Cracking the secrets to effective learner engagement
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A multitude of studies in the past have revealed that the top performing companies were five times more likely to implement engaging L&D programs. Training programs can be an effective communication tool, allowing employees to better themselves with each passing day in an organization. Successful organizations are aware that one of the best ways to invest in the company is to invest in their employees. But they recognize that these programs can easily fail if not made engaging enough. So it all comes down to learner engagement.
How can learner engagement be made more impactful? Leaders of the organizations need to be more involved and hands on with L&D to drive engagement. Learning needs to be made more customized as per the needs of the employees’ learning styles. Technology can be leveraged to make learning smooth and to the learners allowing it to be and immersive experience.
Recognizing that L&D needs to evolve
Employees are evolving and so are employment trends. It is no secret that innovations in technology have redefined expectations and the relationship between work and learning. With millennials making up more than half the IT workforce today, we see these recurring patterns emerge:
• The demand for flexible, open career models
• Modern career encouraging learning
• Growth of workplace into hubs of personal development
Despite this, and its inevitable impact to both engagement and retention, many organizations write off L&D as something merely as an array of courses that need to be prescribed. There is an opportunity here today for L&D departments to recognize role in boosting employee engagement, and invest more into learning experiences that encompasses different gamut of learning – from social learning and microlearning, to adaptive assessments and outcome-based training.
The same study has also revealed that across-the-board involvement in L&D initiatives always lead to increased participation and employee engagement. Also, over 90% of companies that had a strong culture of learning and personal development had senior executive members actively involved in L&D initiatives. When leaders, managers or senior executive champion learning in employees, it creates a ripple effect that allows the mass workforce to feel valued and return investments in learning by engaging in wider company roles.
One-size-fits-all doesn’t fit all
All employees have different needs and L&D strategies should reflect this. Everyone has their own unique career expectations and goals, and when it comes to workplace learning, some will respond best to a structured, theoretical approach, while others may achieve better results from more interactive formats. To maximize engagement, implement a balanced blend of training options to appeal to the diverse needs of your staff. Offering personalized training and the freedom to choose between different, yet personalized, learning journeys puts power in the hands of the learner and allows them to play to their own strengths. Keeping all bases covered can be a time-consuming and potentially costly approach. However, the organization and the employees will develop a symbiotic relationship in this learning ecosystem that allows everyone to reap the benefits of doing so!
Embracing the Tech
Learning technology can help make training an accessible and enjoyable experience. The intervention from the technology front can be looked at from two perspectives:
• We now live in an age where the Internet, social media, and mobile devices are intrinsically linked to both our working and daily lives. It therefore comes as no surprise that many employees can feel disenchanted by their company’s L&D strategy when it fails to mirror the tech-savvy environment they are often accustomed to. Today we have a broad range of options at our disposal. Social media, e-learning, gamification techniques, and even virtual sandboxes can be utilized in a way that makes professional training fun and engaging.
• Turning to tech can smoothen out insights, and incorporating a LXP (Learning Experience Platform) can grant all parties robust authority over learning objectives and progress. Employees have the freedom to pace their learning to tailor to their learning needs, and more importantly, they are able to analyse results to identify strengths and areas for improvement in the future. This increased transparency also gives L&D departments, HRs, and managers to monitor progress in a non-invasive manner. It also becomes significantly easier to extrapolate the outcomes of learning in aid of improving future L&D strategy.
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Make Learning Count Again
Incentivizing achievement by rewarding top performers is a great way of increasing employee motivation and encouraging career progression.
According to Kim Edwards (Talent and Leadership Development Manager, Getty Images,) an engaging company is “one that puts the employee at the center of everything”.
Companies must find new ways to make staff feel they are central pillars of company success, and L&D offers the model for growth and recognition that makes this possible. Engage your workforce through L&D and begin reaching company goals in synchronicity with the development of your employees!