The Power of “Why” in Training Announcements

One of the foundational principles of adult learning is: “Adults need to know why they are being asked to learn.” Many times when promoting training opportunities, we fail to mention the “why”; and as a result, employees show up with a less-than-enthusiastic attitude.

Consider including the “why” in your promotional materials. You do not have to go into elaborate detail, but it is important to provide information that meets this foundational learning principle. To see what I mean, take a look at these two versions of a training announcement.

Version One:

You are required to attend: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Date: March 14, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Training Room B
This training is mandatory.

Version Two:

In order to promote a safe and respectful workplace, we are providing Sexual Harassment Prevention Training on March 14, 2013.
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Training Room B
Since our leadership teams wants everyone in our organization to contribute to moving forward our mission and vision of a safe and respectful workplace, the training is required for all employees.

See the difference? With just a few more words, the second training announcement has provided a “why.” Employees have clearer expectations about the purpose of the training event, which will cause them to show up with diminished fears and less anxiety. That means more energies will be available for focusing on course content, application, and transfer of knowledge.

Happy training!

Greg Anderson

Written by:
Greg Anderson
President of Online Learning, Strategic Government Resources
Follow Greg on Twitter!@SGRGreg

2 responses

  1. […] adult learning theory in the past many decades, notes adults learn more effectively when they know why they are learning. If you dive into the material without explaining why it is relevant, you may witness more blank […]

  2. […] Expectations – One of the first steps you can take is to clarify expectations with the training coordinator well in advance of the training event. When he or she communicates […]

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