to the community. Appeal to their altruistic nature. Don’t just talk; show them how genuinely you care about making the world a better place, and to do that, you need their help. Volunteering offers a momentous sense of pride and emotional wellbeing in helping those in need. Help your employees realize how truly their involvement matters in realizing your goals.

Shift Away From Classroom Training

The brick and mortar classroom setup doesn’t work. Period! Your employees have slogged through it enough, but there’s no reason they should now. Scientific research has proven that immersive, lengthy classroom training sessions are nothing but a bad investment. Your best bet is to move as much content as you can to effective delivery methods that actually work.
Remember your audience when developing training material. Nobody is interested in text-intensive, long, and dry materials. Supplement your content with images, media, and videos whenever possible. The use of humor is also good to keep your employees from yawning and rubbing their eyes. Your marketing department can help make sure that you are conveying the information in the most amusing and entertaining way possible.

Make Efficient Use of Micro-Learning

Most employees complain that they find traditional learning too out-dated, too boring, and too inconvenient, in addition to a litany of other complaints. For this reason, micro-learning is the most viable employee training method, which resonates most with the way people learn and retain information.

Micro-learning is all about providing short chunks of digestible information in ways that are interactive and engaging, if the modules are well developed. Providing autonomy to the learners empowers them and instills a sense of being trusted and respected. Instead of fighting nature, embrace it to enhance your participation and training programs.

3 tips for embracing Micro-learning:

  • Making the learning modules and updates mobile friendly makes learning easier. The whole point of micro-learning is to provide flexibility for the learner. People hardly use their desktops at home. Since most people prefer gadgets and phones, they should have easy access to learning on their phones, with 5-10 minute chunks and fast loading times.
  • People feel overwhelmed when confronted with a plethora of information. This is why students keep flash cards; it allows them to absorb chunks of information at a time. Condensing a training/learning module down to the size of a flash card is not a piece of cake, but this where videos and graphics come into play. Not to mention, how engaging they are for employees.
  • Try to pepper as much interaction in your training programs as possible. A game, an interactive quiz, a friendly competition can be a powerful learning tool, and keep employees at an edge. Teachers have known this for long, and it is high time that business executives know it too.

By Designing Digitally, Inc.