In a changing business world, there has been a growing concern of companies with issues such as organizational culture, the development of skills and the development of employees through training.
More and more one can conclude that the work environment should be made up of people who are committed to achieving the goals of the company, but at the same time, are happy and in harmony with their work.
Ideally, training and development should be beneficial to all.
All training and development initiatives are important because they help ensure that your team progresses continuously and keeps their skills updated. Additionally, it can help your employees be more productive and simplify processes, resulting in a better overall result.
They are also a great way to increase talent retention because training also shows employees that the company or organization values them enough to invest in their development which can result in higher levels of satisfaction.
Still, let’s face it: most of your employees have a long list of things that have to be done every day … and the training the company wants them to participate in may not be a priority for them simply because they are not willing to spend time on courses that either are not directly related to their careers or do not offer practical skills that they can use immediately in their work.
Trainers on the other hand, suffer from the pressure of having to teach more and more content in less and less time, which can derive into sessions with a methodology based on exposure and where participants rarely have time to apply what they learn. What is taught is not, therefore, “absorbed”.
This puts them in a difficult position as they will have to produce challenging content and create experiences that engage and motivate their audience by focusing on what interests the trainees enough to keep them engaged.
At SWAT, we charter a participant-centered training with training techniques that ensure us to achieve a greater commitment from the participants.
The interaction between participants and the learning activities we deliver makes us certain that we are applying the best practices in teaching adult professionals and increasing their knowledge.
SWAT has created its own methodology and techniques to make training memorable and unexpected, helping the trainer to teach twice as much in the time available and promoting healthy competition during the sessions, recognizing achievements and rewarding learning and change behaviour.
Below are some of the strategies we use to motivate participants in our training sessions:
1. Games to Learn
Games are effective when it comes to learning. One of the reasons for this is the “fun” feeling they create in the participants and that have a major impact on how training is perceived. When participants are involved and have fun, they are more likely to remember what they have learned in the long run.
2. Talk less. Do more.
Surely you want the participants to have more practice and interaction – both with the training content as well as with other people. The important thing is to plan activities and interactions that are directly associated with each training objective.
3. Challenge training participants
Have you ever thought that instead of listing the training objectives, it may be more effective to start a training experience with a challenge or a goal? The brain is stimulated by surprise, and coping successfully with an unexpected situation causes a huge sense of satisfaction; happier people tend to have more energy and thus to become more involved in the proposed activities.
4. Apply as if you were working
It’s positive to explain the purpose of each module and content, using real examples related to the daily work of the participant. After introducing a new topic, this one is put into context through examples of situations / roadblocks that are familiar to employees in their workplace and that they probably face daily.
5. Demonstrate. Repeat. Practice.
It is important to give training participants opportunities to practice and train them in order to make them feel confident when using their new skills.
6. Think and Share – group discussions
This has always been an effective tool to guide learners in meaningful and relevant discussions and to build group cohesion. Using small groups, discussions and simulations will help create active learning experiences.
7. Moments of silence for reflection
Writing and silence are also used as tools to promote thought and allow silent reflection without any filters. Using silence and writing, trainees can focus on other points of view.
8. Laugh to motivate
Humour is a great way to keep participants motivated. The use of comic characters that reflect familiar situations and personalities helps arouse interest.
9. Harmonize the individual interests of the participant
Each training participant is a unique individual with its own goals. Encouraging the participant to work toward those goals through training becomes a powerful incentive to encourage learning.
10. Promote feedback by taking advantage of the participant’s experience
The trainer takes the time to get to know his audience to get a sense of where they are in terms of career, what kind of experience they have, what their job descriptions involve, and what they expect to achieve. With this information as a basis, the trainer can better tailor the session to the participants and make the experience relevant.
Through these types of activities, we will be able to have participants who think and perceive training as an opportunity for learning and development.
When, in our training sessions, we get participants to relate the issues analysed with themselves and exercise self-reflection, we know that we have built “emotion-centered” learning and have empowered an experience, not just another course.
Learning is rarely a single event, and participants start forgetting what they have learned right after training, especially if they don’t put the concepts they have learned immediately into practice.
For this reason, all SWAT programs follow a principle of repetitive learning spaced in time (each new content is preceded by a game to remember everything that has been taught in the previous Modules), ensuring that concepts are reinforced over time to support the acquisition and retention of knowledge in the long term.
In this way, our programs have the ideal duration of two years, divided by several sessions and never overlooking the reinforcement and healthy competition between them.
By broadening the training experience of your employees, you will also increase the benefits of repetitive learning: while trainees, they retain more knowledge when they get the opportunity to apply it several times over several days or weeks throughout the year.
We always include practical opportunities and challenges for people to become active participants in their own learning.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to show you more about our programs to develop successful teams, providing them with everything they need to be both happy as well as productive.
Author: Paula Serra