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Do your staff have to go through regular training? Here are five ways to make mandatory training more interesting

The world is becoming more competitive and more highly regulated at every turn. It’s important to keep staff motivated and incentivised to keep up to date with information and important changes within your business. Sadly, the moans and groans start the minute they hear they have to attend a training course or log on to training modules. So, you might want to read on to find out how you can make mandatory training more interesting!

You can’t blame them. Whether your business has to go through statutory, regulatory, or mandatory training it’s simply not meant to be fun. Many consider it one of those things that just has to be done to tick it off the list. Or an inconvenience that they don’t understand.

As a business owner though, or the individual with the responsibility to the Board, regulators, and health and safety assessors, for instance, you know the importance of providing satisfactory evidence that your company is following the mandatory training requirements.

Failure to do so could impact so many areas of your business, internally and externally. From safe operations and efficient productivity. To financial and reputational risk.

And with an increase in remote working, and industry regulations being reviewed so frequently, it’s becoming even more challenging to ensure staff are keeping up to date with their compulsory reading.

Not just completing mandatory training, but more importantly, understanding and implementing what they have learned.

Here are five suggestions you could introduce to help your business make mandatory training more interesting. All of which can be applied to online learning and development platforms and face-to-face training.  


1. Choose a trainer who will engage your staff

Of course, we would put this one first, wouldn’t we?

On a serious note, do you appreciate the importance of ensuring your mandatory training is delivered at the right level, and in the most appropriate style, for your staff?

We have worked with businesses that have attempted to regurgitate the same information, year after year, and expect their employees to know their stuff by now. But when we’re asked to review their training method, it is quite clear that the issue is right there.

Find an expert trainer who takes the time to understand the workings of your business, your specific mandatory or statutory requirements, and can deliver the necessary training in a way that means something to your staff, so they can easily relate it to their role.  

A trainer with a bit of personality, who can keep the staff engaged throughout, whilst at the same time stay on point, will make mandatory training more interesting, and memorable, for your employees.

If you have an in-house trainer, make sure they are able to deliver mandatory training to the same standards you would expect from a professional training provider. It’s a good idea to invest in something like a ‘train the trainer programme,’ or work with an external training company to help produce quality resources and materials.

The potential cost to your company of getting this wrong, far outweighs the investment in time and money of training your own staff, or hiring professional trainers, to roll out mandatory training.   


2. Make the content relevant

One sure-fire way to lose the attention and interest of your employees, when completing mandatory training, is to face them with content that they believe is totally irrelevant to their job.

Of course, we appreciate that producing bespoke relevant training material is more complex and costly than simply rolling out a one size fits all course. Particularly if you have multiple business areas and specialist teams or individuals.

However, done right, with real-life scenarios or case studies relatable to each area, you are on the right track to employee engagement, to prove to your staff that they are valued, and to make mandatory training more interesting.

Here at the Education and Training Academy, we produce and deliver bespoke mandatory training for large corporates and small business owners alike.  

Using various styles and techniques, we keep the training fresh, reinforce the message, and then test the knowledge at each step to ensure the required information is not just received by the learners, but can be taken back to the workplace with clarity and understanding.

3. Break it down into bitesize chunks

We mentioned in another post that learning is far more effective when broken down into smaller sections, rather than all as one, potentially overwhelming, course.

The same applies here.

Particularly when the information is vital to the functioning of the business, staff members, and it forms part of their mandatory learning.  

We recommend setting up small modules including objectives for each session, and an outline of what is covered, so they know what to expect from the start.

Another suggestion to make mandatory training more interesting is to outline what completing each section will enable them to do. What will they gain from it? And why it is important that they complete each stage.

Smaller modules are more accessible and achievable and will help your employees retain the information more easily.

Also, encourage them to complete short sections over a longer period, rather than trying to absorb huge blocks of information, over a number of hours at a time.

Include a test or, at the very least, a recap at the end of each section. This allows the opportunity to go back over specific content before moving on to another subject, if needed.

We also know that some content naturally remains unchanged over time. So, another proactive approach to make mandatory training more interesting is to reduce the learning material by allowing staff to go straight to a test. If they achieve the required pass mark they do not need to review this specific content this time. Only if they don’t pass the knowledge test will they have to go back through the module and resit the test.  

Of course, you also need to find a way of monitoring that your staff complete all relevant training.  


4. Monitor completion, record results, and review the training material

Continuing on the theme of tests, another effective way to make mandatory training more interesting is to encourage a bit of fun and competition amongst your staff!

Finding a mechanism to monitor the completion of the modules, and then recording the results of quizzes or tests, always sparks a bit more interest and willingness to get involved.

Not only do staff tend to ‘compete’ against each other but will also want to improve on their previous scores.

The quiz or test questions should be driven by genuine knowledge and understanding of the subject matter though, in a way the employees can relate to the response.

Another benefit of reviewing results is that it allows you, your Learning & Development team, and trainers, to spot any glaring knowledge gaps, and to adapt the training material accordingly.

It is also a good metric for employee attendance and development, which will thrive if incorporated with an element of fun and enjoyment.

Remember, this is about an efficient and safe business, not just ticking boxes. Which leads nicely to our final point.

5. Endorse mandatory training at all levels

As a business owner, or if you are responsible for training the teams, it is in your interest to create and nurture a positive culture of learning and engagement at every level. If you want your staff to buy into something as important as this, you need to show up ready to get involved too.

Yes, we all have time constraints, jam-packed calendars, and things we would rather be doing. You showing a genuine interest, and highlighting the importance of mandatory training, will go a long way towards the same level of motivation amongst your employees.

We’ve already mentioned the benefits of differentiating between roles and responsibilities when creating the training material and content.

No matter what role, title, or position within the company there should be something applicable for all.

So, to summarise, there is no reason why you cannot make mandatory training more interesting with the right focus, understanding, and commitment throughout your business, from the senior management to the new starter.

Are you ready for your business to make mandatory training more interesting?

You will have seen now that it is possible to make mandatory training much more than a box-ticking exercise.

It has been implemented across your business for a reason. And giving that clarity to your staff is a starting point, which you can then develop using any or all of the above recommendations.

Our team at the Education and Training Academy loves a challenge! And one of those challenges is to find inventive, interesting, and engaging ways to deliver training material of all kinds.

So, if you are wanting to make your Health and Safety or customer complaints training a bit more digestible. You want us to train your staff in effective and compliant records management and data security. Or you simply want us to review and amend your existing mandatory training material to make sure it’s fit for purpose. We are the experts, with over twenty years in employee development and training.

Why not give us a call and see how we can make mandatory training more interesting for your business?

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matthew reynolds
Mathew Reynolds | Managing Director and Teacher
Welcome to the ETA. It is my goal to help you get your qualifications in the easiest and quickest way. Unlike other training providers, I am putting my name and reputation on the line, I am not hiding behind logos, this is me, this is my company and I am accountable for you to reach your goals.
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