How to make employee training more effective.

Employee training is vital to the success of any organization. But for many, it’s difficult to generate interest and engagement to make the training substantive. That’s no surprise – you’re taking employees away from other tasks that are still expected to be done, and sometimes the training content may not seem relevant or interesting to them. But training is important. You know that. It helps your business run better, adds or improves vital skills, and even reduces turnover.

What can you do to not only make employee training more effective, but make it more appealing to your team? Let’s take a look.

Have a plan.

For employee training to have quality impact, you must have a clear strategy in place. You should design the training session with a small number of key skills you want to improve, then design training (including activities) to address and improve these skills.

Make it interesting.

Keeping the attention of attendees during a boardroom presentation on sales strategies or PowerPoint shortcuts is difficult, if not a recipe for disaster. Make it interactive and engaging to keep everyone’s interest. Consider having your sales staff practice a new closing technique on each other. Or start a conversation on decision-making with decision dice.

Include breaks.

Taking a quick timeout has lots of benefits. It keeps minds from wandering, helps reinforce new neural connects and helps redefine goals.  Take a pause in the middle of employee training to help people recharge. This is the perfect time to hand out snacks and other goodies. Sugary treats like s’mores or  chocolate-covered espresso beans release serotonin and dopamine improve mood, while high-protein snacks like nuts keep employees energized.

Offer incentives.

Some employees may not see the importance of training on their future performance. Give them a reason to be engaged by offering incentives for paying attention, participating and completing training. You could give away a “(Enter Training Title) Expert” cap or hand out stickers for people who participate and answer questions. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – small items are enough to maintain interest and make training much more effective.

Training is an important part of any organization’s future success. By taking these tips to heart, you can make yours more effective, which will in turn, reap big rewards.