How To Get Your Team Onboard With Training And Development

Getting buy-in from your team to do training is never easy. After all, training means work, stretching, and change. It’s uncomfortable and depending on how long your team has been with you, they may feel that they don’t need additional training because things are good enough.

Let’s face it: change it hard. It takes a lot of effort to change the direction of an organization no matter the size. Here are 6 things you can do to get team buy-in for training and development.

Model It In Your Life

One of my favorite books on growing healthy teams is “Ready Set Grow” by Scott Wilson. In the first chapter he says that “our task is to get filled up so that we burst with spiritual vitality, leadership insights, passion for Christ, and love for the people in our lives.”

If we want our teams to be successful, we have to first model an attitude of training in our own lives. Your team is likely to reject new training if they don’t see you positioned as a lifelong learner. However, if they can see that growth in your life as a result of your pursuit of training, they will be more likely to want to join in.

One of the things that I always tell new small group leaders is, “you can’t take people where you haven’t been.” Before you ever decide to roll out new training you need to make sure that your team sees you as someone who is a learner.

Focus On Your Vision and Mission

No one likes training for training’s sake. In order to get full buy-in from your team you need to focus on how the training relates to your ministry’s mission and vision. Once you’ve established this it will be easier for your team to see your heart behind why you’re asking them to do more training.

If you don’t have a dedicated mission or vision statement for your ministry, now would be a great time to develop one. Instead of sharing training without a backstory, by sharing it in light of your mission and vision, your team can more easily see how it relates to the bigger picture.

Share Your Expectations

Don’t forget that you are in charge. While, you should avoid treating training as a dictatorial act, you should reinforce to your team that you are the leader. You need to share your expectations with your team and have each of them commit to those expectations that you laid out.

Setting clear expectations shows your team that this is something that they should take seriously. By having each team member commit, you’ll be able to identify anyone who is reluctant to move forward.

Check In Regularly

Once you’ve set expectations, make sure to check in with your team often. This will help you to make sure that everyone is moving towards a goal and helps your team to see that this is something that you’re committed to accomplishing. You may be tempting to just trust your team, but accountability is a surefire way to get your team to complete the task.

This also makes it easier for you to identify areas that your team is struggling with that you may need to address. It can also help to show you some things that you may not have thought of that you need to change.
Hold People Accountable
You can’t be afraid of losing a volunteer that refuses to do training. If someone does not meet the expectations that you’ve laid out, you need to have a conversation with them about why they didn’t fulfill their end of the commitment.

The trick here will be balancing grace with accountability. If someone ran out of time or didn’t prioritize the training, give them another chance and reiterate the reasons why this is important. If someone simply refuses to complete the training or continually fails to meet deadlines and requirements, it’s time to let them go.

I know that it’s scary to think about firing a volunteer. Having a team member that isn’t aligned with your mission and vision will create strife that will only worsen over time.

Make It Easy

Let’s face it, your team is busy. They’ve got a million things going on outside of church from stress at work to taking their kids to baseball practice and ballet to just doing to simple things like making dinner and getting laundry done. While a lot of your team may easily buy into the idea of training, the practical aspects of having the time to do the training may be the hold up.

One of the best ways to make it easier on your team is to move your training online. Whether you send out some basic videos or use a full platform like we’ve developed at TrainedUp, moving your training online will allow your team to complete the training when it’s convenient for them instead of requiring them to come to in-person meetings.

Want to see how easy it is to move training online with TrainedUp? Watch a demo here with zero pressure to sign up.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few suggestions on how to get team buy-in for training and development. Do you have a suggestion based on what has worked for you in the past? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.

About Scott Magdalein

Scott Magdalein is the founder of TrainedUp. Previously, he worked as project manager for YouVersion and Church Online, a software developer at Treehouse, a digital director for an ad agency, and as an Executive Pastor in multiple local churches. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and two boys.

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