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Remarkable Leadership with Kevin Eikenberry

Getting People Engaged in Training

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Because you are reading these words, I am confident you have an achievement mindset — you are a believer in ongoing learning and development for yourself and those you lead. This belief is a big part of the answer to your question, but let me start someplace else.

Because of how you see the world, it might be hard for you to understand why others might not be excited or looking forward to a training or learning experience. Let me see if I can give you some perspective, as well as some action steps.

Your folks likely fall into one of three groups when it comes to training. They see themselves as vacationers (training is better than going to work!), prisoners (they’ve been forced to attend), and willing learners (these are not the people we are thinking about in this article.)

So if we want to get our people to engage in training, let’s think about it this way: how can you convert your vacationers and prisoners into willing learners? Here are a few tips to help:

Be a Role Model

Do you attend training? Does your team know that you do? Do you come back and share your goals and ask them to hold you accountable for progress? The more of these you have a yes answer to, the better. Your behavior is a major way to persuade others in any situation, including training.

Engage Them in Selection

People are adults! Let them help select the training or the details whenever possible. This little thing may reduce the “prisoner feeling” more than you realize.

Make it Relevant

Help people see how the training (and more specifically what they will learn) will make a difference in their work. Will it help them be more productive, safer or produce higher quality? Will it prepare them for a desired promotion? Will it give them important exposure? In short, help them see the value and benefits that you see.

Expect Improvement

Training is of no value if no change in behavior or performance occurs. Before people go to training help them (or ask them to) set goals. Then on their return expect improvement! Meet with folks on their return to review what they learned and how they plan to apply it. Ask what you can do to assist them, then hold them accountable for the changes. They might not be perfect the first time, so support the practice and encourage continued improvement.

These four things should help you have more people more excited about going to training — and give you better results when they return.

If you are looking for great learning experiences for you and your team, I urge you to take a look here.

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