How to Make Mandatory Trainings Bearable

For those of us in the training design and delivery world, mandatory training triggers a triple-groan. Not only do we need to create or update mandatory training every year, but we also have to complete it, and then spend countless hours cajoling, begging, or threatening our trainees to complete it.

Mandatory training puts everyone on the defensive, and yet, it’s an unavoidable part of our modern workplace. So the real question is how do we move beyond the collective groan and design it to feel a little less like an annual punishment?

DOING THIS?

ALL CLASSROOM/ALL ONLINE

Forcing your trainees into extended time in a classroom or running through online training is an easy way to make dull material even harder to engage with.

INSTEAD, TRY THIS

BLENDED TRAINING

Mix it up! Use online training to introduce the concepts, then develop a manager-led component to give trainees the chance to explore complicated topics in a group of peers.

FORMULAIC SCENARIOS

Absurdly obvious (or just absurd) scenarios that are so predictable that Trainees become disengaged.

REAL-WORLD SCENARIOS

Use workplace-specific examples of cases that can serve as a jumping-off point for challenging scenarios.

ONE LONG COURSE

Any course-online or classroom, scenario-based or bullet points-can feel repetitive after just 20 minutes.

MINI-COURSES

Introduce core concepts in a brief overview course, then provide the bulk of the training as a series of mini-modules [5-10 minutes in length]. Encourage trainees to refer to the resources and provide plenty of feedback to help trainees verify their interpretation of policies.

EASY QUIZZES

Avoiding “tricky” or “tough” questions may help trainees get through mandatory training more easily, but won’t encourage them to stay engaged.

CHALLENGING QUIZZES

Would you rather trainees get it right on the test, or get it right on the job? Use rich, challenging, and nuanced questions to ensure that your trainees can apply what they’ve learned.