7 Tips To Make Continual Training A Top Priority For Your Employees
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How To Prioritize Continual Training For Your Employees

You can lead them to the babbling brook, but you can’t make them drink. Sure, that adage might refer to horses. However, it aptly applies to your employees’ relationship with online training. They know they need to build skills and fill in those pesky knowledge gaps. The catch is that they’re too busy, unmotivated, or simply unaware to make L&D their mission. It’s difficult to see how training ties into practical perks, so they put it on the backburner and just settle for mandatory annual events. So, how do you encourage employees to make continual training a top priority without forcing them to participate?

1. Encourage Employees Set Their Own Goals

Employees should feel like the ball is in their court. They’re the ones in charge of personal development. Sure, there are online training objectives they must achieve, but those should never overshadow individualized goals. Encourage staffers to set their own milestones based on areas for improvement and future career plans. Empower them to sign up for courses and certifications that align with their needs and aspirations.

2. Implement Personalized Paths

Goal-setting goes hand in hand with personalized paths. Employees must be able to choose activities and courses that resonate with them in order to achieve their goals. Give them a broad selection of resources to choose from then let them pave the way. For those with less motivation, a training contract may be in order. This outlines their individual milestones, long-term goals, and personal approach. Such as which courses they need to fill gaps and uphold their end of the bargain.

3. Connect Real-World Outcomes To Training Objectives

Continual training is fueled by purpose. Corporate learners need a reason to participate. Preferably, on that’s linked to real-world outcomes and benefits. Emphasize how every activity relates to their job duties, tasks, and roles. Clarify how the information will help them improve work practices and on-the-job productivity. They must understand how the objectives link back to workplace behaviors and key performance issues. Otherwise, your training course is just a collection of theories that lack real-world context. And how can you expect employees to emotionally invest in that?

4. Launch A Gamification strategy

Gamification in continual training is a slippery slope. You want to jumpstart employee motivation so that they actively engage. However, they shouldn’t participate in online training simply because it brings badges, points, and peer acceptance. As though they aren’t ‘part of the club’ if they rank low on the leaderboard. Ultimately, gamification should be a tracking method. A way for corporate learners to monitor their progress and determine what still needs to be done. Try to avoid rewards that are monetary based, as this defeats the purpose of continual training gamification. Employees must focus on personal fulfillment and mastering their skills, not the grand prize at the end of the course.

5. Add Training Contracts Into The L&D Mix

Some employees may not have the internal drive to achieve the goals, even if they know it’s for their own good. A training contract holds them accountable and offers a step-by-step overview of their personalized training program. The work with a manager or instructor to draw up the contract, which must also include specific resources and timelines. Set up weekly or monthly meetings to discuss progress and update the objectives. The purpose of this contract is to set the pace so that employees take over once it’s expired. After the year is up, the employee can continue the plan on their own and set their own goals. Because they have the tools and experience to train autonomously and maintain motivation.

6. Offer A Microlearning JIT Library

Continual online training needs structure. It’s true, employees set the pace and personalize their paths. However, they still require support tools to achieve their potential and overcome hurdles that stand in the way. Organize the repository so that employees quickly find what they’re looking for and keep content bite-size to improve assimilation. Continual learning often occurs in small doses and is born out of necessity. Staffers encounter a problem on the job and access the library to bridge the gap. The information sticks with them because it addresses an immediate need. This sense of urgency flags it in their mental schema to improve retention. JIT repositories also give them a safety net to fall into difficult situations, which helps you retain top talent.

7. Launch A Peer Coaching Or Mentoring Program

Moment of need support has its limits. Brief demo videos, simulations, and games are intended for quick fixes. However, your employees need a continual support network to go with their continual training path. Start a peer coaching or mentoring program to offer guidance for more complex issues. Or even those that require human interaction. For example, staff members receive low customer satisfaction scores but aren’t sure why. A coach meets with them to identify areas for improvement and recommend the right resources. They’re a constant source of feedback and support trainees can draw on throughout the employment cycle.

Continual online training is more of a mindset than a process. Encourage employees to become lifelong learners who value personal growth and rely solely on intrinsic motivation. The pursuit of their goals should be reason enough to engage in the training experience. Not merely to accrue gamification points or for public recognition. Of course, it must be framed with a supportive training culture that honors everyone’s talents and facilitates ongoing feedback.

Do your employees have all the confidence required to boost on-the-job performance? Read the article 7 Tips To Facilitate Self-Confidence In Online Training and break down online training into manageable milestones for every employee. Boost motivation and self-assurance using top tools to facilitate self-confidence in online training.

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