4 reasons your employees are bored by training

If the word “training” elicits a collective deep sigh among your employees, you’re not alone. But, all hope is not lost. There’s a reason most people dread traditional training activities. In fact, there’s at least four: 

1. They Crave Entertainment

People live for stories. We love to binge on tales of heroes momentarily brought down by the bad guys and ultimately rising up to save the day. 

Your employees are people, people who very likely enjoy binging on heroic, dramatic and comedic tales. Traditional training assets (e.g. videos, articles, lectures, workshops) rarely tap into that desire to be entertained by a good tall tale, hence the resulting boredom. 

THE FIX: Modern training companies have developed a solution. It’s called enter-train-ment. Okay, I just made that up, but it’s a thing – a mashup of entertainment and training in a way that excites employees and makes them want to see what happens next. Look for providers that produce content that engages trainees in a narrative, features a continuity of characters and generally inspires employees to keep coming back for more. 

2. They ‘Have To’ Do It

Have you ever noticed how something becomes instantly awful the minute someone makes you do it? Mowing the lawn can be sort of enjoyable… until you get a surprise call that the in-laws are coming in an hour. Reading that report on changing consumer behavior might be pretty interesting… until your boss asks you to present it to the board first thing in the morning. 

Sadly, employee training in highly regulated industries, like financial services, has fallen into the “have to” category. Increased examiner insistence on continual training has amped up compliance and cybersecurity mandates. No one loves a mandate.  

THE FIX: Gamify the mandate. Add incentives that make it rewarding to participate in your training effort, and track those incentives publicly. You can take the high-tech route with intranet dashboards or simply add stickers to a handmade poster board in the break room. It will also help to talk less about the compliance burden and more about the “what’s in it for me” of training. Help employees see clearly how the content will make their job easier or more enjoyable. 

3. They Are Adults

Adult learners are very different from the students they once were. They are self-directed and want subject matter that is immediately relevant. Traditional training models put a lecturer at the front of the room who takes on the role of teacher, providing the lesson, the assignment and telling attendees what to do at every step of the interaction. And, traditional content often skips over the relevancy piece of the pie, keeping attendees from seeing the tangible benefit of their attention. 

THE FIX: Empower your employees to learn at their own pace with on-demand content that is actionable and totally relevant to their lives. In many cases, you can still track and measure the learning, just as you would with traditional lecture or workshop-style engagements. The BrightWise platform, for example, allows credit union employees to view 3 to 5-minute cybersecurity awareness videos whenever they want. At the end, they take a quiz to measure their learning. The results live inside the same platform, accessible by HR, compliance, infosec – whichever department depends on them for reporting. 

4. They Are Busy

Your employees have full schedules. Fitting even their regular duties into the work week often requires a Herculean effort of cramming, shoving, pivoting, briefing and rescheduling. Requiring them to add one more thing, particularly if they don’t see the value and do not enjoy it, adds to their load. 

THE FIX: Work to change perception of training from burden to break. Host training parties, create training competitions, and eat snacks or move your bodies as you do it. Go outside for a session, hit up the local coffee place, gamify their participation – anything you can think of to make employees view training as a respite from their day. Above all else, keep it brief. Full-day, or even half-day training sessions have their place, but try to do them as infrequently as possible. Instead, lean on self-guided, micro-learning training options as often as you can. 

Understanding the ‘why’ behind the annoyance and frustration training often inspires is a first step toward transforming it for the modern workforce. With a fresh approach and on-demand content that enter-trains, training can actually become a cultural asset, something that reminding your staff why they love to work at their credit union.

Wes Mallgren

Wes Mallgren

Wes Mallgren is Content Manager for cybersecurity training firm BrightWise. He has over a decade of experience directing animation for organizations like E*Trade, the NY Jets and Australian Gold ... Web: https://www.bright-wise.com Details