Has your team lost its spark? Have your eager beavers transformed into a squad of sluggish sloths? Wipe that worried look off your face and take action. There is a way that you can motivate your manpower while upgrading their skills–and turn your company into a hub of fun and productivity.
Sure, office chair races and elastic band fights do sound fun–until someone loses an eye–but they aren’t exactly productive. There is, however, a way to lift your employees’ spirits without wasting time or money. It’s all about training.
The Scourge of “Standing Still”
It is human nature to move, change, or evolve. Your childhood love of learning and mastering new skills does not disappear when your reach adulthood. In fact, doing the same thing day after day, stuck in a static existence, can suck the motivation–if not the will to live–right out of a person. Your employees’ lack of drive may be a reflection of the fact that they are dissatisfied with the status quo.
How does a once enthusiastic bundle of energy morph into a lacklustre performer who appears to be simply taking up space? It all depends on the individual, of course, but in most cases, it’s all growing wearing with standing still.
What put the “dis” in “disinterested?
There are a number of reasons why a workforce can lose its motivation. Individuals who partake in very specialized functions and have little understanding of what other employees’ jobs entail may feel detached or isolated from the team. Furthermore, a company that is highly compartmentalized can breed hostility between departments due to a lack of insight into one another’s day-to-day functions. This resentment can hamper morale and sap motivation.
According to “How Does Training Motivate Employees?,” training can help your staff members “understand how their work fits into your company’s structure, mission, goals, and achievements”–not only increasing individual employee motivation, but also creating a stronger and more cohesive team.
A staff member who joined the company with aspirations of career advancement may become frustrated with a stagnant position, predictable schedule, and lack of challenge. A training program would not only enable them to gain new experience and break out of their humdrum routine, but it will also communicate that you value their career development–and valuing their career development often translates into the company valuing them as a person.
Inspire their Intellect
Training is a sure-fire way to nurture a dedicated team of motivated self-starters, but how can you go about it? Thankfully, there are about as many ways to introduce training to your workplace as there are topics to teach.
If you favor in-house endeavors, you could opt to have employees cross-train one another on their own positions or ask an employee to train others in a specific area in which said employee is particularly gifted. You could invite an expert to come and train your employees or offer a seminar on your premises. You could also create an in-house library of training materials.
If off-site training is more appropriate, you could send employees to a conference or training session, you could pay for memberships for professional organizations, or you may opt to provide your employees with assistance with tuition costs and a schedule that will enable them to attend school.
The Online Option
An increasingly popular option is paying for employees to acquire job-related skills through online learning. As “What Do Employers Think of an Online Degree?” states, online education institutions “provide scheduling freedom in a way that brick-and-mortar schools do not,” and they enable your employees to choose from a greater breadth of offerings. Plus, the “work at your own pace” environment means that your employee will still be able to make their job priority number one.
“Using Online Courses to Improve Employee Skills” cites several other benefits to using distance education courses to upgrade your workforce’s skill sets including finances, networking, relevance, and bonus learning.
Yes, an unenthusiastic staff need not be a permanent proverbial thorn in your side. By providing them with novel challenges, new opportunities, and a greater understanding of the “big picture,” your team will return to the sprightly set of spitfires you once enjoyed.
What employee-training endeavors have you initiated? What levels of success have you enjoyed? Why?