7 Ways to Effectively Train Employees Who Don’t Want to Be Trained

Posted by Cortney Peters on Oct 13, 2015 2:55:11 PM

Training the Untrainable

You can have the most relevant and timely training process, top of the line trainers and effective materials, but without buy-in from your trainees the program can still fail. As an employer, you’re doing everything right, but your employees remain resistant to training.


Why do you see opposition to training and how do you combat it?  Here are some ways to address the problem make your training program more successful. 


Following are seven ways to help persuade the employees that don’t want to be trained, and to overcome the reasons they fight it in the first place.

  1. Identify the cause of their opposition. There are many reasons for resistance to training (here are some ) but the best way to fix the problem is to identify it. Find out what the biggest hurdle to training is for your learners, and take steps to address it.
  2. Help them see the bigger picture. Sometimes it is hard for your employees to understand the big picture that outlines the benefits of training and the overall company mission. You may understand it, but they don’t. Help your employees see and understand the big picture and where training fits into it. It allows them to feel like they are a part of the outcome and gives them more purpose to try.
  3. Use your employees’ input in your training program. One big reason your employees feel resistant to your training program is because they have nothing to do with it yet and feel they don’t have any say about it. So, give them that opportunity by asking for and applying their feedback and input. Since they are the recipients of your training, they know best what is working and what isn’t. Value their input and prove to them you do by actually using it.
  4. Be motivating and flexible. Flexibility in training can mean the world to your employees. Give them times and dates to choose from that fit into their schedule, don’t just set one time and make it mandatory. Use your employees’ input to determine what works best for them. Be a motivator rather than a dictator. Encourage your employees to see the good in training and always help them to see the outcome they’re striving toward.
  5. Change the mentality of training from punishment to reward. Often, your trainees may view training as punishment for poor performance instead of the valuable benefit that it is. Make training feel more like a benefit or reward to your trainees than a punishment for unmet expectations. Training is personal and professional development for your employees, and it should be viewed as such. To change the mentality, start by changing the way you talk about training. Consider it professional development and performance support for the employee. Always highlight how it will benefit their skillsets and their professional well-being for the long run.
  6. Keep communication open. Be clear, concise and thorough with your expectations and help foster goodwill surrounding your training program. Let your employees know their voice will be heard and that the program is designed first and foremost for their benefit.
  7. Do everything in your power to make training fun and employee-centric. Try gamification techniques like leaderboards, tournaments and more that encourage healthy competition and fun. Training should be about the employees, and they need to feel that to be engaged. By combining multiple and using feedback, you’ll be able to design an engaging training program that your employees love.

To combat training resistance from your employees, it’s crucial to make it relevant to them. After all, training is for their benefit and the good of the company. Instead of positioning training as a mandatory requirement, consider it a benefit you give your employees for their advancement and professional development.



Sources: “Understanding Barriers to Training: How to Train Resistant Employees, Trainees or Students”, eleapsoftware.com. 

Topics: Corporate Learning

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