Role of Training in Employee Engagement & some Tips to make it happen

Employee engagement is a forerunner to a stellar employee performance. We recognize and feel employee engagement when we are around it or are part of a team that lives it. It is indeed a palpable feeling, when we walk into an establishment where people are happy, involved, motivated and the atmosphere of positivity and productivity is evident.

Gallup`s 2013 study of 141 countries worldwide suggested only 13% of the employees are engaged at the workplace while 63% are disengaged, 24% are actively disengaged. The “disengaged elephant” is a reality!

There clearly is an opportunity for the Organizations to turn the ebb of the disengagement tide with Training and other Employee Engagement strategies. Some studies note that Training, Coaching and Mentoring has a significant role in fostering employee engagement.

Organizations are increasingly appreciating the importance of people development as part of their business growth strategy to create a difference in the marketplace. As products are getting increasingly commoditized, the real influence of team involvement and contributions assume greater significance. More Organizations are investing in Training and upskilling their teams to keep them engaged and relevant. Countries like Singapore promote and give subsidies to Organization for investing in people; for their training, skilling, providing necessary tools and resources to improve productivity.

In the past decade, Training and Development has emerged as one of the key criteria to assess whether employees will stay in or leave their current job. Dale Carnegie Training Center conducted a study which revealed, 40% of employees leave the job within the year due to poor training. The results indicate poorly trained employees have adverse impact which includes employee churn , increased hiring spend, low morale of the team thus impacting productivity. This builds a robust case for investing in good Training that enables positive business outcomes while ensuring that the employees are engaged, skilled and proactive.

Here are some tips to conduct better trainings for engaging your employees

Pushing learning, especially learning curriculums that are of a one-size-fits-all variety, is a quick way to turn your employees off. “ I know this already”, “ What is the value add?”, “This is very basic” some of these expressions capture the frustration of the employees when training is generic. This often results in an adverse effect on their work, with time lost and possible feelings of devaluation creeping in their psyche.

Ask your employees what they want:
Asking employees to communicate their personal development goals will lead to a conversation that offers better insights into how they view their development. It also reveals key insights into what motivates them and what they see as important along with the learning inputs they need.

Career path:
Most employees care about their Career and where it’s headed. If your employee sees Learning as an enabling stepping stone to their professional development, they’re highly likely to be invested in their Training.

Introduce a culture of Learning in your Organization:
Encourage people to make learning a priority and promote peer learning in the organization. Invest resources to establish a centralized knowledge base, one that is actively maintained and updated. Make problem-solving, active discussions, supporting, volunteering and helping a virtue in your organization. Allow people’s curiosity to flow, appreciate difficult questions and ask people to come up with new ideas. Building culture takes work and everyone’s involvement, but if successful the results are nothing short of remarkable.

Bring a smile to your employees’ faces with a reward:
A reward for doing something good always works. Everyone enjoys a pat on the back now and then and a perk to enjoy. This also makes the employee feel appreciated and motivates them to own their work. Appreciate the learning efforts by the employee and encourage them to show case how this has impacted them on their job/ at the workplace.

To sum it up, focused Learning is a goldmine for business success if used correctly for engaging, enabling and skilling the most valuable asset of your organization – your employees. People are the constant factor in this dynamic world, but the old brick & mortar style will not work if organizations want to be nibble, stay ahead and make a difference. The new age employee sees more value in their personal development & career aspirations more than monetary benefits and the Learning and Development function can make a big difference in enabling achieve this paradigm shift. Use these tips to leverage Training!

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