How to maximise user engagement on your corporate elearning platform
4 minute read
Investment in a new corporate elearning platform is one thing, but its success will be judged on how learners use it. Here’s how you get employees coming back again and again for their training needs
You’ve done the tricky part and got your decision-makers to commit to a new learning management system. But to make the most of this opportunity, you’ll need to increase user engagement in training on the platform. The question is: how?
This platform needs to support many end-users. Not only your employees and line managers, but also HR and L&D teams. They’ll all have different goals they’ll want to achieve, so you’ll need to be proactive in boosting engagement. These six tips will show the what, why and how to encourage people to use your new elearning platform for their training-related requirements.
How to get end-users engaged with your corporate elearning platform: six top tips
1. Create a pull towards learning with an LMS that entices and engages
Employee learning should be an essential part of your business strategy, and staff should be open to learning for this to happen. You may need to align your HR planning to match your organisation’s short, medium, and long-term goals. Instilling this top-down approach will help create a culture that values workforce development, and improves the employee experience – which also boosts morale.
So how do you create that environment with your elearning platform? Consider your employees’ access to technology: if they can’t access a suitable computer or mobile device during the working day, they’re less likely to do online training. Check what technology people can access, how comfortable they are using technology, and assess what you can do to include experiences that will encourage participation.
You should also identify other barriers to learning, because not everyone will be motivated to complete training and other learning activities. Do you need to introduce additional incentives – such as competition, leaderboards, or other gamification options – create more challenging assignments, or create learning journeys that guide employees through career-development opportunities?
Blended learning might be one solution. This method combines multiple ways of delivering training through in-person and digital channels, enabling learners to complete activities in groups or separately, in their own time. It can improve the effectiveness of training as it combines a range of learning methods.
Gamification is also powerful in this context: we feel good when playing video games because achievements make us feel important, and there’s a great opportunity to replicate this feeling with learning activities. Leaderboards that track performance against your peers, plus monthly or quarterly recognition rewards, and badges, are just some of the ways to incorporate gamification into learning.
Most employees will have access to a mobile device – either their own or supplied by your organisation – that they can use for e learning. Multiple interactive features in mobile-friendly content will boost engagement and, because this training can be accessed anywhere at any time, employees can access bite-size mobile learning content when they need it most.
2. Create a culture of learning that supports skill-seekers
When we talk about a learning culture, we mean an environment where organisational values, practices and processes encourage employees to continue learning and build skills. This improves motivation and morale, because people are more engaged when they feel their employer is invested in their advancement.
Employees who want to learn and acquire new skills will work harder, perform more strongly, and adapt better to changes which, in turn, better equips their organisation for change and innovation. A study conducted by (now) psychology professor Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University and three colleagues, asked a range of employees at seven Fortune 1000 companies how much they agreed with certain statements to gauge company mindset. They then went on to study how the organisational mindset influenced its workers.
The team found there was a general consensus about the mindset – with supervisors at growth mindset companies having positive views of their employees, for instance, stating they were innovative, collaborative, and committed to learning. At fixed mindset organisations, employees were less committed and pursued fewer innovative projects for fear of failing.
There are various ways you can create this culture using your learning management system software. Employee learning needs to be proactive, so the best way to do this is to make it a habit. You’ll need to create accessible and meaningful training that matches a person’s skills gaps, using an elearning platform that presents activities in an easy-to-understand way, and monitors their progress.
Once you’re confident that your employees want to learn, you can build on this by designing opportunities that align with both their personal goals, and the organisation’s wider ambitions. Aim to curate training materials with a variety of complexity and length, but that also help fill skills gaps and contribute to broader goals.
Data will help you understand learners’ skills and knowledge gaps, and the impact of learning activity completion on performance. L&D teams can use a tool such as Ciphr LMS to compare how an employee rates their own skills against their manager’s assessment, which shows where learning is needed. Your elearning platform can offer insight into which learning materials are most used and valued, both by tracking interactions and surveying learners about their preferences.
3. Reward, recognise, incentivise
Encourage your learners to complete training activities – and keep coming back to your elearning platform to access even more learning opportunities – by incentivising learning. Rewarding employees for spending time on learning and skills development – whether through gamified elements such as reward points, leaderboards and badges, or more tangible rewards – shows how important your organisation considers training and helps your employees to feel valued.
Staff shouldn’t feel training is a chore, but an opportunity to learn about something new, or develop a better understanding of the nuances of an inclusive, diverse workforce. If some training is voluntary, you could offer employees who complete these courses the chance to attend a conference about the topic, for example. Doing this (or something similar) will motivate people as they can travel to an industry event to represent your organisation, plus gain growth opportunities and new responsibilities. Any new knowledge from the event can be presented to the employee’s team and added to their skills – completing the learning loop.
