Employee engagement has become essential to modern businesses. A more passionate, loyal and committed workforce has been tied to everything from a stronger bottom line to a better business reputation.
It’s important, that’s clear enough---but what isn’t so clear is how to achieve said engagement. There have been entire books written about the subject, but there’s one element that is often overlooked: the power of effective training.
As a trainer, here’s why your work is so important in this arena:
Empowering your employees
Your employees want to feel empowered in their work. Empowerment means they're confident that they are doing the right thing to the best of their ability. People want to feel like they are truly contributing to the success of the business they work for - and providing effective training is one of the ways you can instill this confidence.
Consider the difference between these two workplaces. In the first, staff are given the bare minimum of training and are expected to essentially learn on the job or, in some cases, simply “wing it”. In the second, staff are not only provided with the training they need to start working in their role, but also regularly have their training updated to consider new scenarios, technologies and roles.
The first workplace puts an enormous amount of pressure on staff to perform without giving them the tools to do so. This is an incredibly unstable and unengaging space to be in, not to mention unsafe (especially in high-consequence industries where safety training can be the difference between life and death). Meanwhile, the second workplace has empowered, confident and well-prepared employees that can feel like they are doing their job well and making a difference to their workplace.
Everybody wants to feel like they are in control at work. There’s a reason why research has shown a sense of autonomy is the primary driver of a happy workforce. Training is the way to provide it.
Establish strong working relationships
“I’m here to work, not to make friends”. You’ve probably heard that phrase at least once or twice at some point in your career, but the reality is that having friends (or at least good working relationships) in the workplace is far more important than this statement implies. In fact, one study from Future Workplace and Virgin found that 70 percent of employees say that having friends at work is integral to their happiness in the workplace.
Not only that, but social acceptance and inclusion are also a vital part of ensuring the workplace feels safe and secure for workers - especially in the early stages of employment.
Training scenarios provide an opportunity for new employees to mingle with other fresh additions as well as workplace veterans, providing the building blocks for this important aspect of their workplace engagement. In short, training gives staff opportunities to get to know one another better.
Developing investment and duty of care
When an employee feels empowered to work, included in the organization and safe around their colleagues (as well as connected), they will naturally develop a sense of investment, responsibility and a duty of care for the business.
When an employee feels like a business has taken the time to train them well and care for their needs personally and professionally, they are far more likely to consider their workplace and the people within it to be an important part of their day - worthy of loyalty and effort. It’s no longer just a 9-to-5, but a defining aspect of their self.
All of this stems from the initial training and onboarding process. Start as you mean to go on, and take the time to train your staff properly and plant the seeds of long-term investment---both for the employee in the business, and the business in the employee.
The relationship between training and employee engagement
In short, training provides several fundamental building blocks for employee engagement, including:
- Employee empowerment.
- Healthy working relationships among peers.
- Investment and a duty of care for staff.
It’s quite incredible what the right training emphasis can achieve- but this is only the beginning. Find out more about your options in developing an effective training program by getting in touch with the SimTutor team today.