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Minimizing Training Resistance Amongst Employees

It is in the behaviour of the human beings that they resist changes. The reasons for that can be sensed in the basal ganglia part of the brain where habits originate. American Journalist Charles Duhigg writes in his book about the habits loop. According to him, what we do daily becomes a part of our routine. Repetition of that routine every day tends our basal ganglia to formulate it into habits where our brain is spared of all the explosion of activities in other parts, and as a result, we spend only a fraction of our energies on the daily activities that we do.

The habits are particularly what makes us resist changes. It becomes hard for us to change because of the brain wiring that takes places according to the routine.

Applying this to the workplace, employees are seen to resist changes as well. They become compliant with a routine in which they only rely on the skills that they possess. But when the status quo of those skills is likely to be challenged by the offering of an effective training program, the employees say no to it.

When it comes to corporate training there are benefits for the company, as well as the employees. For the company, the cost of turnover is reduced from around $2,500 (the cost of hiring new employees) to only $1,200 (the cost of average training per employee). While for the employee, his or her skills are improved and he or she is shifted to a multi-skill employee.

Habits and ego are two of the reasons employees resist training. However, there are ways in which this resistance can be minimized. Companies can put in place strategies or approaches to help employees, teams, or corporations to absorb a change or agree to it. Here a three of my favourites:

1) Communicate your motives

The constantly changing environment of the workplace is devouring the companies that are not complying with the change. Every day new set of paths emerge due to globalization where one has to make choices fast in order to survive and adapt.

This urgency begs for constant development of the skills of any employee in any organization. Therefore, you would have to communicate the benefits of the training programs and your motives effectively to state how important they are.

2) Listen to them

The most important aspect of a manager or an owner is not just commanding, but also listening to the problems of the employees. Therefore, in an effort to reduce resistance, you should at first listen to the reasons why they are resisting. Yes, we stated habits and ego, but there could be other problems which might do away with the resistance.

3) Bring it in stages

Never offering your employees training programs is not advisable. Flooding your employees with training programs regularly is equally not advisable. What you can do in this aspect is providing the training in stages. That way, you and your employees could work in harmony without either of you experiencing any burdens.

As we said above, the environment of a workplace is continuously changing. We can either succumb to the pressures of the change, or we can change ourselves for the better. In this case, our best weapon can be nothing but an efficient training program. We should all do anything necessary to up-skill our employees and subsequently enjoy our bottom line grow.

Looking for a training partner? Give us a call! 403.831-2915

Frederick Audet