Study: Training doesn't improve performance if workers aren't motivated
Employee engagement makes the difference
The study, “Training Public Sector Employees: Which Employees Gain the Most?” examines an employee training program and trainees’ attitudes at a Midwestern state career development / job search agency. Its authors, Dr. Frank Mulhern and Jenna Massey of Northwestern University, surveyed more than 500 state employees to evaluate whether they believed the training – in more than 20 specific job functions -- improved their performance, and for which employees the training was most, and least, effective.
|Highly motivated and engaged workers are more likely to contribute the most to their organizations.|
“A key finding is that the training worked best for employees who seem to work the hardest, and are most motivated and satisfied. Training does not work for employees who are not working hard, motivated or satisfied. An organization can’t train poor performers to be better if they are not engaged in the workplace,” the study notes.
The study concludes that training programs may be valuable for specific jobs tasks, but are “limited in their ability to influence intangibles such as motivation,” pointing out that an organization’s focus on motivating and rewarding employees can be a far more valuable investment.
The results challenge the notion that employee training programs can improve job performance. Instead, it appears that highly motivated and engaged workers are more likely to contribute the most to their organizations.
To read the full text of the study, visit: www.businessresultsthroughpeople.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=113
The Forum is affiliated with Northwestern University.