Engaged learners are more likely to complete their courses, retain information and apply what they’ve learned in the workplace. However, organizations as well as learning and development (L&D) professionals still struggle with engaging employees in their training programs.
Lack of engagement can seriously impact the effectiveness of your learning and development program and the productivity of learners. Therefore, before simply making courses available to your employees — whether via a learning portal, mobile app or website — it’s essential to have a strategy in place to gain and sustain their engagement.
That’s why we’ll go straight into discussing four major ways to improve learner engagement in training programs you create for your employees.
Let’s dive in!
1. Understand the Learner
Understanding your learners is a critical step in creating effective training content that engages and resonates with them. Start by conducting a training needs assessment to help you identify learning opportunities.
Typically, the assessment involves analyzing the employees’ job roles, tasks and responsibilities to identify the knowledge and skills needed to perform their job effectively. It also involves identifying gaps in their current knowledge and skills. This way, you are better informed and can easily determine what individual team members need to learn.
You can also talk to employees directly. Ask them what they want to learn, how they prefer to learn and what challenges that may hinder them from fully participating in the learning program.
Once the learning gaps or needs have been identified, the next step is to determine the best way to present the learning material to the learners.
2. Develop Engaging Training Content and Leverage Technology
Just like marketing, creating engaging content is also crucial when it comes to training materials. This is because you want to capture the learners’ attention so that they’re more receptive to the training.
The first step to creating engaging training content is to ensure that it accommodates your learner’s preferences. For instance, the VARK model suggests that there are four types of learners: Visual learners prefer diagrams, images, videos and other graphic aids. Aural learners are more inclined to audio recordings. Kinesthetic learners prefer observation and experience. And text-based learners prefer to read the learning material or write course summations.
With these learning preferences in mind, you should consider providing materials in a variety of formats. Here are some ways to ensure that your training content is engaging and interactive for every learner:
- Simulations and case studies. Incorporating real-life scenarios and examples that learners relate to can make the training content more engaging and memorable.
- Storytelling. Stories are a great way to capture attention and engage learners. They can be used to illustrate concepts, make information more memorable and connect with learners on an emotional level.
- Humor. Humor can be a great way to break up the monotony of training and make it more enjoyable for learners. Just be sure to use humor in moderation and that it is appropriate for the audience.
Also, consider encouraging learners to practice what they’ve learned. You can achieve this by incorporating interactive elements such as quizzes and assessments, role-playing exercises, group discussions and real-life coaching. Additionally, be sure to keep your content concise and straightforward.
Leveraging technology is another effective way to enhance learner engagement in training. eLearning platforms provide learners with flexibility and convenience, allowing them to access training materials from anywhere at any time. Your training content may be self-hosted on your company website or external online learning platforms. Research also shows that 90% of employees are more productive when they use gamification.
Additionally, gamification elements such as points, badges and leaderboards can motivate learners and make the learning experience more enjoyable.
Overall, combining engaging training content with innovative technology solutions allows you to create a dynamic and impactful training experience that will help you achieve your training objectives. In turn, learners will be more eager to achieve their development goals.
3. Create a Supportive Learning Environment
A supportive learning environment is safe and inclusive. Here, learners feel motivated to engage in learning activities, ask questions and collaborate with their peers. Creating a supportive learning environment is crucial for promoting learner engagement since it makes them feel comfortable.
An obvious way to create a supportive learning environment is to provide the necessary resources and tools to facilitate the achievement of learning objectives.
Also, ensure that learners feel encouraged to share their ideas. To achieve this, consider creating group activities and opportunities for learners to work together on projects. Cohort course platforms allow you to create community-based training programs where active learners can leave comments and have discussions about specific training courses.
As learners progress in their learning journey, celebrating accomplishments is one way to show that you support their growth.
Overall, creating a supportive learning environment is crucial in promoting learner engagement. When team members feel supported, comfortable and motivated to learn, they are more likely to engage in the learning process.
4. Measure Learner Engagement
Measuring learner engagement is a continuous process that involves collecting and analyzing data to evaluate the effectiveness of your training program.
One way to measure learner engagement is to monitor participation. Track how many learners have started or completed the training program. Online course platforms will come with analytics that you can gain insights from the online course platform you’re using.
Quizzes and assessments can also be useful tools for tracking course participation.
By analyzing participation rates, you can identify learners who may be disengaged and may need additional support to complete the training program.
Completion rates are also an important metric to consider when measuring learner engagement. This involves tracking the percentage of learners who have finished the training program. If completion rates are low, it could mean the learning content isn’t engaging or relevant enough for the learners. In such cases, re-evaluate the training program’s content and delivery methods to improve learner engagement.
Another way to measure learner engagement is to gather feedback from the learners. This is achievable through surveys like the image below or one-on-one interviews.
Feedback can provide valuable insights into what learners find engaging or challenging about the training program. This information can then be used to improve the training content and delivery methods for better learning outcomes.
In all, measuring learner engagement is one vital way to ensure that learners are getting the most out of their learning experience.
Learner engagement is critical in creating effective training programs. So, be intentional about creating learning strategies that facilitate employee course participation. This will positively influence your employee’s overall productivity and capacity to perform job functions.
To go over the key points in this post, here’s how you can improve learner engagement in training: understand the learners, develop engaging training content, create a supportive learning environment and measure learner engagement.
By adopting these strategies, you will successfully improve your corporate learning experience, promote better knowledge retention and foster the application of the training content — producing high-performing teams in your organization.