Employees who start each day with packed schedules are often unreceptive to requests to volunteer for additional training. In their eyes, they already have enough to do, they are not convinced that what is being asked of them is relevant, or they assume they have sufficient skills to do their job and resent the idea that they should learn more.
This poses huge problems for human resources professionals who must ensure that all staff is consistently trained for quality control purposes and to keep on top of technological changes within the company. Training is also required to ensure that best practices are followed and to ensure the company remains in a strong position to take on new challenges.
How can you create the incentives that will make your staff eager learners to start and finish training programs?
The use of incentives, or rewards, is a strategy used effectively by many companies. At its most basic, the use of incentives means the employee gets to keep their job if they take the training. The training is mandatory for continuing employment. At the other end of the heavy approach is the employee demanding to be paid to take the training. For the company already burdened by the bill of new technology, the additional labor cost may be prohibitive.
Neither mandatory nor paid training is the best approach to build a culture where learning is appreciated by both employees and companies.
Better approaches contain some small element of reward (gift certificates to a meal, water bottles and pedometers, a chance to win a day off), or even a pizza party at the end of the session.
Training can also be implemented in smaller time segments (such as during lunch once a week) with the company providing a free lunch on that day.
More and more companies are encouraging employees to learn by offering e-learning opportunities that allow study from home or gamification as part of the learning process in an effort to combine fun with acquiring skills.
Whatever method of incentive you select, remember that the ultimate incentive should be for employees to recognize that they live and work in a learning culture. By constantly improving their skill sets and knowledge base, they are the ones who benefit in the long run. Take the steps to build that kind of culture.