When you tell your employees there will be a training within the next few days, you will likely either be met with eye rolls, groans, or blank faces. I think it’s safe to say we’ve been in various meetings in which we were obligated to participate in cheesy scenarios and awkward rolling-playing exercises. While they can be uncomfortable, there is value in continued employee training. Not all training has to be unpleasant.

There are three major barriers when it comes to motivating employees around training:

  • A lack of time.
  • The perception that the information is redundant, won’t be relevant, or isn’t applicable.
  • The company culture doesn’t support training.

Well trained employees are more confident in their abilities, capable and competent or more likely to stick around and add value to your company. The cost of turn-over is high, roughly 16-20% of the employee’s annual salary. Here are 6 tips to help get your employees excited about training.

  1. What Do They Want

Your employees know what they need on the day-to-day to get their job done. But there will be challenges that come up and new skills that they’ll need to learn to perform their duties well. So, make training personal. Ask them what they’d like to learn and help them find resources and solutions to make it happen. Redundant meetings are easy to dismiss and mentally checkout. To encourage participation, seek what your employees want to learn and incorporate their feedback into the trainings.

  1. Incentives

Who doesn’t love extra cash? But here’s the thing, while cash incentives work during competition, productivity, effort, and performance will drop after. So use this method selectively. Food is also a great motivator. Plan a company breakfast or lunch training to get people excited.

  1. Make it Easy

There’s already so much that needs to get done in the day. As noted previously a lack of time is often why employees don’t engage in training. Schedule trainings in advance, make the trainings a set block of time, such as three one-hour sessions on Monday. Or make it digital so employees can complete the training at their leisure as it fits into their schedule. Give people room to participate without fear of judgement or criticism.

  1. Mobile Friendly

Most people spend a significant amount of time on their phones, so make the trainings mobile friendly. It was reported that mobile learners study an additional 40 minutes per week on their own time compared to the average worker spending 24 minutes a week on training.

  1. Company Culture

If the company doesn’t spend time investing in new trainings and solutions to elevate their employees, then the employees won’t feel the need to excel. Companies that incentivize new skill development, assist their employees in starting new programs, paying for classes, etc. help improve the relationship with their employee. Investment in personal development and growth creates loyalty and trust. Management should set the example to demonstrate the importance of training and active attendance and participation.

  1. Advancement Opportunities

If you want to keep good talent, you have to invest in good talent. Employees who see a clear path of advancement within the company are more likely to stick around longer. Employers should work with HR to develop trainings that offer more opportunities to increase earning potential and skillsets.