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5 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Learners

Posted by Jeff Welch on 4/13/15 4:00 AM
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Photo by: June Laves 

corporate training course is one of the ways to provide employees with the skills and knowledge to improve performance on their current jobs.


While skill, knowledge, and performance improvement are at the forefront of most training initiatives, courses also provide great opportunities to show support and appreciation for employees.


Our participants should be considered internal customers and deserve the same excellent customer service we would offer our external clients.


Here are five simple gestures of kindness and gratitude that can be extended to the hard-working individuals who attend your training sessions.

1. Use participants’ names. Make every effort to remember, and use, your participants’ names. It may seem like a small gesture, but it makes a big and lasting impression. (Hint: The use of name tags or name tents might assist you in recalling a learner’s name, especially if you are training a large group.)

2. Provide personal praise. Nothing goes further than sincere, face-to-face praise for a job well done. Take the time to publicly or privately acknowledge the participant who makes a significant contribution to a discussion, or the learner who willingly volunteers for a role play. Positive feedback encourages a learner to fully engage and participate in training.

3. Give an unexpected gift. Who doesn’t love a gift, especially when it’s unexpected? Most learners expect a certificate of completion when they finish a course. But why not surprise them by randomly providing afternoon refreshments or giving them a supplemental book related to the course content or subject-matter. If these ideas are not within your personal or departmental budget, consider low- to no-cost gifts that could either be purchased from a discount store or secured from your company’s marketing department. Pens, mugs, and stationery with (or without) your company’s logo all make great surprise gifts!

4. Invite feedback. Show your learners you care about what they think. And don’t wait until the end-of-course, level 1 evaluation, to do it. Periodically take “temperature checks” to ask your participants what could be done differently or better.

5. Send a handwritten thank-you note. Emphasis here is on the word “handwritten.” Handwritten notes are more memorable in this world of email and instant messaging. Perhaps it’s quicker and easier to send an email, but a handwritten thank-you or congratulatory note to your participants indicates you went that extra mile.


In addition to these ideas, I’d encourage you to get creative by thinking of other ways to show kindness and appreciation to your participants. You’ll find most expressions of gratitude don’t take much time, nor do they have to cost a fortune. Remember, sometimes the smallest things often make the biggest impact!


Your learners will come to your courses seeking skill and knowledge. However, thanks to your kindness, they may very well leave with a greater sense of acknowledgement and appreciation. And that’s a win-win for everyone involved!


Dealing with Difficult Participants

Jeff has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Speech Communications and Broadcasting from Western Kentucky University. Before pursuing his passion for training, Jeff worked as a television reporter, flight attendant, fitness instructor, and tour guide. Jeff started his career in training at the daily newspaper in Atlanta. Training seemed to be a natural fit for him since he’s always been a bit of a performer. When at home, you’ll catch Jeff watching a cooking show, recreating a dish he’s eaten abroad, or exploring one of the many great restaurants in the Chicago area. During the summer months, he hits the road to follow the talented drum corps of Drum Corp International—something he’s done since high school!

Tags: instructional techniques

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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