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IT Training - Reward Employees

By jengianfrancesco ·
Looking for ideas on how to reward employees who actually do take advantage of training courses and funds offered by your employeer.

We have several free courses available but very few of our staff are taking advantage of them

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That's unusual.

by DC Guy In reply to IT Training - Reward Empl ...

In most companies the employees complain bitterly about the UNAVAILABILITY of training. And then when they do get into a class the boss finds some excuse to pull them out for an "emergency."

Are your classes any good? Is the training staff (yours or vendor's) any good? I've sat through a lot of classes that were less useful to the company and my career than a nice nap.

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Managers can cause reluctance to take training

by stress junkie In reply to IT Training - Reward Empl ...

Anyone that has a realistic view of their own personal requirement to maintain their career skills should not need to be enticed to take training. The information that you will learn is valuable to maintaining your value to your current employer and will help to enhance your resume when you decide to look for a new job.

There are a couple of reasons that people might understand and agree with the above listed issues and still be reluctant to take advantage of company sponsored training.

The employee's manager might make the employee feel that they will be penalized for taking time off for training. The idea that "you are too valuable" to be given time off may be conveyed directly or indirectly to the employee. The employee may feel that the manager will take punitive actions if the employee applies for training. This expectation of punishment may or may not be valid. This kind of attitude can be "understood" in a department without the manager actually saying this to people. This can happen with the manager makes numerous off handed remarks that imply that training is a waste of time, training is a company paid holiday, the department is understaffed and cannot afford to have people take time off, and other similar remarks.

For example if one person in a department is taking training the manager makes remarks to everyone else in the department saying how difficult it is to maintain operations when "someone" is not in work. People get the idea. The manager doesn't want people to take time off, even for training.

These kinds of informal criticisms could even be unintended. The manager might think that he/she is just being friendly with the employees but the employees see the remarks as a warning to not take time off for training or even for vacation.

Another example is if an employee completes some training and the manager makes remarks to the employee or to everyone in the department that the manager expects to see some benefit right away from the training. "We'll see if that training did any good when John comes back." People in the department will understand that it is better to just put in your time and avoid having performance expectations raised due to having taken some training.

The manager can cause the person who took the time for training to be humiliated in the department. When a problem arises that the person who just returned from training would normally address the manager may go around the department loudly announcing to everyone that the training didn't seem to help John address real world problems any better than he did before the training.

Lastly sometimes the work schedule makes it appear that there is never a good time for a particular person to take time for training. Maybe that person is the only one in a department that knows how to support some critical system. Maybe the employee has been given a long list of projects that are "critical" for the business to implement right away, such as for legal compliance. In cases like this the department manager has to find a way to free up the time for the employee to take training. I've even seen people afraid to take vacations because they were made to feel that their presence was too important to the business for them to have any time out of the office.

I could go on but I think that I've made my point. The only important point left for me to make is that I have personally seen all of this happen. This isn't theoretical. Sometimes managers deliberately make employees aware that the manager has a dim view of people taking time for training. Sometimes the manager's style creates the incorrect impression that the manager doesn't want people to take training. Sometimes the person's work schedule implies that they cannot take time off for training because their presence in the office is critical to the proper function of the business.

All of these problems are management issues. It is up to the department management to identify and to fix these problems.

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Training

by jengianfrancesco In reply to Managers can cause reluct ...

We offer online training (some is average while other courses are excellent). We also allow employees to pick their own training courses from external resources to take.

We allow employees to take time off during the day to get training completed and if the course they want to take is during work hours they can also take it within reason (3-5 business days max).

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This is all true

by amcol In reply to Managers can cause reluct ...

But off point.

The original poster wants to know how to INCENT people to take company sponsored education. It's more than reasonable to assume that this person's management style is not consistent with your observations, although I do agree there are far too many managers who are guilty of such behavior.

In the first place, people should not be offered a reward for attending training. Education provided by organizations is a benefit in and of itself...one should not expect to be rewarded for taking advantage of something freely offered.

Why is the education being offered? If it's a fundamental job requirement, then not only is no reward needed, on the contrary there should be a penalty for NOT taking the classes. If, on the other hand, the training is freely offered then it can be freely rejected.

Are your employees fully functional and performing at or near above average levels without the training? If so, leave them alone. If not, make the training mandatory. Problem solved.

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Yes but ...

by stress junkie In reply to This is all true

I realise that the poster wanted to know how to motivate people to take training. My point is that they should already be motivated to do so. I am suggesting that the problem may be that they are getting the idea that they should not take advantage of the available training. So I'm saying that the poster may be looking at the situation backwards and asking the wrong question.

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