Posted by Vanessa Branscome on Jun 19, 2018 11:13:00 AM


Whenever there is an organizational change or a new roll out of products, services or technology training is essential for employees. As a trainer, you may have noticed that although employees may be required to attend training sessions, they may not always be the biggest fans of them.

For example, a new systems implementation requires employees to learn a different platform from one they are already comfortable with. You may find there is resistance from your learners, in addition to a lack of enthusiasm for what you are teaching.

How then, can you maximize the value of your training program? Here are 6 ways to keep your participants motivated during training.

Empathize and Emphasize

Let your learners know that you understand their concerns and are there to help make their lives easier. Learners who don’t see the purpose behind the training will disengage. It is crucial that you emphasize the benefits of the training, on an individual scale as well as on a company-wide scale.

It is also important to communicate the consequences of not adopting the new methods. “Learning this new system will help save you about 30 minutes every day, which adds up to 183 hours per year!” Once they understand how this training will benefit them, they will be less resistant.

There may be some individuals who need a bit more help, perhaps one-on-one time after class. Taking this time, you can learn what their individual needs or personal frustrations are, allowing you to better explain how the training will make their lives a whole lot easier.

Be Prepared

The better prepared you are, the better you can answer questions as they arise. Make sure you study your material thoroughly. Before each session arrive early to set up and become familiar with your environment.

As you begin your first training session, plan on giving your learners some background information about yourself and the topic you’ll be training on. Providing an overview of the day, answering any initial questions, and doing a quick ice breaker activity –  something as simple as asking everyone to give their name, title, and favorite food. Ice breakers are a great way to get everyone a little more comfortable right from the start.

As you go through the training material and people begin asking questions, try your best to answer them as clearly and as accurately as possible. If you don’t know an answer, be honest with them and reassure them you will find the answer to their question and will get back to them promptly.

Hands-On Approach

One of the quickest ways to disengage your learners is by making them listen to you lecture non-stop for a couple of hours. It’s important to make your training as interactive and hands-on as possible. Everyone learns in different ways, whether through observation, videos, scenarios or games. Hands-on training provides real-life applications that make it easier to understand what is being taught because the learners can practice it for themselves. It also leads to greater retention.

Read your Audience

You may notice some of your learners seem zoned out or restless. Take this as an opportunity to pause and regroup. Find a logical break in the material, stop the training and have everyone take a quick stretch break before continuing the training.  

Your learners feed off your energy as well, so make sure to step up your enthusiasm when you notice this happening.

Create Teams

Learners often feel more comfortable asking questions in smaller groups where they can bounce thoughts off each other.  Form small break-out groups within the classroom and encourage discussion time and collaboration among the learners within each group. This helps create better retention and engagement. Since different people pick up certain topics easier than others, have one participant choose an objective to do a brief teach-back on to their group after each section in the course.


It’s important to keep learning fresh and fun and bringing gamification into the classroom is a great way to boost learner engagement. Setting goals, throwing in challenges, and rewarding participants will instantly get them hooked on the material.

Once your learners are in small teams, have them come up with a team name. Create team leaderboards based on correct answers to see where each team is in relation to their peers and allow them to see how far they need to progress to overtake the next team. This will motivate your learners to work together, have fun, and really invest themselves in their training.

Topics: corporate training programs, contract training consultant

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