How to get your team engaged with your training platform and encourage employee engagement?
Let’s take a client who invested significant money in creating their first Online Academy. They built a ton of courses and knowledge streams and created amazing 4K videos. They even designed the whole thing in keeping with the organization’s language. The excited CEO invites his employees & partners to the new Academy and shows how professional the training now looks. But once they launched it, only 20% of the invited users accessed it. So how could they have done it differently and with maximum success?
How do we create courses or programs that invite impactful employee engagement in learning? How can we ensure a change in behavior and drive performance according to the training session? Most learning and development platforms take a basic approach to measuring the level of employees engagement in learning. But one of the main challenges is to drive change so that employees actively engage in learning as part of their day-to-day job as well as part of their core set of responsibilities. So what can be done in order to make your learners engage with the content?
Let’s look at some more strategic tips to ensure and maximize employee engagement in the learning and training environment in any organization.
If you’re going to go all-in with one strategy, this should be it!
Creating a launch event to intentionally articulate, and support a learning culture lays the foundation for continuous employee engagement in all forms of L&D. Furthermore, a strong learning culture significantly increases business impact, so the benefits go well beyond filling the (virtual) classroom.
Work to shift employees’ mindsets, so they understand that learning is a journey, not a single event or destination. Moreover, empower leaders to model the desired behavior. Make sure your leaders/managers see the same bigger picture and benefits as you do. They need to push this company enhancement, so get them to share what they learn and how fun it was.
Make learning an organizational priority.
Most importantly, a training culture should include TOTAL buy-in and support from all levels of leadership.
Develop learning paths, create training or development plans, and set learning goals to establish structure around what training and upskilling look like across the company. Allow and encourage learning in the flow of work.
Reward employees who learn new skills or excel in delivering results on projects and give kudos to internal mentors who encourage others.
This one should be obvious — but what does “engaging content” mean?
Creativity is a good start; make the program interactive and ensure it clearly communicates key concepts. Interactive learning experiences have definitely been found to be more fun — try to include games, role-play, audience polls, and storytelling along the training path.
Provide information that keeps them occupied, interested, and thirsty for more.
Something that is embellished with interesting graphics, infographics, videos, and interactions will be more eye-catching, thus ensuring they remember most of the data.
Gamification – Add games, quizzes, and other interactions whenever possible.
Learning should be easily accessible to reduce any friction or potential barriers to entry at the outset. Whether it is centralized in an LMS, or housed on a company database, everyone should know how to access training. Any time. From any device.
Always reflect a learner-first approach. Make it a top priority to make sure your training platform is easy to use, with a learner-friendly design.
Unless you have a very strong reason for urgency, we recommend allowing your audience to complete their training at their own pace. Not all learners are the same, and people enjoy being in control of their development.
Before you design and plan your training roadmap, listen to the needs, motivations, and challenges of the whole team. When you set objectives, make sure to define both company goals and learner goals. And definitely, listen to feedback!
Reflect on the plan and be open to updates, and advice. Help learners articulate how they plan to use what they learned on the job. Discuss intentions for improving performance, shortening sales cycles, and reducing churn – great metrics to impact training at a company level. Your learners should also feel like they are gaining something from the training at an individual level.
Put your employees at the center of the company’s goals.
Or priority focus. Like the previous point, where-by understanding needs and gaps at the outset is critical. Additionally, once you understand the needs of your learners, and the organizational goals, gain further focus by prioritizing and compartmentalizing. Consider short-term needs and long-term trends for upskilling employees. It’s great to focus on manager training to support team members during a period of rapid organizational growth, but don’t forget to confer with the leadership team on the future skills needed for ever-changing organizational priorities.
When you communicate your training, make sure it’s done from your audience’s perspective. Frame the overall picture and additional benefits. This is important for both internal and external audiences.
These five strategies offer a framework for engaging employees across formal learning programs, but each company is different. Successful engagement strategies can change over time with a growing workforce or a shift in organizational needs. Learner engagement is a continuous journey, so remember to stay flexible and listen to your learners. Request feedback to evaluate programs, and adjust to meet learners’ needs accordingly. In the end, we’re looking for everyone to love to train and learn new things.
Don’t forget to sell your training in attractive ways, in order to enhance enthusiasm for the future. Try not to be forcing them. The goal is to create an evergreen learning option, driving on-the-job learning with mentoring, and a knowledge management system to encourage self-paced learning.
We see our client’s challenge of engaging the learners, we understand it’s not easy, but cupcakes also always help
(featured image credit: https://bit.ly/3N4zkcX )