How to Improve Employee Training Engagement

Posted on
July 18, 2023
Billy Mike
from myQuest

According to a Gallup poll, employee engagement has declined in recent years. In 2022, only 32% of employees responded that they were “engaged” in their work (while 18% reported being “actively disengaged”).

Businesses like yours likely spend a lot of resources on upskilling and transference learning materials. To get the most bang for your buck, you need to boost employee training engagement to optimal levels.

The question is, what are you actively doing to promote this? Your best place to start building employee engagement is during the onboarding process. From there, the ideal approach is one that nurtures continual learning.   

Building employee training engagement contributes to better job performance and increases employee retention rates, which is something every business wants. So, here’s how to do it.  

What is employee training engagement?

Employee training engagement is essentially the level of enthusiasm and participation from staff during learning activities. 

Engaged participants are attentive, actively listening, and fully present and invested during online or in-person teaching. 

During the learning process, engagement is critical to the success of workforce education. Those who engage completely with training materials are more likely to retain information, develop new skills, and level up performance in their job roles. 

They’re also better prepared to rise up the ranks and reinforce your succession planning.

Here’s how to improve employee training engagement in your company.  

1. Build a supportive training culture

You can’t expect your team to give you their full attention indefinitely. This is especially true during training presentations and seminars. Training is a two-way street. You’ve got to give your employees something to hold their interest for the duration of the learning process. 

A culture of continuous learning

The best place to start is with your company culture. If you foster a culture of continuous learning, both new and existing hires will understand what’s expected of them and what’s at stake. This begins by injecting continuous learning into your onboarding process. 

Use this opportunity to promote awareness of available training and teach employees how to use your learning management system (LMS). Bring new hires up to speed regarding recognition programs and collaboration/communication tools your organization uses.

Initiating training activities through leaders

You can promote a culture of learning by starting at the top of your company. Once your HR team is fully adept at using your training resources and LMS, they can begin shepherding C-suite execs and the rest of leadership to training pastures new.

Department heads can then support their team members through the majority of training questions and issues. Besides being a source of information, your C-suite and managers will be able to lead by example, participating in continuous learning alongside their team members. 

Recognizing and reading employee engagement

A high level of employee training engagement is vital to build a culture of continuous education. This means you need effective methods to recognize and measure it. 

Have your HR team and management observe engagement during training sessions and activities. Obvious signs of disengagement include not asking questions or offering insights. 

Keep an eye out for disinterested body language and non-verbal cues. For example, are people collaborating and discussing training topics during a session, or is everybody quiet and nodding away mindlessly?

You can also look at metrics compiled from one-to-one meetings, annual performance reviews, and HR solutions. Use your HR tools to track data, such as who has completed which training programs, and implement an attendance tracker.

By combining these data points, you’ll begin to get a more accurate picture of how your employees are doing, which can inform your training sessions and indicate any wider issues. 

2. Curate interactive training programs

An effective way to increase employee training engagement is to use interactive tactics. One way to do this is gamification. By adding games to the learning process, you grab the attention of more participants than you otherwise would.

Leaderboards are a simple way to add some healthy competition to a training program. You can motivate team members by awarding certificates and badges for performing well. With a user-friendly LMS, you may even be able to add earned titles like “Expert” or “Guru” to a team member's name as a reward for completing certain training. 

To make in-person sessions more interactive, don’t just ram PowerPoint slide presentations down people’s throats; instead, incorporate quizzes, games, puzzles, and other engaging activities. 

Of course, these activities shouldn’t be limited to in-person training. Many remote training solutions will allow you to boost the interactivity of teaching in a virtual setting.

Be sure to make use of videos throughout your training too. Many people are visual and/or audio learners, so incorporating these into presentations and online training sessions will help keep participants actively engaged.

3. Give ample opportunities for application

You can demonstrate the usefulness of employee training by creating situations where your staff can actively use their new-found knowledge and skills. An easy way to set up these environments is through simulations and role-playing.

These activities can be conducted during a training session or scheduled as standalone interactions that allow individuals to spend as much or little time practicing as desired. 

To help with this:

Make training part of your career development planning

You can use resources like your LMS to develop and schedule relevant courses for career advancement. So, for a junior employee who wants to be promoted to management, craft qualifications in areas such as delegation and employee coaching. 

Task meaningful work

Your training resources should also align with the goals of the business. You can give more meaning to the work your employees do by delegating tasks that require the application of their new skills and knowledge. More meaningful work means happier and more engaged workers.

4. Nurture peer learning

Education doesn’t only have to come from instructors, management, and course materials. Your team is also capable of teaching and learning among themselves. All you need to do is facilitate the peer learning process. 

This can be accomplished using your communication and collaboration tools. Set up team messaging channels for those taking the same courses or training. This allows employees to discuss and gain clarity on challenging topics. Solutions like an LMS also allow you to create course forums where employees can share knowledge with their peers. 

The better the peer learning channels you provide, the quicker they’ll gain momentum and the more widely adopted they’ll be. 

Another way to nurture peer learning is via mentoring and one-on-one live-coaching sessions. These allow senior employees to show the ropes to greener team members and, during the coaching of new skills, the teacher is continually sharpening their own knowledge too. There’s no better way to demonstrate competency than showing the ability to teach a newly acquired skill.

5. Provide open feedback channels

In addition to peer messaging, open feedback channels can boost employee training engagement. Use communication tools and informal meetings to allow for two-way conversation between managers and their teams.

This provides opportunities for leaders to assess the engagement levels of employees. They can give feedback and guidance to team members and hold them accountable for learning activities. These interactions also give employees a chance to voice their opinions and offer their insight and suggestions for improvement. 

Open feedback allows managers and supervisors to better understand the learning styles of each employee. Armed with this information, it’s possible to adjust and improve training methods to maximize engagement.

6. Measure training effectiveness

A key aspect of fostering employee engagement is evaluating the effectiveness of your approach. Start by identifying your current engagement baseline by auditing your existing training environment. 

A business management system can provide access to job performance and other HR metrics, offering a starting point for measuring the effectiveness of your employee training. It may also offer live reporting so you can monitor these metrics in real-time on an ongoing basis.

Additional channels for monitoring staff learning include:

  • Training requirement surveys
  • Employee one-to-one meetings concerning learning opportunities
  • Implementing net promoter scores (NPSs) for lectures, presentations, and mobile course materials
  • Annual reviews and employee exit interviews 

Once you have an idea of what’s working and what’s broken, it’s time to build an employee training engagement strategy.

Get to know your audience

Use your HR platform or LMS to aggregate all employee training feedback. Use this data to build a  wide variety of training methods and resources. This will give you plenty of channels for finding out what works and what doesn’t for your team members.

Evaluate your current training process

Compile participation and pass rates for your training materials. Use these tools to identify which courses and training methods have the lowest participation rates. 

Re-focus your training materials

Once you see what isn’t working, it’s time to cut the fluff. Eliminate extraneous and outdated information from courses to streamline the completion process. 

Trimming the fat from course content will make your employees more likely to stay engaged during learning activities.

A user-friendly LMS can help you implement microlearning, where you build mini training sessions for delivery on mobile devices. These allow your team to complete training when convenient and in bite-sized chunks. Microlearning maximizes the 15-20 minutes of attention most people have.

Final thoughts

Increasing and maintaining employee training engagement is a simple concept—but achieving it can be much harder than it sounds. 

Nonetheless, if you can build interactive, flexible, and tailored learning resources, it’s possible to maximize the training engagement of every employee. That means improved productivity and morale and better company growth in the long term. 

Improve employee training engagement with myQuest. Learn how today.


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