Not everybody starts training right away after the online program kicks off. That’s OK, since learning whenever it suits you is actually one of the advantages of online training. But what if your employees don’t start training at all? We investigated this problem for one of the organizations we work with and found several reasons employees don’t start training. Here are the three most common.

Reasons for not starting

“I don’t have time for training.”

The largest part of the non-starters (37 percent) indicated they simply do not have enough time to train. This feeling is understandable, since employees often have other priorities and might have a fixed schedule or a heavy workload. Still, this belief is mostly based on the assumption that training programs take a lot of time, which isn’t always the case. For example, microtraining can be done anytime and anywhere. Our experience shows that once participants start, they quickly notice that microtraining doesn’t nearly take as much time as traditional training programs.

At the same time, it’s important for organizations to give employees enough time and space to develop themselves. An employee should never feel uncomfortable doing a short training session, whether it’s online or in person. If necessary, have your employees schedule time each day or week dedicated to training.

“The training program is irrelevant.”

Learners will always look for an answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” Thirty-one percent of the non-starters don’t immediately see the relevance of their training programs. If you don’t see why a training is important to you, you aren’t motivated to participate. This is why many online training programs are developed from a design thinking perspective, with the employee as the starting point.

What do the employees need to be able to do, and when and where do they need these skills? Which skills can they directly apply in the workplace? A good program trains the participants in skills they need to function in an effective, pleasant and successful way. Make sure to take a critical look at your content every once on a while. Is it still up to date? After using the same exercises for a while, it might be time to add some new ones to maintain relevancy.

“The training method is not my thing.”

Online training will be new to many employees, and new things can evoke resistance. Ten percent of the non-starters indicated that the method is their reason not to start a training program, some without actually having experienced the method. That’s why it’s important to always inform new participants about the goal and structure of the program. A first video role-play program, for example, means suddenly seeing yourself on camera, but participants say they are used to it within a couple of minutes. A best practice is to “force” employees to get accustomed to the new program, often together, so they find out that the method is not as scary as it may have seemed.

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