4. Ask end-users for feedback
Feedback is an important part of learning. Without constructive criticism, we can lose our direction – so you’ll need to receive feedback to continually improve and refine your elearning platform. Just as you’d keep employees informed about their progress towards a learning goal, you should put in place mechanisms for them to offer their opinions and training activities, and how they can be improved.
Your elearning platform can help you collate feedback. Post-course surveys will give you an overall view of the course but, if you can, use a survey before and during beta testing ahead of a module going live. Pre-course evaluations will confirm what is and isn’t working, so you can make changes. This continual refinement will help you maximise your return on investment (ROI) in your e learning platform, too.
Other feedback sources include quizzes, exams, discussion forums – and even the outputs of one-to-one meetings, if you have integrated HR and LMS. Analysing the data will show items that may need to be modified to provide a more engaging, effective digital learning experience.
5. Foster inclusion through social learning
Organisations use social learning to provide more exciting digital learning experiences, because it promotes collaborative learning between colleagues. While formal training has its place, organisations can use an elearning platform for social and informal learning as a space for delegates to connect, collaborate, share knowledge and exchange ideas.
Social learning uses a real-life approach to learning that focuses on how we interact with others for just-in-time learning and acquiring skills. The 70:20:10 learning methodology states that around 70% of learning comes from experiences in the role, 20% from peer interaction, and the final 10% from instructor-led classroom training.
Whether your employees are on site or work remotely, social learning lets them access support wherever they are. It can also reduce feelings of isolation that many remote workers experience. Good-quality social relationships have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, which in turn boosts learning.
“The people who benefit the most from social learning are those who are in early careers positions,” says Bradley Burgoyne, director of talent at Ciphr. “Not only do they get the chance to learn the skills and knowledge required for their role, but they also get to learn about the workplace. Social learning helps them maximise the learning opportunities presented by observing successful peers in the work environment.”
Burgoyne adds: “As a way to mobilise talent, it enables the building of new skills and knowledge aligned to the organisation needs – which can lead to success in both current and future roles. Social learning can be particularly effective when promoting people in lateral moves, as it provides a mechanism to quickly build the skills required for roles in different departments.”
There are numerous ways to achieve effective results from social learning, and delegates don’t have to interact together at the same time. Here are just some of the options:
- Same time and place: such as face-to-face interactions, shared tables, and displays
- Same time, different place: for example, video conferencing, instant messaging, and shared screens
- Different time, same place: like team rooms, project management, and continuous tasks
- Different time and place: such as group calendars, blogs, and emails
As colleagues collaborate on a range of projects, you’ll need to consider the correct tools for the task to enable social learning. The right choice can reduce both the learning cycle time and reliance on traditional learning methods.
Related: The A-Z of eLearning terminology >
6. Keep your content interesting, relevant, and fresh
Your eLearning content should of course be convenient and useful, as well as engaging. Activities should have a clear purpose, helping delegates know what’s supposed to be achieved and assess if it’ll be useful for them, and meet minimum accessibility standards, so they are open to all.
Breaking subjects into small chunks – called micro learning – makes information easier to digest and encourages learners to return to your elearning platform regularly to find out more. In fact, research shows this type of learning can improve learner performance by 17% and boost learning engagement by 50%.
While you want to have creative content, it should also be high-quality content – if you’ve been on a course with poor visuals and low audio quality, you’ll know exactly how frustrating and demotivating this can be. Focus on those parts that will contribute to a satisfying learning experience: that means no spelling or grammar errors, clear audio, and an appropriate (and well-trained) presenter to lead the course. If you’re struggling to create quality content, consider off-the-shelf eLearning content from a trusted supplier.
Courses should cater to your people’s various learning styles and preferences as far as possible. Not everyone will learn in the same way, so offer content options that appeal to all. Some will want training by audio, others with video, or maybe even by kinesthetic (physical) methods – so find a balance between these elements.
Will user engagement be difficult to attain?
Improving engagement doesn’t need to be a huge task. By following these six tips, you’ll create a learning experience that will encourage delegates to return and continue their learning journey. Make your elearning platform an environment that draws in learners, supports those who want to acquire skills, and recognises achievements. It should also be inclusive and offer relevant content – and enable learners to share feedback with you so you can continually refine your offering.
Engaging people with learning is easier if you have a modern elearning platform, and the right eLearning content provider. To find out if our solution is right for you, book a demonstration with our experts.
This article was first published on Digits.co.uk – a Ciphr Company.