Ever wondered why the HR team insists on having casual and fun days in office? It’s not just for entertainment, the underlying reason is to build employee engagement. In the U.S., only 33% of employees are engaged in their job, which means most of the employees are working only half-heartedly. Unless your employees feel engaged and valued at their workplace, they cannot put in their 100% at work. Training plays an important role in building the engagement levels. You have training for onboarding, induction, product and process training etc. You must try to make corporate training more engaging by utilizing all these training opportunities as a platform to increase the level of engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
As per Wikipedia, an “engaged employee” is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.
So, any employee who is willing to work towards achieving their organization’s goals is an engaged employee. They are willing to contribute to their company’s success and are not just working to complete their work hours and leave. They will happily do all the tasks assigned to them, and not grudgingly finish off work.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
A highly engaged workforce can lead your organization to growth and success, while a dejected and disengaged lot of employees would mean high turnover, constant recruitment, followed by another round of training session. As per Gallup report, 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. That is a big number. And it most probably involves your workforce too.
Employees who are actively engaged will go that extra mile to perform their tasks efficiently and with high-quality output. Hence, enterprises must develop training solutions which consist of employee engagement strategies. This will help identify employees who are actively disengaged and turn them into a high performing workforce. The Gallup study also shows that companies with highly engaged workforce outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. This could be you if you take efforts to increase engagement levels in your organization.
Here are 7 Most Effective Ways to make Corporate Training More Engaging:
1. Give a Captivating Introduction:
When you start with the training program, keep it interesting right from the beginning. Capture their attention. If employees get the good vibes early on in the training, they are more likely to be attentive throughout the entire training session. Of course, there will be certain topics in the course module that may be boring. And nothing you do will make them interesting. But presentation matters. The way you present it in front of your audience will make them listen attentively and retain all the information. Talk to them, ask questions, keep it light with a touch of humour. When the learning process is enjoyable, engagement becomes easy.
2. Use Gamification:
In recent years, gamification has emerged as a powerful tool to increase employee engagement. Remember when your teacher gave you a star in your notebook, you felt so good and appreciated? That is the psychology behind gamification. Why do we feel so good when we complete a level in a video game? We are wired in a way that achievements make us feel important. Hence, implementing this psychology at workplaces would mean your employees would strive to get better output.
Keep a leaderboard which shows their performance results each week. The best performer of the week could be rewarded with a certificate. Most corporate organizations have monthly or quarterly employee recognition awards. It doesn’t have to be a cash reward. A simple certificate is enough to boost their morale. Training period is a good time to engage your employees in healthy workplace competitions. Let them know that they are performing well and encourage them to do better next time.
3. Play Interactive Games:
While gamification is used to bring a competitive edge to the corporate training program, playing helps helps in making the training sessions fun and engaging. Don’t just let your employees sit at one place for 3-4 hours and listen to you talking or watch presentations. Keep them active. Physical activity boosts brain function, helping a person stay mentally active as well. And it will help the employees stay focused on the training program. Include quizzes, puzzles, riddles, small interactive games to keep the training session interactive and interesting.
If it is a mobile-based corporate training that you are delivering, then there’s not much scope for physical activity. Instead, you can include online games, where employees have to solve a certain puzzle or quiz in order to move on to the next chapter.
4. Include Videos for Better Knowledge Retention:
Videos are said to be a very good medium of corporate training. People tend to remember the information when they watch it in video format. A lot of enterprises today are developing video content for training. The combined effect of audio and moving visuals help the employees in retaining the content and the information associated with it. Employees can always pause, rewind and watch it again.
Videos are visually compelling. Once you put together a great training video, it is bound to keep the users engaged with the content. Just make sure that the contents are relevant, and the voice over and video quality is really good. Viewers are said to retain 95% of the message when they watch it in a video compared to text. That is a staggering number. And all the more reason for you to design a training video for your employees.
5. Incorporate Simulation and Role-play
Do you know what is more engaging than video-based training? It’s simulation-based corporate training. While videos let you ‘watch and learn’, simulation lets you ‘do and learn’. You can either have simulation-based games on computers or mobile devices, where a scenario is being played out and your employees have to choose an option to proceed to the next scene. These kind of simulation games are helpful in improving critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Or you could maybe have some role-play games at your workplace itself. Create situations where the trainee has to make a critical decision and make it a timed event. This will keep everyone engaged and totally immersed in the learning process. You can make it a group activity or an individual one. An interactive session demands employee’s attention and increases their level of engagement. For new employees, it gives a glimpse of the real-world scenario, of how the actual job situation is going to be. And for existing employees, well, they can once again get fired up and motivated to get on with their work.
6. Encourage Online Communities and Discussions:
Online forums and communities were introduced in order to encourage people to come together and discuss a topic or find a potential solution to problems. Basically, it’s an online group to help each other. People share their opinions and experiences, which might prove helpful to others.
You can introduce an online forum for trainees and other employees to have open discussions about the work process, technical issues, office culture, or anything that is work-related. It allows your employees to interact with each other, building collaboration. All the employees, even the ones located at different locations can have an interaction on one common platform. It thus builds engagement on a wider scale.
7. Training Delivery on Mobile Devices:
Your employees are very skilled and experienced at operating mobile devices. So, put these devices to good use. Almost every organization is introducing mLearning and eLearning. It’s because mobile learning has a number of benefits. Mobile friendly content allows your employees to access it anytime and anywhere. Isn’t that a brilliant way to keep your employees in constant touch with the training module? Anytime they have a doubt, they can simply have a look at the course module in their handset. Mobile content is usually bite-sized modules, which can be read even while travelling or during short breaks. It enables them to brush up their knowledge whenever they want. Now-a-days, mobile training modules are embedded with multiple interactive features, which helps in keeping the learners engaged with the training content.
Employee engagement, as we said earlier, is the willingness of an employee that motivates them to perform better at their job. A happy employee is what every organization wants but keeping them interested in their work is something that many enterprises fail at. And that is not good for business outcomes. So, when you plan your employee training program, apart from the course modules and corporate training delivery methods, you also need to strategize on how you will keep them engaged throughout the learning process. Incorporate the above-mentioned points to make corporate training more engaging for your employees, so that they can have a good learning experience. An effective and engaging corporate training program will improve your employees’ productivity and result in higher levels of enthusiasm to deliver better business outcomes.