Workplace training is vital to helping your employees grow, become better at their jobs, improve customer service and safety, and increase revenue. The best training engages your employees so they truly learn and aren’t just going through the motions. This is why it’s so important that, as a business owner, you think outside the box, offer fun training opportunities and use internal experts to keep things interesting. Here are a few ideas on how you can make your training more engaging and, as a result, more effective.
Gamify Training Sessions
Today’s employees are particularly motivated by gamification. Turn training into competitions or mini-goals with big wins at the end. Some companies let employees sign up for training sessions online so they can earn points for each workshop they attend. Points can be “spent” on items such as an extra vacation day or a gift card. You can also host contests where the employee with the most points over a certain time period wins a prize. One trucking company got really creative and awarded loading teams a case of beer if they accomplished specific goals within a week, Forbes shares. Gamification can also be used in the training itself by offering a quiz at the end of a session, with the winner earning points or a specific prize.
Integrate Interactive Learning
Breaking up a workplace training session with interactive activities can make a big difference. Not everyone learns the same way, and some employees will get distracted just sitting and listening. Incorporate team-building activities, such as role-playing workplace scenarios, to help teams remember lessons better. Or consider extending workshop lessons past the actual meeting. Forbes recommends letting teams act as think tanks and beta testing groups: Break your workshop into teams, and let them brainstorm ideas that they can test during the week. This helps them really grasp a training session’s lessons.
Let Internal Experts Be Mentors
Sometimes the best training is through more personalized learning. If you have internal experts at your company, let them serve as mentors that your employees can go to for advice and one-on-one training. Your experts can look for conferences and seminars that help each employee grow professionally. Such individualized training sometimes has a more lasting impact.
Offer Shorter Sessions
Blame it on the Internet or millennials or open offices, but today’s workforce may not have the attention span for lengthy training sessions. Don’t fight this learning style; cater to it. Huffington Post recommends short, granular training every week, such as a Wednesday “lunch and learn.” Focus on one point in the lunch session, and have a respected expert in the field lead it. The sessions should be just 15 to 30 minutes long to maximize focus and concentration.
By offering outside-of-the-box training, you can cater to everyone’s strengths and learning styles. This can ensure that lessons are truly learned, leading to more multifaceted skill sets and better performance down the line. These types of training opportunities can also improve employee morale, which helps your business in the long term.
Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and an attorney with expertise in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and Millionaire Blueprints magazine and has worked as a marketing consultant for ministries and as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.