Reasons. If you could put in one word what makes employee training pay off, that would be the word. As humans, if we have enough reasons we can do the most incredible things.
Tell a child that if they do well in school, you’d buy them a bicycle, you will see their commitment and performance soar. Tell a young accountant that they’d get a lucrative role in the organization once they become chartered, they will put in extra effort in preparation to pass the requisite exams.
When it comes to employee training, the case is not different. Give employees enough reasons, they will take the training seriously and excel in learning and application.
But most times they don’t have enough reasons. What many organizations do is to merely inform them that they have been ‘nominated’ for a training program. The employees don’t know the specific reasons they are being trained.
And because they are not given reasons for the training, the other things for which they have reasons, take priority making the training secondary in terms of attention and commitment. They take it with little drive; as a requirement, and not for a reason. And the result is obvious – the training will not be impactful, whether it’s online or classroom, whether the facilitator is great or not.
Thus, most times, if employees are not committed to learning during training, it is simply because they do not know why they should. In other words, they don’t have enough reasons.
Providing these reasons is quite simple yet most organizations let it slip. Perhaps, because they do not know the importance of reasons in making employee training pay off.
The fact is, of all the activities that organizations need to perform before a training session, the pre-training conversation – the vehicle for conveying reasons – is the most important.
Reasons, in this context, are information for the employee about why the new skill, skill enhancement, or information is necessary. And how it will benefit them and the organization.
With reasons, the employee understands the link between the training and their job. They also see the link between the training and their ability to contribute to the accomplishment of the organization’s goals.
A good pre-training communication, with enough reasons, will help create an attitude of motivation as the employee attends the training. It will increase the likelihood that the employee will look for relevant information to apply on the job after the training session.
When employees are given enough reasons for the training, other things – the mode of training, the type of food served during training, etc. – matter less. And the impact of the training is high.
Effective reasons come in a polite manner and with details. They are bundled in a conversation meant to motivate and are more effective if delivered by or in the presence of the employee’s manager or supervisor. They are like what the coach tells the players before a game starts. Reasons are very important.
Hence if it seems the money you invest in employee training and development has little payoff, it could be simply because your employees do not know in specific terms why they should be committed to training and their application – they lack the reasons.
Communicating reasons effectively, before a training program, makes a lot of difference in your return on training investment. It’s indeed one simple way to make employee training pay off.