L&D Professionals Say Learner Engagement Wants The Most TLC



Interact Learners With 4 Considerate Ideas

As a customized studying resolution supplier, we work with purchasers day-after-day to resolve their hardest studying challenges. For a number of years, we have leveraged our expertise to compile and publish our observations on upcoming L&D tendencies. This 12 months, as L&D emerges from an period of unprecedented change, we wished to listen to from you—the leaders and practitioners who weathered the storm! In our L&D Tendencies Survey, we requested you to share your greatest challenges.

And also you had loads to say!

Our report, Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design, reveals the highest challenges L&D groups and leaders are at present going through throughout a variety of classes.

Amongst your high challenges are mainstays like learning analytics and skill development, in addition to some newcomers comparable to designing studying within the age of display fatigue and assembly organizations’ wants round agility and adaptability.

After we requested, “What are the highest challenges in your studying group that want essentially the most love?” The reply with essentially the most votes—with 44.8% of studying leaders in settlement—was: offering participating studying experiences. Making a tradition of studying was an in depth second—and is a subject we mentioned at size in our latest webinar.

On this article, we’ll dig into the findings across the learner engagement problem. We’ll discover how we obtained right here and what we are able to do about it with my 4 ideas to enhance studying engagement.

Why Does Engagement Matter?

Learners who aren’t engaged are much less prone to be taught. And when learners do not be taught, they will not change their efficiency or behaviors. And when behaviors stay the identical—you guessed it—your resolution is not going to achieve success. And—increase!—identical to that, you’ll lose that all-important belief and credibility you’ve got been constructing together with your stakeholders.

How Did We Get Right here?

In an more and more distracted world, it is not sufficient to simply create studying or coaching. L&D professionals need to unlock the important thing to learner engagement. The kicker is that the important thing you had one 12 months in the past (and even three or six months in the past) could now not work for a similar lock.

L&D leaders are seeing simply how necessary it’s to usher in contemporary concepts, new mindsets, and methods to create engaged studying. The previous manner of doing issues simply is not reducing it in immediately’s panorama.

One of many underlying causes that’s driving the necessity for heightened learner engagement is the pivot from in-person studying experiences to distant studying (courtesy of 2020). As one chief famous within the Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design report, “persons are fed up by now with on-line studying.”

One other L&D chief defined: “Partaking studying takes extra time than simply having a bunch of educational designers throw collectively fast content material they’ve constructed 100 occasions earlier than. It needs to be considerate, everybody needs to be on board, after which we’ve to have the suitable instruments to ship it in the suitable locations on the proper time. But when we fail to construct the suitable, participating content material, every part else after that fails.”

We could not agree extra!

How Do We Create Engaged Learners?

Competing for learners’ time and a spotlight within the age of digital “every part” elevates this problem to dizzying heights.

So how will we attain this lofty objective?

In our expertise, designing significant and interesting studying experiences entails having a transparent understanding of the enterprise wants in addition to your learners’ wants. It additionally requires strong challenge administration and a bit assist from some pleasant collaborators.

However these greatest practices will also be challenges for a lot of L&D groups. In spite of everything, learner engagement wasn’t the one problem we heard about in our report.

Fortuitously, we have handled many of those experiences in our shopper engagements. Learn on to learn the way to sort out these “challenge-tunities” (each challenges and alternatives). As a result of, let’s face it, something price doing in life is a bit bit difficult. And a whole lot of it begins with us first.

Tip #1—Speak To The Learners!

Conducting a wants evaluation that features a learner viewers evaluation is the 1st step in ensuring you might be designing learner-centric coaching. But it’s usually skipped.

Why is that this? 

Wants evaluation is commonly perceived as troublesome and time-consuming, with many stakeholders not understanding its worth. The truth is, after we requested, “What are the highest content material creation challenges which have come up for you prior to now 12 months,” studying professionals listed wants evaluation at No. 1. Getting dedication, buy-in, time, and coaching to conduct wants evaluation was their second greatest problem (see pages 25 and 28 of our Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design).

And the issue is not unique to stakeholders. As one survey respondent mentioned: “With everybody so busy, I am discovering increasingly more that’ challenge managers’ assigned to deal with a enterprise want are engaged on an island with simply themselves or perhaps a few people they know to establish the issue and construct an answer—earlier than they even ask somebody outdoors of the world they understand how they see the issue.”

Wants evaluation is the muse of all efficient studying options. Getting a broader view of the problem and understanding the enterprise’ and learners’ wants is crucial to constructing the suitable studying resolution—which can not even be coaching!

Whereas needs analysis should begin with the stakeholders, it is vitally necessary that you simply additionally discuss to the learners. As Emma Klosson, Studying Evangelist, writes in chapter two of The Needs Analysis Playbook: “With the perfect will on the planet, stakeholders and managers will attempt to ‘assist’ you by telling you issues like: I do know these learners effectively, I’ve labored with them for years; or, I do know what they may reply to. However the reality is: Nobody can inform you how the learners wish to be taught however the learners themselves.

Emma’s recommendation: Contain your target market in your studying expertise solutioning course of. Meet or communicate with them to search out out what their work life is like, what instruments and assets they’ve entry to, and the way straightforward it’s for them to suit studying into the move of labor. Discover out what they already know and may do and the way they wish to be taught. And take their wants under consideration when crafting your resolution.

Tip #2—Do Issues Proper (As a substitute Of Doing The Proper Factor)

Timeline considerations ranked larger for L&D leaders in our trends report (web page 25). Persistent change and the necessity to pivot put larger stress on leaders to quickly ship new studying packages. As one chief put it, “All the pieces needs to be achieved yesterday.” That about sums it up.

