Does Motivation Play a Role in Training? Yea, Duh!


Topic: Motivation, Training
Publication: International Journal of Training and Development
Article: The relationship between perceived training opportunities, work motivation and employee outcomes.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

Needless to say, organizations are quite interested in discovering the benefits of offering training and development opportunities to their workforces.  This interest has led to research around the factors that influence employees’ likelihood of successfully performing on the job after training.  Let’s say your organization provides you with really great opportunities to improve your skills (“Hey this is great!”).  What factors would affect the likelihood of taking your learning and applying it to the workplace?

Would your level of intrinsic motivation matter (the extent to which employees are motivated to engage in an activity because it is stimulating to them and not because they have to)?  Researchers Dysvik and Kuvaas (2008) empirically investigated the role of intrinsic motivation on the training opportunities-outcomes relationships.

In their study, Dysvik and Kuvaas found that employees who perceive training opportunities to be effective and satisfying tend to be more intrinsically motivated to learn and thus perform better on the job.  Their findings also suggest that employees who are highest in intrinsic motivation perform better on the job than those lower in intrinsic motivation.

But, does this study really add to our knowledge of training opportunities in organizations?  The findings of this study suggest that it’s beneficial for organizations to offer training and development opportunities that are effective and satisfying to employees.  But this is certainly not new information!  The findings also suggest that employee motivation is an important factor in determining how training initiatives lead to positive workplace behaviors.  But again, we already knew that!

So I end this blog by asking you: What does this study really add to our knowledge of the outcomes of training and development opportunities?  Anything that we didn’t already know?

Dysvik, A., & Kuvaas, B. (2008). The relationship between perceived training opportunities, work motivation and employee outcomes. International Journal of Training and Development, 12(3), 138-157.