Thanks to the internet and technology, people can learn anything they want, anytime, almost anywhere. And they are. In 2017, over 25 million hours were spent learning on our platform. That’s the equivalent of 4,400 bachelor’s degrees.

But because they are inundated with information, employees need help cutting through the noise. To get them to engage, successful organizations are doing more than making content available. They are giving their employees personalization and relevance in their learning and training.

So how do you get learning that’s personalized and relevant? You make use of things like curation, design thinking and tools that use machine learning (REAL machine learning, not systems that just hype it!) that can take employee interactions with the system and make adjustments for each individual user.

Sustaining the momentum after launch is tough, and you’re not alone in the struggle. Bersin by Deloitte reported 66 percent of enterprise L&D leaders have trouble getting employees to engage with their training programs. Personalization and relevance increase the likelihood of your employees finding the right match of content at the right time, resulting in higher engagement with your training.

In addition to personalization, we recommend business leaders make sure the learning systems offer engagement levers, like notifications and reminders. And remember, if you have a choice to enable these levers or not, enable!

Just think about your own personal online habits. You might notice there are certain things that drive you back to the same websites and apps day after day. In many cases, this repeated behavior is encouraged by way of a reminder, likely in the form of an email or pop-up. These notifications provide a one-click option to go back to sites you visit often. Think of your fitness tracker: “You aren’t as far as you usually are” or “It’s time to stand up!” All of these calls to action are driving you towards repeat behavior and habit development. Specific and relevant learning alerts spark the same repeat behavior.

Here are two more reasons we think you should empower employees with notifications and reminders: 

It’s standard. They’re doing it with other tools already – Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Like other tools, it’s easy to turn off. Unsubscribing is easy for those who don’t want to get it all the time. Switching to a social tool (like Slack) or to your mobile device can also help. 

It’s personal. Personalize their learning for them and notifications allow them to do that. Empower your learners to make the decision to be notified. It’s one thing to get a marketing email trying to get you and one thousand other people to buy something. It’s another to get personalized learning content, based on the skills you’re building, as a daily reminder to learn.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Based on pilot user feedback, Degreed client Xilinx enabled daily reminders for their team to encourage learning. And it’s working. Over 43 percent of employees have visited the platform over five times (repeat behavior) and over 88 percent of their total employee base has logged in (activation).

Sustaining your training efforts requires a shift in paradigm by your L&D team as well. A holistic approach is ideal in this new world of learning. Rather than focusing on just the assigned training, step up a level to look at a user’s engagement across all training and learning. As mentioned above, engagement levers and the resulting engagement should be the metric used internally to judge the success of training initiatives.

Move beyond the knee-jerk reactions to pushing training to your employees. Find ways to make sure training is part of the learning system and brought to employees at relevant times in the process of their job. Your learners will thank you and your engagement will reflect the value of your efforts!