If you ask employees about their reaction to training programs, chances are that they react in one of the following ways. “Oh! I dread the training programs as they are really tiresome and boring with too much theory to assimilate” or “Training programs are paid holidays…we attend a few session and just chill out the rest of the time”. We probably hear others saying, “I catch up with colleagues and friends and do a lot of networking during training programs”. Does it sound familiar? Wouldn’t training programs be more purposeful if participants attended them for the purpose of which they were being organized? How can you possibly achieve this objective? It is important that after determining the training needs you are clear about the approach you wish to adopt for the training program.
Encourage active employee engagement: A training program that doesn’t have the active involvement of the participants defeats its very purpose. However, if the purpose of the training program is shown to be beneficial to the employees and they are clearly informed about the benefits that they are going to get out of it, it will surely have better acceptance. Spelling out the objective of the training program to the employees will ensure their active engagement.
Increase employee participation: Making trainings mandatory does not necessarily ensure employee participation. You need to find different ways to get them to participate in your effort to share knowledge and information. Working collaboratively with the employees on the program is one way to do it.
Capitalize on participants’ interests and talent: Some of the employees may be good at planning and others could be good performers. Capitalize on the hidden talents or interests of the participants and involve them in different sessions of the training program.
Entertain while informing: Remember that knowledge is being shared and not imparted. Adding a dash of humor will ensure that participants are attentive and involved in the training process. While the goal of your program may be to equip the participants with a certain set of skills and knowledge, it has better changes of assimilation when the participants feel entertained in the process.
A lot depends on the approach adopted by training managers based on their training needs analysis. If they work keeping in mind the end objective – which is to seek active participation, involvement and engagement, trainings can be more fruitful as a true performance support exercise.