Dear Workforce How Do We Get People to Show Up for Scheduled Training

We have encountered a problem with individuals failing to show up for required training opportunities. We want to assess a no-show penalty but don’t know who is more accountable: managers or the employees themselves?

September 7, 2011

Dear Time and Punishment:

Having problems getting people to go to training? Are people spending more time giving excuses for not going to training than they are actually in training? Frustrated that you've tried different strategies to motivate people to go to training, and attendance remains low? It is not unusual for organizations to experience low turnout for training. Training may be viewed as an "add-on," or something to get to when employees have time.

The key is to create a training program that meets diverse needs and adds value to your organization. In addition, before penalizing people for not attending training, consider the following techniques to bolster their interest:

  • Create a training committee. Ownership and acceptance of training programs gets enhanced when employees are involved in development.

  • Have employees lead training sessions. By tapping into employee expertise, organizations can generate excitement from within.

  • Diversify training. There must be training options for employees, so they are not provided with "same old thing."

  • Look for linkage. You greatly enhance training by aligning it with strategic goals and values.

  • Discover training champions. Some employees are passionate about training and can be ambassadors for the training program.

  • Survey your people. Ask employees for their opinions on training. This is one way to generate new ideas that can strengthen training options.

  • Market your training. Pay special attention given to the audience, delivery method, time and location.

SOURCE: Dana Jarvis, human resource director, Auberle, and adjunct faculty, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, October 30, 2007.

LEARN MORE: The best talent comes down to three essential ingredients: competence, commitment and contribution.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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