By Doug Walker
If you’re in charge of employee training, it can be challenging to keep your team engaged and motivated. You want them to learn the skills they need for their jobs and grow professionally, but what if they don’t find the content engaging? It’s not easy keeping your employees engaged with training programs, especially when the material is dry or hard. This has led many organizations to adopt creative training methods for their staff.
Here is a rundown of nine creative training methods so you can decide which one best suits your needs.
- Create a company-wide culture that encourages creativity, innovation, safety, and teamwork. Engaging employees can be a challenge for many managers because the workplace has changed dramatically over the years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a system for whistleblowing in place is a great way to cultivate a culture of trust between teammates because employees can anonymously report mishaps without feeling afraid. Having a safe space to give feedback is essential. Focusing on creativity in the office – or virtual office – can help keep your employees happy while boosting productivity at work. Your first step should always be to figure out what your workforce wants from their job experience, because this may vary drastically based on age, location, or even company size. Make sure you have clear, measurable goals for your team.
- Create a team-building event that is fun and interactive. One way to keep your employees engaged in their work is by having team-building events that are fun and interactive, so they can bond with one another as well as create memories together. For example, you could offer a paintball tournament or scavenger hunt where teams compete against each other for prizes. Introducing gamification into employee training is a great way to boost engagement. Add some competition and friendly rivalry between teams, and the team-building event will be all the more successful.
The best part of these types of activities is the potential for new ideas being generated through different perspectives on solutions to problems, which only helps the company grow. Plus it’ll feel like more than just an ordinary workday if you have a chance to get out there and take risks while bonding at the same time. And who doesn’t want a little adventure every now and then?
- Encourage employees to come up with their own creative ideas for company projects. Encouraging employees to innovate on their own can be simple, like taking on the roles of new products and assessing how well they would sell in your target market, or it could be more involved, such as coming up with potential financial solutions to solve some major dilemma currently facing your company. You can train employees to use strategies like experiential marketing and find new ways to engage customers, or take a training course to dive deeper in the world of finance. Encourage creativity by rewarding good proposals in different ways, whether through prizes or something less tangible, such as increased visibility.
- Give employees the opportunity to work on tasks of their choosing, instead of being assigned one task at a time. In an attempt to increase employee engagement and happiness, your company can turn its rulebook on its head. Instead of assigning tasks to employees based solely on their position in the office hierarchy, allow each person at every level the chance to pick what work they would like to do for that day from a list of available jobs. This approach not only increases job satisfaction and productivity, but it also creates more opportunities for cross-training across departments, which will result in lower turnover rates as well.
- Hold regular brainstorming sessions where everyone has the chance to contribute input into the process. These brainstorming sessions will help foster a sense of creativity and collaboration among employees, which is great for company culture. Brainstorming also improves the quality of ideas generated because it lets people come up with solutions that they may not have been able to on their own. A conference call can be a great way to host regular sessions if employees are working remotely.
A few ways you can hold these meetings are:
- On Mondays, where everyone pitches an idea for something new or different the company could be doing in the coming week.
- During lunch when there’s more time available to discuss things in detail.
- As part of team-building events during a break halfway through, so no one feels excluded from contributing.
- Give employees the opportunity to work on new projects with different people outside of their department. This will allow them to learn more skills and make connections in other departments. These can be personal growth experiences as well as professional ones, and it will help them be more engaged in both their current job responsibilities and future prospects for promotion. It also gives a glimpse into what that would look like before committing to which teams or people might be best suited for those goals, since they are given an opportunity to try out many different things without any commitment. If someone has been working exclusively in one particular area of expertise where there may not seem much room for advancement, this is a great opportunity for them to explore other areas where potential growth may exist. It’s also an opportunity that not everyone has, so it should be taken advantage of.
- Provide on-site training to employees to improve their skills and knowledge. This method is mainly targeted to employees who need help with a specific skill or task. Offering this type of training on-site ensures that it will be done by the person in charge, which can improve morale and employee engagement as they feel like their ideas are being considered.
- Set up a mentorship program for new employees so they can learn from more experienced ones. Mentorship is a great way to learn the ropes from someone who has been in your shoes before. New employees can benefit greatly by learning how to navigate their new company, and they are more likely to feel welcome when they have an experienced friend at work with them. Mentors also have a chance to share knowledge that could take years for others on staff to acquire due to age or longevity of employment. This is another win-win situation for both mentors and mentees alike.
- Use a video to train new employees. Video training is a great way to not only train employees but also connect with them and provide information in an engaging manner. Use the video both for orientation purposes as well as ongoing training, adapting it to suit different needs, such as for those who are new or returning from a break.
In conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with traditional employee training methods like PowerPoint presentations, lectures, and written materials if they work for your company culture – however, sometimes switching things up by introducing something new can reap big rewards when it comes to driving engagement and growth. The above list of nine creative ideas should give you some inspiration on where to start expanding your education efforts within your organization.
About Doug Walker
Doug Walker is an Online Marketing Expert that has built successful eCommerce businesses from the ground up, worked with enterprise-level organizations such as Dell, Intuit, Coldwater Creek, and FindLaw/Thomson Reuters, and consulted for small law firms and businesses. Over the past 13 years, Doug has taken a customized, proprietary approach to digital marketing and has written several articles to help maximize revenue and dominate online niches.