Informing staff that they need to take eLearning training will not always go down well if they’re not motivated. If not presented appealingly, the idea of sitting at a computer for a number of hours -absorbing information about health and safety, food hygiene, or whatever else they may require to fulfill their role- can be off-putting. However, generating enthusiasm for eLearning is not impossible, and many people will find it more engaging if management plays their cards right. The way you approach staff, address the need to take online training, and respond to them once they complete their training will ultimately affect their reaction and level of engagement when they take any eLearning course. As a manager, you need to effectively conduct yourself at all stages of staff’s training and properly organize the training so their learning experience is enhanced.
5 Ways To Improve Learners’ Engagement With eLearning
1. The Training Should Be Relevant To Their Role.
Avoid sticking employees on a bunch of training simply for the sake of doing so. The aim of training isn’t to just tick boxes to show staff have done the bare minimum necessary; training exists to enhance their abilities to fulfill their job safely and efficiently.
This means you should do your research before buying eLearning courses. Make sure that it covers topics staff will benefit from and is designed specifically with people like them in mind. You wouldn’t want to put an office employee on a health and safety course that was written with construction workers in mind!
Make sure you pick the right level of training. The course’s content should be neither too easy nor too difficult for the learner, and it should only cover content suitable for their position in the business. If they have to sit through information that’s too detailed for them, they’ll end up disengaging from the content.
2. Make Goals Of The Learning Clear.
People don’t want to feel like they’re wasting their time or feel uncertain about why they’re doing the training. This distracts the learner from concentrating on the course’s content and ultimately leaves them feeling like management don’t care about their personal development in their job role, and are just ticking legal boxes.
Provide staff with a document that details the training process they’ll go through while working for your company. For each course they need to take, include a summary of what it’ll entail, what knowledge you hope they’ve gained on completion, and how you feel this will help them personally and as a staff member.
In a friendly yet informative style, make it clear that you’re invested in improving their skills and knowledge so they can more efficiently and comfortably fulfill their role, and so they can continue to improve on a personal level. This shows you care about them as a person, not just a worker, which will stimulate motivation.
You could even take testimonials from past staff who took online training, enjoyed the process, and came away feeling more confident in their own abilities and like a stronger member of the team. Include these alongside the summaries of the training. When staff see other people enjoyed it, they will feel enthusiastic about also taking it.
3. Schedule Training Suitably.
Training must take place during work hours, so make sure you schedule people’s work or the rota to ensure that training fits in comfortably and does not disrupt work activities.
Also, give learners enough time to take the training at a leisurely pace. Most online courses will state an estimated duration, but give the employee a little bit more to make sure they don’t feel rushed and so they have time to digest the information.
Schedule training so everyone takes it at the same time if possible (this obviously won’t work in settings where someone is needed at all times e.g. on a shop floor or customer support phone lines).
If it can’t be at the same time, have it throughout the same day or week. This way, staff can talk to each other after taking their course about how they found it, which will make them feel like they’re taking part in a group activity and will boost their enthusiasm.
4. Be Enthusiastic About The Training.
Staff will pick up on your attitude and tone when you assign them training. If you sound disinteresting and lethargic, they’ll adopt this attitude to the training too. On the other hand, if you sound eager for them to improve and strengthen their knowledge through training, this enthusiasm will resonate with them.
You could even show that you’re taking training yourself and that you’re looking forward to seeing how it’ll help you do your job better. This enthusiasm should be genuine, however. People can tell when it’s insincere, and that’ll have the opposite effect: It’ll make people think you’re selling the training to them as something it’s not.
5. Recognize And Reward Achievement.
We often forget to give one another a pat on the back in fear of sounding patronizing these days, but in truth everyone appreciates an occasional compliment. People receive a huge motivation boost when their accomplishments are acknowledged and praised. You should do this when people finish their training.
You don’t have to go crazy: We’re not asking you to throw a party. Giving staff a genuine compliment about how pleased you are that they completed the training is enough to fill them with delight. Also, remember to recognize and praise them when they apply their training in practice.
Encourage them to display their certificate proudly and even share a photo on social media of them holding it so they receive plenty of congratulations (assuming they are okay with it, of course; don’t force those who are shy). A moment in the spotlight is usually a huge self-esteem and motivation boost.
To improve learners’ engagement with eLearning, ask them how they felt doing the training and acknowledge their thoughts. This makes them feel valued and appreciated, and therefore motivated to do their best when they next take an online training course.