4 ways to get your employees excited about training

Your employees likely fall into one of three groups when it comes to training. They see themselves as either:

  • Vacationers (training is better than going to work!)
  • Prisoners (they’ve been forced to attend)
  • Willing learners

So if we want to get our people to engage in training, try to think about it this way: How can you convert your vacationers and prisoners into willing learners?

Here are a few tips to help:

1. Be a role model

Do the HR people and supervisors at your organization attend training sessions? Do your employees know that you do? Do you come back from training 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.

2. Get them involved early

People are adults! Whenever possible, let employees help research and select the training or the details. This small step will reduce the “prisoner feeling” more than you realize.

3. 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 of training that you already see.

4. Expect (and track) improvement

Training is of no value if no change in behavior or performance occur.

Before people go to training, help them (or ask them to) set tangible goals for the training. Then, on their return, expect improvement!

Meet with employees after 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.

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


Kevin Eikenberry is the chief potential officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company that helps organizations, teams and individuals reach their potential since 1993.