5 Ways to Make Mandatory Training an Opportunity Instead of an Obligation

Discover how better, more engaging employee training can help reduce employee turnover and improve retention rates at your company.

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5 Ways to Make Mandatory Training an Opportunity Instead of an Obligation

Here are some ways you can improve mandatory employee training:

  • You can make training fun by using quizzes, short surveys, polls, games, and videos
  • Instead of rehashing the same old content at your meetings, make sure you continually update your training materials
  • Using an LMS lets you space out the training session and allows your staff to complete training on their own and at their own pace

Do your employees groan and roll their eyes any time your human resources department mentions mandatory training? Employee learning and education are a normal part of corporate life. For busy employees, though, these educational sessions often seem like a waste of time.

In reality, employee training is an opportunity to deepen engagement. Take a look at the different strategies you can implement and how you can modify your employee training plan program when constructing training opportunities at your company.

From scheduling considerations to preparing your team in advance for what’s coming, let’s look at some ways to make employee training sessions interesting, engaging, and fun.

The importance of ongoing training

Employee training is more than just onboarding new hires. Most HR managers mention that finding, interviewing, orienting, and training employees is a time consuming and expensive undertaking for any organization.

Visier Insights’ “Stop the Exit” study reported a 25% annual resignation rate in the United States for 2021. This shows an upward trend in voluntary turnovers compared to previous years.

Improving retention rates and minimizing employee turnover is an important part of maintaining a positive company culture. It also helps attract new employees. Udemy research reported that 42% of Millennials put opportunities for professional development second only to salary when investigating new career paths and deciding where to work.

Ongoing team training is also one of the most important ways to increase job satisfaction and help reduce high turnover rates. Lorman published data proving the value of employee training to help improve retention rates, noting that 86% of Millennials said they wouldn’t leave their job if their employer offered training and development.

Udemy research reported that 42% of Millennials put opportunities for professional development second only to salary when investigating new career paths and deciding where to work.

What are the main types of training?

Depending on your industry, different types of training are may be mandatory or optional for your employees. A few examples include:

  • Onboarding and orientation training
  • Security and cybersecurity training
  • Diversity and inclusion training
  • Health and safety training
  • Growth and development training
  • Promotion and advancement training
  • Refresher and renewal training

If you did a quick poll of your workforce, many employees will probably mention they are not a fan of many training programs, whether they’re online, in person, or self-paced. So, just how do you and your team leads make training more exciting for your team?

How to make team training exciting

Team training doesn’t have to be dull. Here are the top 5 ways to keep your employees engaged and make training exciting so it feels more like an opportunity than an obligation.

Make training fun

Sitting in a chair for hours watching a boring PowerPoint presentation is not anyone’s idea of a good time. A few ideas on how to make training fun include:

  • Provide opportunities for advancement rather than just reviewing current skills.
  • Offer incentives for attendance such as gift cards to a favorite restaurant.
  • Gamify the event, letting employees earn points toward future rewards.

There are many creative ways you can motivate your team.

Create interactive training opportunities

No one wants to sit in on hours of lectures listening to an “expert” drone on and on about who knows what. Adding a level of interactivity to your mandatory training keeps employees engaged.

Quizzes, short surveys, polls, games, and videos let your team join in on the fun. Interactive training can turn bored employees into active listeners who better retain the knowledge.

Customize training sessions

If you have the ability to conduct breakout sessions for different departments, this lets you take a tailored approach to mandatory team training. Employee-focused training also helps keep your employees motivated and engaged.

Instead of presenting a generic training session to all your employees, customize learning opportunities. This can help them develop in ways that fit their roles. Tweak the content to make it more relevant to your particular workforce.

Change it up

New hires may show excitement the first time they attend the annual team training. However, your tenured employees are probably getting tired of hearing the same information year after year.

Instead of rehashing the same old content at your meetings, make sure you continually update your training materials. Your employees may even look forward to the yearly retreat knowing they’ll discover something interesting or learn a new skill.

Use an LMS

the LMS can create assignments, test your employees, and keep track of who has or hasn’t completed the mandatory team training.

Instead of making your entire marketing department take the day off for face-to-face training, switch to a Learning Management System (LMS). This lets you space out the training session and allows your staff to complete training on their own and at their own pace.

An LMS may also save time as you no longer have to arrange for off-site travel to meet with instructors. Plus, you can get rid of all those complicated spreadsheets — the LMS can create assignments, test your employees, and keep track of who has or hasn’t completed the mandatory team training.

Dealing with team pushback

Some members of your staff may fear facing new challenges and resent having to learn new technologies. This pushback can harm your entire team, so you need to find an effective strategy to help you overcome any resistance to change.

To prevent and effectively deal with pushback, consider:

  • Letting your employees know about upcoming mandatory training in advance
  • Explaining why the training is necessary
  • Showing respect and keeping your emotions in check
  • Listening to your team and finding out why they are resistant
  • Discussing expected outcomes to maintain trust

Creating an employee training plan is a great tool to help you support each member of your team as they build their skills and learn new tech on the job. Help alleviate any potential stress or anxiety by holding a brief one-on-one meeting. In the meeting, you can review the training plan and discuss expected goals. This will also give any team members who were hesitant to speak up during group meetings a chance to ask questions or voice their concerns.

Continued productivity and efficiency

Continual workplace training and professional development are an important part of any company culture. Learning new technical skills, improving soft skills, and getting familiar with features of new products and services gives your employees a chance to improve and stay engaged.

These corporate learning sessions don’t have to be a chore for employees, either. Certifications, rewards, and incentives are just a few ways to make your team training more engaging. Implementing some or all of these ideas will help keep your staff interested while they attend the annual mandatory team training and increase employee retention.

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