Over the years working in Learning & Development, I’ve learned that putting great training content on your learning platform is crucial. But a successful recipe requires more ingredients; equally important is getting people to engage with that content. You need to find how to inspire your learners to go to the platform and seek out learning opportunities for themselves that help to fill performance gaps.
Limiting push, encouraging pull
Learners want to be able to decide for themselves what to learn. However, a lot of learning is business critical – employees must be up to speed on compulsory modules such as Compliance, HR policies, workplace issues, and important procedures. Not to mention the initial onboarding training and new product or service training. So if you want to encourage your learners to make time in their already full days for additional trainings, you really need to ensure that its relevance and utility make them want to do it off their own bat.
It is key to have a healthy mix of pushing mandatory learning content out, and learners proactively pulling learning content based on their professional development needs.
What makes people pull?
People value short and snappy modules on various transferrable skills which are beneficial right away and for your entire career. New knowledge, skills, or behaviors should be directly usable on the work-floor. These are topics like interpersonal communication, feedback, time management.
Also popular is more in-depth learning on methods and techniques that are usable in day-to-day customer interactions. The learning design team must include relevant examples, scenarios, and calls to action. Use video, interactive tutorials, exercises, challenges, and trainer webcam recordings.
When someone wants to learn something these days, they go to YouTube, or they Google it. When you can offer your learning moments in a popular and recognizable format, the training “pull” engagement grows. That’s what we do at 5CA and it’s working!
For our online learning platform, we partnered with Lessonly and launched it in October 2018 with a catalogue of learning modules. My team and I continuously investigate training needs and together with subject matter experts, we keep on adding relevant modules to the catalogue. Lessonly allows our learners to quickly find relevant content that serves to fill all sorts of performance gaps.
The two main legs of successful delivery of e-learning are the online learning platform itself and the communication around it. It goes without saying that the chosen cloud platforms should be easy to use for both the learners and the content creators. (Tip: user acceptance testing before buying is important!)
5CA can ramp up quickly in workforce depending on our clients’ needs, and the e-learning platform must keep pace with that. Automation of administrative tasks like user account management and lesson assignments are invaluable to keep this growth sustainable.
How do you inform everyone of the platform and all the great content you’ve put on it? That’s leg two. Regular and relevant communication is key. We use internal communication platforms, such as Microsoft Yammer and Teams. These are great to reach large groups of people at once and communicate organizational learning milestones.
Advertise and celebrate your learning content often. Include a “What’s In It For Me” section and enable people to discuss their learning in a social way.
Feedback on e-learning is one good data point to measure engagement in the platform. Always leave room for feedback on your training and call out this opportunity. A platform like Lessonly has this functionality built-in. It gives learners the opportunity to leave an easy thumbs up or thumbs down on a lesson as well as the option to leave a comment.
We then process any feedback in a timely manner. If they put in the effort to give you feedback, they should get something out – so thank the learner who gave actionable feedback and tell them what you plan to do with it.
Do I stay or do I go?
Think of any website you might visit. If it’s half-empty, the latest content addition is two months ago or has irrelevant information, what is your first reaction? “Waste of time, let’s find something interesting!” Keep your platform up to date with relevant information for your learners, otherwise you run the risk of having them lose interest and stopping the pulling.
I‘m interested in hearing your thoughts! Do you think your e-learning strategy has a good balance between pushing mandatory content and encouraging people to pull learning that they seek to fill their performance gaps?
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