Employee engagement is not a tactic, strategy or trend. Instead, employee engagement is a feeling of commitment and dedication that an employee has to their role at your company.
We know that an engaged employee may go beyond what is required of them in the best interest of their company, they may be happy to put in extra hours or waste less time during the workday all because they have a personal investment in its success. We know this because According to Gallup, engaged employees are 27% more likely to be excellent performers and 59% less likely to look for a new job within a year. That's exactly what all employers want, right?
Well, Gallup studies also indicate that only 33% of the US workforce and globally only 13% of employees are engaged with their jobs. That’s why companies are always trying to figure out how to boost engagement levels. As with most emotions, employee engagement is no different, it's complicated! Many employers struggle to find the perfect balance to facilitate employee engagement.
One of the most commonly adopted employee engagement initiatives is employee training and development programs. Training programs can boost engagement in several ways; for example, in an effective training program employees have opportunities to:
- Learn additional technical or soft skills that contribute to their career growth.
- Network with people across different departments and levels. This increases collaboration, which in turn boosts engagement.
- Work within their team and have a great time with their colleagues. This increases trust and deepens existing bonds. It also improves co-operation and collaboration between colleagues.
However, most training and development programs do not live up to their full potential. Which is why we want to dive into how to make employee training better for your attendees and trainees.
Here are a few ways to optimize your training programs to boost employee engagement:
1. Improve Training Relevance
How useful will the training be for your employees?
You want your people to be truly engaged with the training and not consider it a waste of time. Therefore, the scope of your employee training plan needs to match their everyday needs at work as well as their development aspirations.
For example, if you are planning a leadership training program, run quizzes that unearth the specific skills that need honing – such as feedback or delegation. Run polls to see what people want to learn about. Use all these insights to build your employee development plan.
2. Create a Buzz
How can you make people more excited about attending internal training programs?
Start by sending people a clear agenda of the training. What will it cover? Who are the speakers? You can use an event app to create speaker bios with links to their social profiles and websites so that attendees can interact with them before the training.
People who are interested in networking with colleagues from different departments will also begin to look forward to the big day, provide details on how they can set-up meetings with one another either in the event app or using your internal meeting setting processes.
Lastly, make sure you have a plan for promoting you training internally. This may include:
- Reminder emails
- Push notifications
- Swag for trainees
- Badges or certificates needed
3. Increase Live Participation
Good trainers always encourage plenty of questions to increase audience participation. After all, interactive training is far more engaging. However, in every training group, there are attendees who are not comfortable speaking up or asking questions. And then there are some questions that any participant might hesitate to ask in front of their colleagues because they are concerned about looking ‘stupid’.
Technology offers a simple workaround. Look for a "live Q&A platform" where attendees can post their questions during the live training instead of asking it out aloud. The questioner can even remain anonymous if he or she wants.
Also, consider live quizzing to test attendees on their knowledge retention. Interactivity throughout sessions and in between sessions keep trainee attention sharp throughout your development event. In an event app, there are ways to gamify this process and make the experience more exciting.
Lastly, use your employee training app to take a poll and gather feedback after your training sessions and event. Ask them to rate the content, the speakers, the training facilities, etc. Ask for ideas about how to deliver better experiences in future. You'll be surprised how much you learn!
4. Improve Implementation
The biggest drawback of corporate training and development programs is that few people end up implementing anything at work. In fact, people forget 70% of what they have learned within a day. Provide a simple way for trainees to improve retention and practically apply the training at work.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- A valuable employee training tip is to run short quizzes with 3-5 questions for up to a month after the training. This won’t just help you assess how well people remember the concepts. These quizzes will also jog people’s memory and help them to retain concepts better.
- Create a community or internal social network for the training group. This forum can be used to ask questions, make comments and share people’s experiences of applying the training back at work and more. Encourages participation in the forum through gamification (leader boards, incentives for answering questions).
- Don’t just email the training slides to attendees. It will just get buried! Instead, provide all the content from the training on the event app so that people can refer to it anytime they want.
These simple actions will help you design training programs that people are truly excited about. They will feel that you are genuinely committed to their career growth. This belief will play a major role in making them more engaged – and contributing more to your profitability and shareholder value.