Learning new skills and upgrading one’s self can be very motivating and fulfilling for many. Yet many organizations find that their people aren’t very enthusiastic to attend a training program. Common reasons I’ve heard for this reluctance include:
- “Attending training disrupts my work schedule.”
- “I learn great stuff in training, but don’t get to use it on the job.”
- “ I have no idea why I’m nominated for this training!”
Because of this apathy, more often than not, employees are compelled to attend training as part of Key Performance Indicators or Tasks and Targets! This approach neither fulfills the goals of the learning intervention nor does it justify the investment.
What then can organizations do to ensure employees are ‘committed’ rather than ‘compelled’ to attend training programs?
- The first step is for the line manager and the employee to both review the competency map for the role, the employee’s current proficiency levels, and the employee’s tasks and targets together.
- The next step would be to gain the employee’s commitment by asking them to propose a development plan which could then be appropriately reviewed and refined by the line manager over a discussion. Any identified learning interventions must clearly show how the training will enable the employee to meet objectives, develop career aspirations, and improve performance.
- Once the training is scheduled, and before the employee attends, they again should engage in a documented pre-training discussion which reviews the training program’s objectives and identifies what specifically the employee would do to demonstrate the acquisition of the new skill or knowledge upon return to the workplace, by when would this be done (period of application), and how it would be assessed (impact on effectiveness and efficiency). The outcome of this discussion is a documented pre-training action plan.
- Upon completion of the training program, and after the identified period of application and assessment, the line manager and the employee both engage in a post-training discussion to review the extent of fulfillment of the pre-training action plan, and identify future performance expectations and developmental opportunities.
Such a structured approach, will not only motivate employees to attend training enthusiastically, but will also facilitate evaluation efforts, and ensure every Rial spent on employee training is worth it!