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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING

“How do you keep your employees accountable for the training they are signed up to attend?” asked one Public Sector HR Association (PSHRA) member in the organization’s forum in mid-January.  She noted that even with calendar invites and reminder notices, her government has experienced a “repetitive issue” of employees not showing up. She asked her HR peers for ideas. 


Some of the responses noted the importance of carefully tracking employee training, with various incentives or disincentives for training hours achieved or missed. One forum member noted that employees who reach a set number of hours of completed training may be eligible for a wage increase in her community. Another said that employees could receive extensions if missing a mandatory training, but if that fails, they’re required to report to the HR office “on a set day so I can watch them finish the training.” Failure at that point is grounds for discipline.


We were particularly intrigued by the response that came from Pete Blank, the Training and Organizational Development Manager for the Personnel Board in Jefferson County, Alabama.



He suggested “gamifying” the tracking of training by turning the effort into a competition between departments and awarding some kind of visual award for those that do best, like the “Perfect” that pops up when we’re very successful in our favorite new on-line game Connections, from the New York Times (which we strongly recommend). 


In Blank’s view, the departments that win could be judged based on a point system: 2 points for an employee signing up for a training class; 3 points for attending; -3 points if they’re a “no show”; 4 points for communicating with the trainer how they will implement what they learned.


We talked with him about his idea to learn what experience he’s had with “gamifying” training in the past.  He told us how he had used gamification in a middle management training program and that a point system helped Jefferson County encourage employees to read assignments, complete posts on a training forum and comment on classmates’ posts, as well. “It helps to keep them involved in the learning process. They’re watching each other’s scores and there’s this growth mentality.”


He's planning to implement a similar system for general Jefferson County training this year.

We’re not sure that everyone loves competition, but for some people, departmental competition is fun (as long as they don’t come out at the bottom.)


 Gamification “might allow you to measure no-shows,” he wrote on the forum.  “Folks LOVE to win and hate to lose. Departments can compete for some type of prize at the end of the year.”


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