How to Get Your Staff to Complete Learning Assignments
Since revamping Printing Industries of America’s eLearning platform, I’ve received a similar question, over and over, from both managers and owners of printing companies: How can I make sure that my staff completes the training assigned? A fair question — and I usually respond to this question with a question (yes, I can’t stand when people do that to me, so I’ll apologize now): Why do you think they haven’t completed the training that was assigned?
There’s usually silence for two or three seconds. And the answers I've heard typically fall into one of three categories: Staff thinks they already know the material; time; or motivation. If this all sounds familiar to you, don’t panic because you’re not alone. Most leaders face these roadblocks when trying to tackle engagement from a training standpoint. Let’s deal with these issues head-on, along with suggestions for each:
- They think they already know the material. While it might be possible that staff might know some of what’s presented in an eLearning course, it’s unlikely that they know everything. In almost every training or learning event that I’ve attended, no matter how much I think I know, I always come away with something new. The great thing about eLearning is that learners are not being held captive to what is being presented — they should be encouraged to hit that “Next” button and skip forward to what is most relevant to them.
- Time. There’s a difference between finding time and making time. Asking your staff to complete a training initiative without making time for them as part of a regularly scheduled event is a recipe for failure. Blocking out time where production tasks, phone calls, and other interruptions is key to a successful outcome.
- Motivation. This one is equally important to time. What’s the carrot? This isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution—we’re all motivated by different things. Some of your staff might be money motivated while others prefer perks such as additional time off. Here, it’s easy to get creative. One idea is that for every training course completed, a reward is a gift card. For another, it might be an additional hour of paid vacation. The key here is to give your staff a clear picture, up front, of how they will be compensated.
Investing in training, providing the time to learn and using creative ways to motivate means a more engaged staff. Raising employee engagement has a positive impact on morale, performance and profits.
Look for more tips and tricks about eLearning to come every couple of weeks, and for more information on Printing Industries of America’s iLearning Center and certifications, visit printing.org/iLearning.
Joe Marin returned to Printing Industries of America(PIA) as the organization’s Vice President of Education and Training in June 2017. Joe began his career in print 25 years earlier after graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Communications from California University of Pennsylvania. He had previously been employed with PIA where he held progressively senior positions within the organization as he managed, created, and delivered custom training programs for major industry manufacturers and suppliers on such diverse topics as best business practices, software technology, digital printing, and print production workflow. He developed curricula for graphic arts instructors across the country; managed all of PIA's public workshops, webinars, training programs, and graphic arts educator conferences; and consistently ranked as one the organization's most well regarded speakers. During his time away, Joe served Konica Minolta Business Solutions (KMBS) as a Production Solutions Consultant. He provided pre-sales consultation, assessed client business and workflow requirements, and recommended solutions to streamline workflow and increase profitability, and followed up with post-sales training to optimize equipment use. During his time at KMBS, Marin acquired deep knowledge of high-volume monochrome and color printing equipment, software solutions, and digital finishing solutions.