“The only thing that is constant is change.” Although this quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus is years-old, it still rings true. Humanity is constantly evolving. Right now we are standing at the end of a long line of human innovation and creation, all brought about by the ubiquitous nature of change.
In the corporate world, change and innovation are both key parts of what keeps an organization competitive and top of mind. This being said, there is one area within organizations that seemingly keeps trying to resist change…and that’s corporate training. For years, employees and corporations have been plagued with typical standard learning practices that are largely made up of traditional classroom training and ineffective and static LMS systems . The crazy thing is, we know these methods don’t work. The science and the logic is there, so why aren’t more people taking action?
Igniting change in an organization is a tricky business. There are several factors that prevent changing standard training: fear, a lack of information, distrust, or a belief in traditional methods. People naturally resist change, because change is the unknown, and the unknown is, well…terrifying. There’s nothing comfortable about it, but that’s the magic behind it. Going from traditional training, to training that’s gamified, bite-sized and incorporated into an employee’s every day activities requires nothing less than a paradigm shift. And although L&D professionals may be more comfortable with making this change, there’s still one important group that may resist it: the employees.
So, how do you ignite change in your organization and ease your employees’ fears? Here are three ideas:
- Incentives! The “what’s-in-it-for-me” factor is hugely important when rolling out a new training platform. Including incentives like rewards will give employees that first little push to try something out…after that, the program will have to speak for itself! For example, one of our customers offers a slot machine game every time an employee answers a question correctly, complete with a chance to win cash prizes.
- Competition. Luckily, human beings are multi-faceted, and although we do have a natural fear of change we also have a natural desire to compete and win. Leveraging functions such as group and individual leaderboards will keep your employees on their toes, and that desire to win and do better will keep them engaged in your training. One of our customers is even holding a jeopardy-style competition for all employees who receive a high enough training score, complete with themes and prizes.
- Make it easy, and make it fun. Change is hard enough-but change that’s both difficult and dull? That’s almost impossible. Techniques such as gamification can spice up any training material, by again, appealing to people’s natural competitive nature. To seamlessly integrate daily training into the life of an employee, one of our clients placed their training station next to a popular charging station-charging takes three minutes, and so does the training!
Resistance to change has been beaten before and it can be beaten again. No one gets anywhere by simply standing still, and it’s no different when it comes to employee training. Reaching goals like say, reducing shrink or improving sales, can only be done through innovation and change. Do you have other ideas for igniting change? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below, we look forward to hearing them.
Written by Emily Kroboth