Licensee BadgeTraining Badge
Submitted by Justin_B on


BLUF - What kind of training opportunities do you create for your team/company, without being overly dry and unengaging?

Something is currently telling me that an important area to focus on, given my role, is the engagement of our employees overall. We do offer some training through videos but, in all honesty, they aren't as useful as I'd like. The videos come across as though you are being talked at, not talked to, or with. We have introduced some study guides to increase the level of engagement possible, which has helped. However, I feel there is more available to create a culture of learning and comradery without trying to turn into some "hip" tech startup with ping pong tables (that just isn't our culture). This is why I ask a community of professionals their opinion.

While I have used MT training myself, it will be a longer play to gain approval for a company-wide engagement so that is off the table for now. A few things that I am thinking about:

- Taking a more active speaking/discussion role as a supplement to the current video training offerings.

- Finding other experts in the local area to come in and speak to the employees.

- Writing with thoughts and lessons to our company on a regular interval.

- Forming a book club of sorts.

CaliA's picture



"Finding other experts in the local area to come in and speak to the employees" is a really good idea, but only if the person really knows how to speak and inspire work and development. because now there are many "business coaches" who just pour water and do not say anything useful.

 "Forming a book club of sorts" is also a great idea, I'll take note of it!

Here are some tips that I can give from my practice.

1) Match your high performers with new employees -The supervisor can help them get situated, walk them through common tasks and projects, and show the new staff member how someone experienced does their job.

2) Create excitement about a “boring” training topic

If you’re having a training session that involves your employees, turn it into an experience they can get excited about. Create a half-day session for the training with a catered lunch where employees get the other half of the day off as an incentive for being in attendance.

3) Take your training outside the office - it is even possible to go to a neighboring city to some kind of exhibition and turn training into a kind of excursion. Plan the free-time activities as carefully as the training sessions.

Regards, Amanda Cali

Project Manager of Work Time company

j3snyder's picture
Licensee Badge

Having people attend training is not the same thing as enabling learning and performance on the job. Are you hoping to change outcomes, or just measure attendance at training?

It's easy to make training more "engaging" without changing behaviors, but that is likely not your goal. On the other hand, enabling performance on the job through evidence-based best practices for learning retention takes effort and time. Some things to consider: who is your audience? When do they need training? What job aids will support the behaviors you need on the job? What's the most efficient mechanism to deliver the training?

If you really want to dive deep into the world of training and gain skills in creating training materials, I heartily recommend whoever on your team is responsible for training to read Julie Dirksen's "Design for How People Learn" or Crystal Kadakia's "Designing for Modern Learning". For most people in the MT community, both of these are overkill.

If you are looking for something quicker than remodeling your training program completely, the keys to retention are spaced repetition (repeating behavior over time), retrieval practice (actively pulling information from memory), and using cognitive schemas (building new information based on old frameworks). In other words, try and find ways to take what you are already doing, and reinforce that over time. Watch the video, sure, and then send an email out 2 days later with a scenario based on what was learned. A month after a video, have a different scenario that you can discuss in your O3s. 

Using these best practices, you can make it easy for your learners to retain information. Learning becomes a process instead of just an event. 

I've spent 20 years in various forms of education/learning roles in different industries with different audiences. The  fundamentals are well known and don't change. I'm happy to discuss further if you're interested.