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How Positive Companies Do Training Well . . . and Negative Companies Do Training Badly

Evan Hackel

Some companies have deeply embedded positive cultures, others negative. And in general, positive companies deliver training that motivates employees, while negative companies frustrate and demotivate everyone.

However, there are specific practices that positive companies use to achieve motivational training results.

Best Practices for Making New Hires Feel Great about Your Company

You could get a training class into a meeting room and start throwing knowledge at them. But why not make them feel great about being part of your organization, by following a few steps like these . . .

  • If you are using a live trainer, have her arrive at the training room early, greet trainees as they arrive, and personally introduce herself to each of them. This sends a much better message than arriving late, rushing to the podium and trying to get the sound system to work.
  • Explain what your company is, who your founders were or are, what your values are, who your customers are, and more. A well-produced video about your company can make people feel great about coming on board and build your brand too.
  • Provide healthy snacks and bottles of water to show that you are a caring company. You can also give each trainee a motivational book, a shirt imprinted with your logo, or other items that reinforce team spirit.
  • Use interactive games and exercises that let trainees meet each other, have fun, and cooperate with their new colleagues.
  • Break up training sessions by letting new hires visit their work locations to work with experienced workers. Your trainees will come back to your sessions with reality-based questions and will feel more secure about starting to work once training ends.

Best Practices to Keep Your Current Employees Motivated and Positive

Your training should motivate your current workers too . . .

  • Let your employees suggest topics for training that address problems they are dealing with. There is nothing more frustrating than training that “has nothing to do with what I really do on the job.”
  • Find ways to resolve frustrating conflicts between training and work. Delivering training in short “bites” that employees can take during breaks is less stressful than training that requires them to leave their jobs for an afternoon or a day. Also, schedule breaks every hour so they can check their email, return phone calls, call clients, etc.
  • When reinforcing skills that employees learned during training, avoid “gotcha” messages like, “It has come to our attention that you have not been filing your call reports daily.” Instead, send messages that embody a “what’s in it for me?” message like, “Free up an hour today with these three reporting shortcuts.”

Best Practices for Delivering Positive Training to Far-Flung Employees 

How can you create positive training if your employees work in multiple locations? It depends on who they are, whether they are long-term employees, and other factors . . . 

  • Short-term remote employees can be trained with upbeat, short, well-messaged training on smartphones or company-owned tablets.
  • Long-term remote employees can be trained, or have their learning reinforced, by having company trainers visit them where they work. Or you can have large groups of employees attend an annual meeting at company headquarters or another location.
  • All distant employees – long or short-term – can benefit from skill-refreshing messages and reminders that are delivered to their phones once or twice a week.

Keeping It Positive

Take an objective look at your training and ask, “How does this training make me feel?” If your training sends you negative or mixed messages, you can be sure your employees will be sharing those feelings too.

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