How to Drive Higher Employee Participation

How to Drive Higher Employee Participation

(in Training Programs)

If you build it, will they come? Do your employees participate in your training program at the rate you’d like? How many courses per month does the average employee start and complete? By way of a benchmark, the average employee at a BizLibrary client takes 4.9 video courses per month. How does your employee population compare?

If your employees aren’t participating at the level you’d like, it’s time to take some action. Here are some steps you can take to drive higher employee participation in your training programs — starting today.


Ask your employees for their opinion. It’s really that simple. Your employees are your customers. So let’s ask them what they want and work toward delivering training programs they will want to use. This is a great mindset to adopt as you strive to drive higher participation. Keep the surveys short, direct and to the point. Try to keep the survey about two to three minutes in length, and keep the responses anonymous.

Be prepared to act upon the information you receive. You’ll lose all credibility if you ask your employees for feedback and then fail to take the necessary steps to make improvements. Also, you should be transparent. Publish survey results, and tell employees that you appreciate their suggestions and will take steps to make the program better. This will give employees a reason to pay attention the next time you ask.


It doesn’t work. Really. Scientific research proves beyond doubt that lengthy, immersive classroom-type training sessions are a waste of time and money. Check out “Make it Stick, the Science of Successful Learning” by Brown, Roediger and McDaniel; “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Kahneman; or the work published by Art Kohn in this area. Move as much content as possible to delivery methods that really work.


Employees frequently complain that traditional learning is too long, too boring, too out-ofdate, and too inconvenient. There’s actually a litany of other complaints. Science tells us that micro-learning is the most effective employee training method and is consistent with the ways in which people naturally learn and retain information. Don’t fight nature … embrace it to improve your training programs and participation.


One reason why employees may not participate in training is that they may not even know about it. So make sure they know. This is a fundamental marketing challenge for many training professionals. Employees have to be informed, they need to be able to see the value in training, and they have to be motivated on some level to act and consume your product: the training program.

Many training professionals make the mistake of believing that once the program goes live and the initial blast of communication goes out to employees, the marketing of the program is complete. That’s a common mistake, but one that must be avoided. Marketing requires an ongoing, continuous effort to keep the value and importance of your training programs at the very top of employees’ minds. It’s like advertising. Think about how many times you see a commercial for a product. You have to “advertise” the value of your training program the same way — continuously, creatively and in such a way that employees are always aware of it.

—To download BizLibrary’s complimentary e-book on “How to Create a Marketing Plan for Online Employee Training,” visit

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