Are your employees reaching their full potential at work? If not, the main cause could be a lack of employee engagement. Employee engagement is all about having a committed workforce which can derive job satisfaction from what they do in the company. According to a worldwide study by Gallup, only 13% of employees are engaged at work. This highlights the severity of the situation as a disengaged workforce carries huge risks which can affect the overall success of the organization. Another study of 115 companies by Watson Wyatt in 2009 , revealed that a company with highly engaged employees achieves a financial performance four times greater than companies with poor employee engagement. Further studies, have showed that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their jobs compared to the disengaged. These employees are 78% more motivated to recommend their company’s product or service to others and less likely to take sick days.
How to keep employees engaged?
All these research leads us to understand the importance of employee engagement to boost productivity and profitability in an organization. The immediate question which comes in mind is: How to keep employees engaged? Surveys revealed that one of the most proficient methods is through training. Not providing training and development opportunities to employees can negatively affect their performance: 23% of employees leave their jobs due to the lack of training and development opportunities and 58% of staffs feel that they are not reaching their full potential due to the lack of skills and relevant qualifications. Training comes as a valuable means to resolve such situations. Over the years, companies have been opting for the traditional method of training that is classroom training which proved to bring some positive changes to address the situation. Nowadays, with the emergence of technology, new forms of training such as e-learning, webinar, simulation and gamification are increasingly being implemented and used by global corporations. For instance, companies who use online training technology achieve 18% boost in employee engagement.
Here are 5 tips to boost employee engagement through training:
- Incorporate Real Work situations in training programs
Opting for a training program with a high quality visual content and which reflects real life can prove to be more engaging than other forms of e-learning. Through such kinds of training, employees can actively apply what they are learning in their jobs. Studies show that 40% of people respond to visual information better than plain text and are 60,000 times faster to process visual data than text.
Visual effects are vital to keep employees motivated for the training and also to increase their engagement at work. The cognitive load theory by John Sweller is the most effective researched theory for learning and the brain. John Sweller argued that instructional designs can be used to reduce the total amount of mental efforts being used in the working memory of learners. This allows the learning experience to be more effective. Based on this theory, Procurement and Supply Chain Academy have put in place an innovative way of e-learning which allows the learner to experience real-life situations and encourages them to actively apply their knowledge and practice skills.
- Training should be relevant to their role
To ensure maximum employee engagement, employers should make sure that they are providing training according to the roles of their staffs. Providing a training program just for the sake of doing so may not lead to a significant increase in productivity and efficiency. In such cases, employees might not even complete their courses and apply the knowledge. To avoid these kind of situation employers have to conduct an analysis to see what skills the employees need. At the end of the day, this will ensure the success of the company as a whole.
This is why Procurement and Supply Chain academy came up with individual learning plans following an in-depth buyer assessment and gap analysis. Based on the findings of individual assessments of employees or online assessments of larger organizations, a gap analysis is developed for each buyer which gives a clear picture of which competences need training. This critical overview allows managers to determine whether the employees have the necessary skills to meet the company’s objective and initiate a properly structured learning plan to address these gaps.
- Pre-training Engagement
Employees need a motivation factor to undertake the training. They would be reluctant to complete the courses if they feel that they are wasting their time with irrelevant courses and that the company does not care about their professional development. A recent global study found that 66% of employees say that opportunities for professional growth are limited within their organization. Showing interest in employees’ professional growth is directly linked to a high employee engagement. Prior to the training, a pre-training engagement is essential to make the goals of the training clear. This will help to stimulate future learners for the upcoming courses. Pre-training engagement can be done through incentives, surveys, skills and knowledge assessment, learning preferences assessments. In this way, employers make sure that their staffs are truly aware of the importance of training and make sure that goals are clearly defined for both their personal development and the development of the organization.
- Offer flexibility
The flexibility of e-learning significantly reduces the amount of time employees spend away from their day-to-day work. A Learndirect research highlights that 58% of people in work feel ‘trapped’ in their current role due to a lack of training. By implementing e-learning, it eases access to courses, without causing disruption in the current jobs of employees. This allows employees to apply their knowledge directly in their daily activities which leads to higher efficiency and job satisfaction. As a result, staffs are able to respond quicker to business demands and improve customer satisfaction. The UK’s largest learning technology benchmark study reveals that 77% of companies believe that learning technologies will help them respond faster to changing business conditions and build talent.
- Reward achievements
People receive a huge motivation boost when their accomplishments are acknowledged. After the training, it is always good to recognize the achievements of the staffs. This will allow them to feel motivated and ready to give their best in their jobs. It leads to better employee engagement within the organization. Employers will benefit with increased productivity and profitability as employees will feel that their efforts are being appreciated. The certification offered at completion will add value to the professional development of the staffs. Finally, it represents a win-win situation for both the employer and the staff, leading to a profitable business outcome.
Employee engagement is critical to business leaders seeking to attain high scores in key performance indicators and inspire their workforce to attain significant business objectives. Training is one of the most effective ways to develop employee engagement. Highly engaged workers lead to better business outputs, loyal customers and better financial performance.