“What’s in it for me?” “Why should I take this training?” “How is it going to help me grow in my career?”

Learners actively seek answers to these questions before they are convinced that it’s worth spending their time on training. Hence, it’s important for L&D professionals to design the training content in a way that addresses these questions in the beginning. It a good practice to obtain the learners’ buy-in first.

Let’s take the example of compliance training, since it’s many employees’ least favorite topic. The word “compliance” itself gives an impression to the employees that they are forced to do something in order to be in compliance or because of non-compliance. Normally, the first reaction of an employee is, “This is so basic; why am I wasting my time taking this training?”

L&D professionals, on their end, can make training effective by adapting modern design that provides an innovative and engaging experience to the learners. They start focusing on gamification, storytelling, scenarios, etc. to make the content engaging. These approaches are proven to be effective, as they provide a learner-centric experience.

But wait! What about the learner’s most important question? It still begs an answer: “What’s in it for me?”

How can an L&D professional sell a change strategy to learners? Remember that it’s important to obtain buy-in from the learners before presenting the main training content. It’s only then that the learners can successfully meet their learning goals. Once you establish buy in, you can add all the design components that will make the training content immersive, engaging and interactive.

Here are some effective ways of addressing “what’s in it for me.” In the beginning:

  • Explain to the learners where their organization is, where it needs to go and why it’s important for them to know this information.
  • Make a compelling case by explaining how market dynamics are affecting the way organizations, including their own, are doing business.
  • Explain the consequences of maintaining the status quo and how the intervention (training) will help them and their organization reach the desired state.
  • Explain how this training will help the learners in their current role, how it will help them achieve new levels of effectiveness and success, and help them with their career development.
  • Both qualitative and, if possible, quantitative benefits of the training should be clear enough to make the learners understand the direct relationship between training and their success. Define these benefits define this explicitly … loud and clear. For example: “After completing this training successfully, your chances of earning promotion are high,” “Your coding development time will be reduced by this percentage” or “Your credentials will fall in this percentile among your peer group.”

Once you have made some progress in the buy-in process, content should demonstrate to the learners that they might not know everything they think they know. This will build curiosity, and the content will start gaining their attention.

In order for employees to fully commit to training and be motivated to change, the content must help them see a purpose. “What’s in it for me?” is a question that is important to address at the beginning of training for the program to be successful.