How to make employee training effective

    What is motivation?

    The motivation for learning is a two-way process . On the one hand, this is the person’s internal desire to seek and acquire new knowledge and skills, and on the other hand, it is certain actions of a manager or training specialist that encourage an employee to acquire and apply acquired knowledge and skills in work.
    What internal motives direct a person to gain knowledge and skills? What external influences motivate a person to learn, and what makes him refuse to study? We will try to answer these questions in the article.

    What motivation for learning depends on

    There are three groups of factors — individual characteristics of people, demographic indicators, and situational factors — which, first of all, influence people's desire to learn. This is the conclusion of scientists from Ohio State University and the University of Florida, who have summarized and analyzed twenty years of experience in scientific empirical research in this area.

    Individual characteristics. According to scientists, there are people who are initially inclined to learning - they can not be specifically motivated, it is enough to create the necessary conditions for advanced training, and they will be happy to take courses and trainings. Qualities by which such people are easily identified:

    • The focus on achieving success helps such people to actively engage in self-improvement and, in particular, to improve their skills with pleasure.
    • Internality, or the tendency to associate one’s successes or failures with one’s own qualities, knowledge, and efforts, as well as faith in one’s own effectiveness. People who consider themselves responsible for the state of their affairs show greater zeal for study.
    • Active involvement in work. Specialists who like their job and who fulfill their job duties with great dedication are unlikely to refuse further training.
    • Commitment to the values ​​of the organization. The interest in training is usually demonstrated by employees who believe in the goals of the company, put a lot of effort into its development and intend to work in this organization for a long time.
    • Career planning, focus on career growth. Even if a person does not associate himself with the company, but considers his position as a step in his career, he is likely to show interest in learning.

    Demographic factors. As the researchers found out, neither gender nor nationality have a clear influence on the motivation of people to learn. However, indirectly interest in continuing education is affected by age. The older people become, the more they want to deepen their knowledge in the field to which they decide to devote themselves, which means they willingly attend trainings and courses in their chosen specialty. Young people, if they are eager to study, are often sprayed in the interests.

    Situational factors. A strong influence on the motivation to learn has a corresponding climate in the company. Researchers believe that several factors influence the desire of employees to improve their skills and apply the results.

    • The specific benefits of learning at work, matching results with expectations. The employee will show more interest in the training if he realizes that new knowledge and skills will really help him in his work.
    • Stress. Anxiety significantly reduces the specialist’s desire to learn. Therefore, it is better to postpone courses and trainings until the stress factor disappears.
    • Organizational culture in the company that promotes the application of knowledge acquired during the training at the workplace. An employee can be encouraged to learn and apply new skills at work within the corporate culture, which contributes to the immediate application of newly acquired knowledge in work processes.
    • Management support. Significantly increase the motivation of psychological, material, organizational support of the leadership.

    As you can see, employee motivation for training is a multilateral process in which the manager needs to remember many factors, and before deciding on the choice of a study program, it will not be amiss to answer the following questions :

    • How is the work done now?
    • Why does an employee need new knowledge?
    • What exactly will he do better, better and more efficiently with the help of this skill or knowledge?
    • Does this knowledge apply to the specifics of your business?
    • Do you have compelling examples of how this skill helped in similar situations?
    • What will happen to the business if we do not train an employee to do this now? In a month? In a year?
    • Who is the customer of this knowledge / skill? Who will stimulate the application of the acquired knowledge in practice?

    How to motivate employees to learn

    The main conclusion that arises after studying the research results is to hire only those who are already motivated for their own development and growth within the company.

    However, do not immediately dismiss those who resist training and urgently recruit new ones. The leader can create an environment in which the motivation of employees to increase their competencies will increase.

    Here are some suggestions :

    • Create a company-friendly learning environment. There are teams in which a healthy competitive spirit is developed, trainings and advanced training courses are held in high esteem.
    • Link learning to motivation and loyalty programs.
    • Initiate employee career planning. Talk with him that improving his skills will be useful in the workplace, will improve the business results of the company, and then the specialist expects career growth and, as a result, an increase in salary.
    • Literally “sell” training to an employee - pay attention to the goals and values ​​of the company, relate them to the benefits and advantages for the employee personally. Show the connection with the knowledge and skills that he will receive at the session. Sometimes, employees do not think in which direction it is worth “pumping skills”, and your task is to help them see the forest behind the trees.
    • Choose a trainer carefully . There is an opinion that the success of training is 100% dependent on the talent of the teacher. In most cases, a professional trainer can show benefits and prospects, demonstrate not only excellent mastery of the skill, but also inspire the employee to learn and put the acquired knowledge into practice.
    • Together with the employee, draw up a plan of “first steps” for introducing the acquired knowledge and skills into the workflow. Monitor the implementation of this plan, take an interest in how the implementation of innovations in the work goes.

    Naturally, investing in a specialist is justified if he applies the acquired knowledge and skills in the organization, and does not leave after the course completed. An apprenticeship agreement will help eliminate this risk, in which it is necessary to prescribe the mandatory working time after training and the procedure for reimbursing the company for expenses incurred if the employee still decides to change jobs.

    Finally, the most important and difficult thing is to achieve consistency in the process of motivation with each of the employees - before, during and after each training session. A drop sharpens a stone not by force, but often by falling. And the motivation for learning is a situational and changeable thing, so the efforts to form it and maintain it will pay off in a continuous process.

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