What does it mean to be engaged at work? It sounds like a question that should have a simple answer. But the more you think about it, the harder it is to define what employee engagement really means.
All we know for sure is that we want it. Employees want to be engaged, and the organisation wants the same thing. Being engaged at work means putting everything you have into the company’s goals. The more engaged your people are at work, the more they’ll get done.
With so much to be gained, all that stands between you and employee engagement is a legendary training programme that shows your people what could be.
What Does It Mean to Be Engaged at Work?
Before you think about improving engagement, you need to be able to answer the question, ‘what does it mean to be engaged at work?’ Employee engagement doesn’t just describe how hard your employees work. It doesn’t have much to do with the amount of overtime they’re willing to put in. And it definitely has nothing to do with the results of your annual employee satisfaction survey.
Engaged employees understand the mission of the organisation. They’re more invested in that mission, to the point where the goal of the company and their own goals are one and the same. That kind of dedication doesn’t come for free. Engagement is a two-way street. If you want your employees to be more engaged at work, you need to invest in them.
Training is the best investment you can make, but that raises yet another question – how can you make your learners flock to a platform that’s traditionally duller than dishwater. Learner engagement is the veritable holy grail of corporate learning, and thanks to the following 7 sweet tips – it’s entirely attainable.
1: Mobilise your Troops: Get your LMS Mobile!
Flexibility is one of the greatest perks of online learning; learners are given the freedom to take ownership for their own progress. This is, even more, the case with Mobile Learning! It strips back every limitation – there is no time or place in which learning cannot be undertaken!
And really, this is an absolute must for the modern-day learner’s lifestyle. Everyone now has an enormous amount of entertainment at their fingertips – all that has to be done is sit down and press play. You can watch TV on your phone, television or PC at any time of day – if we want learning to get a look in then it should be just as easy to access!
2: Give it the Human Touch: Get your LMS Social
Aristotle once quipped that ‘humans are by nature social animals’. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s as true as ever. Yet, more-often-than-not online learning is unnaturally lonesome. Learners hideaway like hermits as they plod on with their eLearning. It’s an abnormal situation – learning is a fundamentally social activity. So instead of stripping back on the social aspects of learning and losing all hope of learner engagement, make your platform social and give it that human touch.
Luckily, many learning platforms have cottoned onto this and learned from social media. This means that they come equipped with news feeds, live chat and discussion forums which help foster a community of supportive learning.
3: Make Content King
Imagine you treat yourself to a lavish evening at the cinema, you buy yourself some sweets from the pic’ n’ mix, a plump hotdog, you get a bucket of coke and crate of popcorn. You spare no expense – you purchase every trimming the cinema has to offer. Once you’ve sat down and made a nest out of plunder, the film starts.
Yet… the film is pathetic. It has no storyline, no characterisation, the costuming is poor and the cinematography is choppy.
Online learning can be a bit like this, you can add all the perks possible. You can buy a sparkling, fancy LMS with all the trimmings; but if you don’t work on your written content and just copy and paste dreary text from the handbook…
No amount of popcorn will mask an awful film and no amount of fancy frills will mask dull content.
4: Make it Pretty!
It has to look good. If the visuals aren’t gripping, then people ain’t gonna stick around. People, like magpies, like pretty things. So, instead of importing stock images or clipart from a google search – opt instead for artwork which is unique, thought out and branded.
Branding your learning platform matters. It’s more than just making it look pretty, it shows that you are proud of your learning platform and have invested time and energy into creating it. If you have invested in the platform, so will your learners.
Why not be brave, add a bit of visual pizzazz and watch engagement levels soar!
5: Gamify your LMS: Become a Gamification Sensation!
Absolutely everyone loves a good game. Video game designer Jane McGonigal gives some very clear cut reasons why we all love games. Jane thinks that video games fulfil needs in a way that real life can’t – and that’s what makes them so jolly engaging. So, if we want to make online learning as engaging as possible, we need to gamify our content!
Games are all about competition; be it against other players or yourself. League tables spark competition from learners, pushing them to compete against each other. Whilst badges tempt learners to keep pressing on for that next tantalising reward.
6: Hype it up!
We had our GETogether last week and it was a roaring success! EE’s learning management team gave a top tip that’s beautifully simple yet wondrously effective:
Hype up your eLearning.
EE run internal marketing campaigns to muster excitement for new eLearning units as they are released. They found that excitement translates directly into engagement, so if you want to guarantee engagement with your online learning before you’ve even released it – start tantalising your team’s learning taste buds!
7: Planning: Time is Everything
A crucial part of learner engagement relies on careful planning. When do you go about delivering content to the LMS? Do you release it as soon as it’s ready? Do you do it all in one big drop? Or, do you plan it out in advance?
Well, the first two options might be easier – but planning is the cherry on top of the engagement cake. Releasing content in a consistent manner, such as releasing one unit on the last day of each month enables team members to build in time to ensure they fit in eLearning. And of course, if online learning is a regular part of work life then it will always be on everyone’s mind! An engagement guarantee.