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Avoid the Traps: Make your Learning Program Engaging and Drive Results

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The two biggest learning requirements organizations’ usually focus on are compliance and revenue driving activities. Using these in isolation will satisfy your board of directors and the management team but what’s in it for your workforce?  It’s a common trap that many organizations fall into – ticking the boxes and delivering training that looks great from a governance and a revenue generating point of view in one thing but can you truly justify that you’re engaging and giving your employees the best chance to do their best work? This article examines how to avoid falling into the trap of seemingly sensible training but learning that does not resonate with or engage your workforce.

For your workforce, the perception of compliance training for example is that it’s boring– sitting and watching a video and answer uninspiring questions that don’t help them grow won’t do much for engagement. All too often, employees will say ‘We don’t need to watch the video, we did this last year’, and go directly to the quiz. At best employees will skim the required material. Creating, designing, and training your workforce in compliance and processes is vital to a smooth-running organisation but using overly generic compliance and business-centric trainings can turn employees off training all together.

An overarching strategy and big picture outlook reveals a lot about an organisation but if your workforce doesn’t understand the vision of a company and it can be problematic if they’re only interested in the day to day. How you roll out your training can make a big impact within your organisation, from the ground up.

It’s a classic mistake to strive for compliance and generating revenue, dishing out uninspiring and irrelevant trainings. Make learning relevant for your workforce and knowing what’s in it for them will increase the knowledge of your workforce and help them do better, thus enhancing the company. Your workforce are assets and delivering engaging training will deliver results.

  • So high level if revenue generating and compliance training is not enough, what should we consider as an organization?
    Seek employees’ feedback to see what’s important for them and what are their biggest challenges
  • Explain why the whole learning program is being rolled out
  • Use scenario based learning to enable the workforce to make the link between theory, policies and real life application
  • Roll training out in a structured way which blends:
  • Compliance
  • Overall strategy or mission
  • Skills that will help your workforce overcome common challenges
  • Revenue generating learnings
  • Skills that allow for career progression taking into account future skills needed
  • Learnings identified from staff co-design

For career progression, skills are undoubtedly vital for employees. However, the focus on Soft skills has shifted dramatically and in particular how they can be utilized as they progress in their roles and pivot to new responsibilities. Soft skills aid communication and deliver efficiency while also making learning engaging, you’ll see a marked difference by implementing such a philosophy. By focusing on soft skills and providing a platform for your teams to work together, you can make a positive impact on your organisation – always remembering what’s in it for your workforce. Relationships are the oil of the machine and without it, systems rust and rot.

And make no mistake, these can be delivered in new and innovative ways that truly engage the workforce. Using online learning will certainly help to motivate your employees – and keep them engaged. Tailoring the content will reap rewards with scenario-based learning that gives real examples and delivers the vision – and the product – to its customers better which will turn produce better ROI and a streamlined, efficient workforce.

To ensure there’s buy-in from your workforce and high engagement, scenario based learning is one great way to help your workforce manage these important facets to their armour. It can provide a safe way in which to replicate situations for your staff where they are tested on real situations in a scenario-based context that’s relevant to your workforce and your organisation’s industry. This should also be the same for compliance.

With an emphasis on pleasing Directors, there can often be a lack of insight about what your team wants and needs. Professional development should be in the hands of the workforce and conducting surveys and polls to find this out can contribute to engaging and motivating your employees. Your workforce will feel empowered that their input matters. This will engage employees. Compliance and revenue generation does little to prove to your workforce that your organisation is invested in the learning and growth of employees. Don’t fall into the trap of telling employees what they need without considering what’s in it for them.

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Trying to attain increase ROI should still be part of the goal in organizational learning and when your workforce has a deep knowledge of their organisation, this in turn gives the sales process leverage. In fact, when employees understand the product, it helps your workforce manage their roles better and achieve their targets because they deliver the service to the customer and end user. It’s a common pitfall that organisations run into, to look at training as a short sharp injection to ROI but your team likely won’t see it like that. Making the learning engaging will help a more persuasive team, adding value and savings as well as higher efficiency, an indirect impact on your bottom line that is harder to measure but will appeal to your workforce while still achieving goals.

Making learning relevant for your employees should be a key objective for your organisation. One way to manage this is to use a learning platform that engages. RapL uses a flipped learning approach that engages learners with real life scenarios, and follow-up questions, engaging the learner and employee so that they see the relevance and can grow as an employee and as an individual. Added to that, gamification, leaderboards and shareability make the learning journey exciting, relevant, and motivating. It can aid in the learning experience and it’s easier to retain the knowledge where the workforce engages – such learning styles can easily be adapted for compliance and other trainings.

There are many ways to make learning engaging for your workforce. The learning should complement the important compliance and ROI generating training programs but consider what’s in it for the employee. Look at soft skills, gamification and use learning platforms that truly engage the learner and can create better cultures and ultimately, better ROI too without falling into the trap of rolling out training that simply doesn’t deliver long-term results and can disengage your workforce.

The next time you look to manage your training schedules, consider what’s in it for your employees and how can you engage your employees to create a better organisation, and better employees.


By Dave Trendall

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1. Speak to us if you want a microlearning strategy deep-dive: Microlearning is extremely effective, if approached sensibly. Microlearning is the answer to today’s shortening attention spans and we know how to make learning successful via microlearning. Drop your context here and we shall partner with you for the rest.

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