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How to Motivate Employees to Learn?

One of the challenges that I observe at various companies that I consult with is the lack of enthusiasm in learning. This is especially evident in healthcare at higher ranks. For example, in dental field, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are typically the most accomplished in terms of years of education. Unfortunately, many of them do not pursue further learning past their formal education or beyond what is required by the law and they typically have a “know-it-all” attitude.

I believe it is the responsibility of us as leaders to create an environment of learning and growth for our people. As one said, “You don’t grow a business, you grow the people in the business.” Here are some suggestions that I give my clients:

Make training easily accessible

As the number of course delivery formats have increased over the years, as leaders we must be able to offer flexible training programs to our employees that can easily enroll in and attend at any time. Many online courses, live streaming as well digital format trainings are very popular among employees. Also the HR of each company must create a calendar of courses that an employee can attend in person. Distant courses may offer employees a chance for vacation and family time as well.

Match your team’s talent to a specific training

As leaders, it is our job to know who is on our team and learn about their strength and weaknesses. It is important that we match a specific training to individual strength of people in our team. This will allow a team member to become more excited about the learning opportunity and even become a stronger team member. Just asking a team member to take a general course for training may not suit their individual needs and to many it may seem as a time waster and uninspiring.

Encourage employees to share what they have learned

We need to encourage our people to share what they have learned with the rest of the group immediately after they complete a training program. There are two advantages to this. First, the employee who completes a program are generally very enthusiastic immediately following a course and their passion about the subject becomes contagious for the rest of the group and it encourages others to also sign up and attend a course. Secondly, sharing a course material and teaching it to others makes the learning process more effective for the person who attended the course and it makes him/her look more credible among others.

Give incentives to those who invest in their growth

Everyone loves incentives and an incentive can be in a form of raise in pay, bonuses, title, higher job position or additional responsibility. Incentives stimulate the learning process and aligning a team member’s incentive to the company’s overall vision is an effective way to encourage further growth and learning.

Dr. Allen Nazeri is the founder of Dr. Allen Nazeri Consulting & Investment Advisory Group. The group is focused on helping healthcare companies to achieve high level of operational efficiency through leadership training as well as helping companies scale through strategic partnership and investments from private equity funding. Dr. Nazeri can be reached for a confidential consultation via email

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