Motivation and on-the-job training are pivotal to an employee´s performance within an organization, as well as improving their wider career prospects. For an organization, its ability to evolve and remain competitive is largely reliant on the skills and competence of its workforce.

Motivation zur Weiterbildung - so klappt es

That being said, employees often lack the motivation and appetite for attending training programs, so how do HR and L&D professionals motivate their teams to participate in learning? How can learning opportunities be designed to genuinely engage employees?  

In this article we will provide answers to these vital questions as well as give you 4 tips to consider for successful training implementation.  


Why is Corporate Learning so Important?

Since the pandemic and the subsequent push towards digitalization, it has become even more essential for companies to keep up with current developments, digital trends, and for their workforce to embrace new technologies and methods.

Research by the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany (Stifterverband fĂĽr die Deutsche Wissenschaft) shows that training and development is high on the agenda of 84% of companies surveyed. An IAB survey about organizations during the Corona outbreak showed that around 50% of the companies surveyed in Germany have promoted and planned further training measures for their employees since the crisis.  

And with good reason, because the ongoing training of employees plays an important role for companies and their economic success. By keeping their employees’ knowledge up-to-date, upskilling, and creating additional know-how, companies take a step closer to achieving their goals: the bottom line being that competent and capable team members work more efficiently to drive better results.  

Learning on the job opens up new perspectives and creates more enthusiasm and motivation at work: it´s clear that inspired, ambitious employees are precisely the kind of people every company wants. They bring new ideas and contribute to a better working atmosphere and harmonious cooperation.  

In terms of employer branding, companies should also keep an eye on the training they offer. Companies that value training and offer a good learning program are particularly popular with employees. By offering attractive training opportunities, you can not only build internal skills but also attract new, valuable talent to your company.

Why Motivation for Training is Sometimes Lacking

Although many companies allocate resources to training, employee motivation is not always high: participation is delayed, on-the-job courses are sometimes poorly attended, and budgets for learning opportunities are often left untouched. What could be the reason?  

  1. Too Much Effort

Although learning and development has become part of the culture of most organizations in recent years, the planning and delivery of training is often an ancillary activity and, in smaller organizations in particular, it may be entirely in the hands of employees. The independent search for, planning and administration of training opportunities takes up a lot of time and energy that could and should be spent on core tasks; in such circumstances motivation for training is likely to be low. 

  1. Unattractive Learning Opportunities

If the training offered by the company does not meet the interests and needs of staff, then the will to participate is just not there. The learning format also has an impact on employee motivation: digital learning is undoubtedly the future of training, but choosing an inappropriate learning solution, inexperience in delivering virtual training, or technical difficulties in learning can lead to dissatisfaction. The result? Learning is underutilized or, in the worst case, not used at all.  

  1. Low Learning

Last but not least, the outcome of training plays a decisive role in the success or failure of a training program. If training does not produce the expected results, the motivation of the participants diminishes. Learners become frustrated, feel they have wasted their time and energy, and are less open to future interventions.  


Warum die Motivation zur Weiterbildung manchmal fehlt

Motivating Employees to Participate in Training: How to Do It

So how do you set up a successful training program that moves both the company and the employees forward and counteracts learning frustration and listlessness? The following 4 tips will help: 

1. Offer Attractive Learning Opportunities  

 Interesting learning opportunities and appropriate learning formats are a prerequisite for a successful training program. To motivate your team to learn, you should tailor your program to the goals of the company as a whole as well as to the individual needs of your employees.  

What skills are needed in your business, and what skills do your team feel are most important? Take the time to find out what your employees’ learning needs are. Carry out a detailed needs analysis and let your employees have a say in the choice of topics.  

Design your learning program around the interests and concerns of the people it will ultimately serve. Compare content providers and evaluate digital learning solutions not only for technical functionality, but also for usability and learner success.  

2. Enable Collaborative Learning

Especially in times of remote working, it is important to actively strengthen the sense of community in the team. Learning in a group encourages exchange, and shared successes strengthen the team spirit in the company.   

This type of learning is a great