“There are only two ways in which a manager can impact an employee’s output: motivation and training. If you are not training then you are neglecting half the job.” – Thomas J Watson, founder of IBM
Training your employees is often seen as a challenge; training your busy employees, an even difficult one. When employees are busier than usual, how do you manage their work commitments with their training schedule?
When you’re training your employees, you have to consider their needs as well. For instance, a busy employee will look for ways to optimize their tasks and by doing so, they don’t find the time to invest in training opportunities. Keep reading this blog to learn more about how to train busy employees.
How to Train Busy Employees
Focus on the Benefits
“Do not mess with intrinsic motivation. Amplify it instead to create delight.” – Jake Orlowitz
Busy employees do not have the luxury of time. They will not spend their time on something they have no interest in or they will prioritize other tasks that they think provide more value to them.
Your training should focus on real-world benefits that help your employees upskill and appeal to their interests. For instance, Thrive Digital is known to employ people with all levels of experience. By doing so, they offer their employees upward mobility in their job and the support that comes while learning.
This ensures that their employees grow in their role even if they have limited knowledge to begin with.
Especially in today’s fast-paced and highly distracted world, we learn in more ways than ever before. Being able to deliver the content your employees need at the moment they need it is critical to their success.” – Matthew Brown, director of HotSchedules Train
The average attention span while learning is around 10 to 15 minutes. Everyone who’s ever attended a lecture knows that by the end of a 50-minute class, they’re burned out.
The same goes for employee training as well. According to a study, a learning program should not be more than 10 minutes and if you can make it a 5-minute program, it is even better. It’s safe to say that your busy employees will not sit through an hour-long program, even if you convey its benefit to them.
If you want to train your busy employees, keep your programs concise, interactive and informative. If you want to train your employees on ‘content marketing,’ it’s a good idea to create an outline and plan your program accordingly.
For example, you can include one session on SEO backlinking, one session on copywriting, and so on.
If you are figuring out how to train busy employees, it’s always good to break your programs into small but manageable chunks.
Let’s take an example. Your employee is being trained by two people. One is an expert in their field and you’ve hired them to upskill your employees. The other person is their senior who has worked with the employee for a long time. Which one do you think your employee will understand better?
Your employees look to their peers and superiors for advice and help in their professional life. Why should learning be any different? Not only does this help your employees learn more effectively but it also helps strengthen your work culture and team spirit.
74% of employees feel that they are not reaching their full potential. When it comes to learning and upskilling, employees find it easier to turn to their peers for learning opportunities. Integrating this during weekly meetings and catchups is a great way to train your busy employees.
Employees spend 7% of their day commuting to and from work. On average, the time spent commuting is around 2 hours per day. These 2 hours are spent on top of their additional 8 to 10 hours at work every day. This makes it difficult for employees to spend time to learn and grow, even if you have an excellent training program.
Most employee training programs tend to be desktop-centric, which means that either your employees will have to find time during their busy workday to learn or sacrifice some hours of their personal time over the weekends. Both of these scenarios are not ideal.
The solution for this is to optimize your training program to be mobile-friendly and across multiple platforms. If your busy employees have the training program on their mobile, they can refer to it whenever possible. For instance, they can plug in during their commute to work and learn on the move.
Develop a Learning Culture
Most people see learning as an ‘additional task’ that they have to do on top of their workload.
For this reason, busy employees will always favor their work deadlines over any learning deadlines (understandably so).
If you want your employees to prioritize learning, you have to ensure that your work culture has assimilated learning into the daily schedule. When you do that, you’ll figure out how to train busy employees easily. The biggest reason behind this is that you introduce an inherent motivation when it comes to learning rather than it being a ‘to-do’ list.
Employee training is a complex scenario and should be treated as such. Your busy employees have a lot of commitments and professional challenges to face on a daily basis and learning often takes a backseat.
Using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach does not work as all employees have different needs and need the right approach. As seen above, you need a mix of strategies to train your busy employees.
This is where Siminars comes in. With Siminars, you can upload or embed videos, upload PPTs, PDFs to a platform, and create a learning program that helps you figure out how to train busy employees.