Despite the dedication, heart and hours that learning professionals pour into developing corporate training programs, learners often fail to foster the same level of enthusiasm for training as the developers. Let’s be honest. Learners are not exactly lining up to attend your next training session like devoted concertgoers waiting for tickets to go on sale or tech-savvy buyers counting down the minutes for the latest digital tool to hit the shelf. Corporate training is just not that enticing as a standalone product. Employees need a little more incentive to buy into training.
Just like a cable company that markets multiple products to a single consumer for an enticing discount, learning leaders can create unique bundled training packages for learners. In other words, learning leaders can select training programs based on individual needs and market the bundle to employees using a “what’s in it for me” approach to engage and motivate them to take part in training.
Showing learners how training will directly benefit them can help make all the hours a learner spends sitting in a classroom or behind a computer worth it. Without buy-in from learners, training is a waste – a waste of time, effort and dollars. Organizations become at risk for low performance and high turnover without effective training practices.
It’s up to learning and development (L&D) to get learners more excited about training – and that starts with positioning training as an employee incentive and effectively communicating how employees can take advantage of this high-value offer. Here are a few tips to get started.
Know Your Audience
Learning leaders must understand who their learners are in terms of their job role, function and experience level. Every learner must be accounted for to develop learner pathways. L&D must also understand what drives their learners and become advocates for their learning journey.
Bundling the Right Options
Learning professionals must consider all the training opportunities available at their organization. This includes both formal and informal solutions. L&D must ensure that learning is a continuous process throughout an employee’s lifecycle. Formal classroom training must be supported by additional learning interventions like coaching, on-the-job training or job shadowing.
Marketing the Perks
Learning leaders should embrace their creative side when marketing training to employees. This is your chance to inject some energy into the experience. Even mandatory training can be “spiced up” with a more appealing message. L&D should take advantage of any opportunity to communicate the value of training. This includes company newsletters, events, intranet, email, videos, etc. Learners must become aware that training is available, how it will help them on the job and how they can access it.
Learner Evaluation & Feedback
Just like when buying a product, learning leaders should have a plan in place to obtain feedback from learners. They must understand what’s working and what’s lacking. There should also be an adequate evaluation process so that managers can observe and report behavior change. Managers are essential to ensure that training is reinforced and the intended outcomes are realized.
The Total Package
L&D professionals wear many hats and must be fluent in many “languages.” They must speak the language of business to senior executives, they must translate business objectives into learning solutions, and they must also be well-versed in consumer language to sell training to learners.
By marketing the total training package to learners, L&D is positioning training as an enabler to employee growth and advancement. Training has a lot to offer employees and it’s up to L&D to show them that value.