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How Does Training Motivate Employees?

written by: N Nayab•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 2/14/2011

Looking for ways to motivate your employees? Perhaps offering some needed training will help. So, how does training motivate employees? Read on to find out.

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    How Does Training Motivate Employees If you're wondering how does training motivate employees, consider training as a benefit your employees will appreciate.

    Training is the formal process by which a person acquires knowledge, skills, and competencies. Motivation is the direction and intensity of one’s effort, or the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal. The basis of motivation, or the yearning to attain a desired goal depends on awareness of such goals, and the realization that the person has the means and capabilities to attain such goals.

    The relationship between training and motivation is that training provides both the awareness and the competencies that allow people to motivate toward a certain goal or objective. The theoretical framework of motivation and training lies in theories such as Alderfer’s ERG Theory and Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory.

    Image Credit: Fitzgerald

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    Better Job Output

    The major reasons for lack of motivation at work include lack of faith in one's abilities, fear of failure, low self-esteem, habits such as procrastination and laziness, poor time management, monotony at work, poor rewards, and other factors. Training provides a solution to most of these factors.

    The most obvious result of any company sponsored training intervention is skill-enhancement. Training equips the employees with skills to do the work faster and efficiently, and apply themselves to perform jobs more intelligently.Training also help employees develop soft skills such as better time management, better critical thinking ability, better communication skills, and other skills, all of which remain essential traits to succeed in any job. Training thus becomes the basis of effecting performance improvement.The ability of employees to work better increases confidence, removes the fear of failure, and improves self-esteem, all translating to better motivation.

    Skill and competency enhancement through training also allows for job enlargement and job enrichment, whereby employees get a broader range of roles and responsibilities and end monotony. All these usually come with better rewards and recognition, both primary motivators.

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    Better “Fit"

    Normally people remain disinclined to work in a company they cannot associate themselves with. Training allows the employee to fit within the organization better, or affect a match between their personal values and organizational values, and adjust and fine-tune their latent skills and competencies with what the company requires. It also provides a path to reduce mismatches and acquire the skills and competencies that remain in demand, but which the person lacks.

    Such training interventions motivate the employee to associate themselves with the company, further substantiating the relationship between training and motivation.

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    Training motivates employees primarily by building their skill-levels and developing their competencies. Most employees remain aware of the need to keep their skills updated to remain competitive in today's fast changing world. The routine nature of work, however, does not provide then with an opportunity to learn new things very often, and as such, they remain in a state of anxiety and frustration. Providing regular and periodic company sponsored training and developmental intervention is one way companies help employees relieve the anxiety and frustration regarding their skills stagnating and becoming unemployable in the future. This makes them motivated enough to remain and perform in the present job.

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    Recent Studies

    Research provides answers for the question how does training motivate employees?

    A study by Gritz (1993) shows that training helps employees increase their skills. Another study by Mangum, Mangum, & Hansen (1990) reveals that training helps employees increase their wages. Yet another study by Tharenou (1997) links training with career advancement. The prospects of better wages and career advancement are proven motivators.

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    Tharenou, Phyllis. "The relationship of training motivation to participation in training and development." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, December 1, 2001. Retrieved from