Establishing an employee training program is one thing. Actually getting your employees to buy in and give it their best effort is another. If you want to maximize the value of your training program, then you must find ways to motivate your employees to succeed.

How Get Employees to Fully Invest

What will it really take to get your employees to invest in your training program? This can be a tricky challenge, but once you're able to zero in on what makes them tick, you'll find that your training programs are exponentially more effective.

Here are a few suggestions to get your wheels turning:

1. Emphasize the Benefits

How many times have you heard people mumbling "this is a waste of time" under their breath? In these situations, people disengage because they don't see the purpose behind the training.

The best thing you can do for your employees is to emphasize the benefits - both to the company and the individual. Why should they be motivated to participate? The key here is to really know your employees and what fuels them. You'll likely need to harp on multiple benefits in order to reach everyone.

2. Gamify the Process

Most people are motivated by competition. If there's some sort of prize or reward at the end of the tunnel, they're more likely to fully invest in the pursuit. This is why many training programs benefit from gamification.

Gamification doesn't have to be expensive or complex. It may be as simple as having a leaderboard and assigning points based on correct answers and completed objectives. Or you could simply hand out stickers or badges. If you really want to take it to the next level, you could offer extra vacation days or small monetary rewards. The point is that you're doing something to get people excited about the training.

3. Make it Hands On

Sitting down at a desk and listening to someone lecture for two or three hours at a time isn't fun. In fact, this is the quickest way to disengage your employees. If you want to motivate people, make the training as hands-on as possible.

"While some learners may prefer to acquire knowledge through observation and study, others prefer to be taught through videos and interactive scenarios," learning expert Christopher Pappas says. "As such, it's important to include a wide range of interactive training opportunities, like podcasts, eLearning games, scenarios, and simulations."

4. Aim for Ease and Convenience

The more convenient you can make training for your employees, the better off you'll be. This may mean offering remote training opportunities, flexible sessions, and lenient policies that allow employees to reschedule if necessary.

It's never a good idea to schedule training outside of normal work hours if you can help it. This frustrates your employees and causes some natural pushback. If possible, always incorporate training into the normal workday schedule for less resistance.

5. Develop Teams

The final tip is to develop small groups or teams. Instead of having a room filled with 20 people, you should break that room down into five groups of four and implement small group discussions. This creates better knowledge retention and keeps people engaged more than a large group setting where it's easy to just blend in and go through the motions.

Put Employees First

You need to think about employee training from the perspective of your employees. While training is ultimately about giving your organization the advantage it needs to succeed, you're also investing in your employees as individuals. If you don't take their needs and preferences into account, you most likely aren't motivating them to succeed.

Keep these tips and techniques in mind as you develop forward-thinking employee training strategies.