Whilst setting aside funds for training is a good start, organisational growth takes a much larger commitment. If eLearning is to be successful, it needs to be embraced at every level — from the higher-ups down to the workforce who are subject to the training. Many Learning Management System implementations fall at the first hurdle because L&D professionals fail to provide any real engagement strategy. If you fail to get your workforce engaged in their own development, you cannot expect your training campaign to be a success.
You wouldn’t sign up for a gym membership if you weren’t prepared to put in the time and effort it takes to get fit, lose weight, or bolster your biceps. Training is no different. If you’re not prepared to flex your engagement muscle, there’s little point of initiating the campaign in the first place.
Of course, support at every level depends on the quality of eLearning material presented. If the content is smart, relevant and informative, it is generally going to capture the imagination of learners. However, much more can be done to manipulate user engagement throughout eLearning campaigns. It is up to those in positions of leadership to develop an enticing engagement strategy by:
- Motivating staff to want to learn and offering a reward for doing so.
- Outlining and advertising the benefits of the training.
- Providing a clear, consistent message.
The diagram below details how we view engagement strategy. It starts with the creation of engaging learning content that is supported by L&D Professionals who then provide the engagement strategy for their workforce.
The key to engagement is providing an emotional hook. Effective learning revolves around the manipulation of our emotions. Gamification — the process of applying game mechanics to non-gaming environments is a great tool for gripping learners emotionally. By adopting game mechanics like badges, awards and leadership boards, you are adding an entirely new level of involvement.
These trinkets satisfy our basic human need for reward. They act as markers of our hard work. Upon collection, something in our brain says, ‘I like this and I want more’ and compels us to continue. Gamification is just one of our methods for creating user engagement. It is more than just a passing fad. According to a prominent Technology Research company, ‘Gamification will be a key trend that every CIO, IT planner and enterprise architect must be aware of as it relates to business’ (Garter Group, 2010).
Engaging your workforce during a training campaign is one means for ensuring that it earns the maximum ROI on investment possible. By failing to get your team gripped, you are committing yourself to earning only the minimum level of return on your investment.
Growth Engineering seek to raise user engagement through gamification and social learning. But our unique design methodology The Discovery Method can also raise levels of engagement throughout a workforce.