This was extensively evident all through the pandemic when the “proper factor to do” was to digitally rework content material to get it out to learners as rapidly as potential. Whereas this met a consumer want—to entry content material in a handy modality/format/well timed method—it did not all the time ship the best studying expertise.

Now, the pattern is shifting. We’re rising from our preliminary collective fight-or-flight response and have time to replicate and “do issues proper.” We will deal with high quality, creativity, and creating a greater general studying expertise going ahead in order that we interact learners.

Annie Hodson, SweetRush Director of Consumer Options, explains, “There is a distinct shift from ‘we’d like a right away resolution,’ to ‘we’d like that resolution to be higher.'”

What are you able to do? 

If you’re someplace between these locations (doing the suitable factor/doing issues proper) and may’t decelerate sufficient, listed here are some methods to include doing the suitable factor inside your constraints. Whether or not it is you doing the educational design or somebody in your staff, encourage utilizing design thinking techniques, integrating agile practices, and launching programs or components of this system over time. This manner, you will get timelines the place you want them to be with out compromising the standard of the learner expertise.

To unravel the timeline puzzle, discover out what’s most necessary to stakeholders and be consultative and versatile, however do not lose focus in your learners and efficient design.

Tip #3—Bear in mind That Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Collaboration is crucial to creating distinctive, learner-centric packages with excessive engagement. When the behind-the-scenes staff and its many disciplines (educational design, graphics, multimedia, and technical) come along with a shared imaginative and prescient, that is when the magic occurs. 

L&D leaders see room for enchancment in multidisciplinary collaboration (see pages 25 and 27 of the Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design report). As one L&D chief mentioned, “Collaboration is hard, until you’ve got a staff that’s keen to exit of their method to work collectively.” And for a lot of groups, digital collaboration is model new.

The easiest way to encourage teamwork and collaboration is when it is supported by tradition and course of. 

What are you able to do to encourage collaboration?

Be certain your staff feels supported and protected. L&D staff cultures that emphasize caring, empathy, and respect have a greater probability of making environments of psychological security, which encourage everybody to talk up and supply artistic concepts. As soon as that is established, the sky is the restrict. Harness the innate creativity, knowledge, and standpoint of every staff member.

SweetRush used the ability of significant collaboration and teamwork as the premise for our resolution design expertise, CoDesign℠. Throughout this in-person or digital expertise—that blends design considering with ADDIE—SweetRush groups work along with shopper groups (together with goal learners) to establish the wants and constraints, develop and prototype an answer, and conduct consumer testing.

The outcome: options which might be extra intently aligned with the enterprise and learner wants. And when learners’ wants are met, they’re extra engaged.

Tip #4—Meet Your Learners The place They Are

If you happen to’ve made it this far, it’ll come as no shock so that you can be taught that one of many greatest themes that emerged round learner engagement was related to competing for learners’ time and a spotlight. As one L&D chief shared, “…discovering artistic options to this drawback is a MUST.”

One resolution to this drawback is to fulfill learners the place they’re by way of strategic and considerate studying experiences that seamlessly mix into the move of their day and that take note of their constraints and limitations (comparable to time).

Whereas this looks as if a logical resolution, it requires a mindset shift from L&D. As one L&D chief notes: “Lots of the groups I am bringing collectively proper now have achieved issues in a prescriptive method for a really very long time. Our content material will probably be extra impactful for the learner and for the enterprise if we permit the learners extra self-direction and in-app experiences.”

This is an thought to get began…Quite than taking pictures for the celebs, why not suppose small? See how one can infuse studying into the format that your learners are most snug with, like their telephones and even e-mail. Interact learners by displaying them learn how to construct habits rapidly, successfully, and organically. Construct in flexibility and autonomy.

For instance, for our shopper Bayer, we created a management growth program referred to as Rise & Thrive that creates actionable micro-habits. And it does not require a lot time from the learner (particularly in comparison with a conventional management growth program)—the introductory “kick-start” program is simply three weeks! We acknowledged the learners—leaders at Bayer—had been already pressed for time and all the time on e-mail.

So we met learners the place they had been. 

By inspiring—and quick—movies, quizzes, “dares,” and extra, contributors might interact rapidly and instantly put what they realized into observe. The journey created engaged leaders who felt outfitted and assured to encourage, steadiness, and empower their groups.

Learners are calling the pictures with how, the place, and after they be taught (whether or not studying an article on LinkedIn or studying to prepare dinner on TikTok). They need to do it on their phrases and in a manner that matches their life. L&D simply has to faucet into the proper content material and format to attach and make it stick. And all of it boils all the way down to understanding our learners. Study extra about Bayer’s Rise & Thrive on web page 31 of the Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design report.

The Energy Of Engaged Studying (And Engaged Learners)

As L&D evolves to create studying experiences that help, construct up, and expand our potential as people and a collective workforce, the necessity to interact learners is bigger than ever.

When learners are engaged of their private growth, they’re extra prone to undertake the abilities, mindsets, and behaviors that can have an effect on actual change.

No stress, L&D!

However critically, this aspirational work will not be with out its challenges. The excellent news is that you simply’re not alone on this journey. Your friends are all going through related hopes and fears. And assistance is at hand!

Uncover extra challenges and inventive options to maintain your learners engaged, studying, and thriving in our report, Current Trends in Learning and Development & Learning Experience Design.


Extra Sources


It’s All About Your People! Embracing Human-Centered Business, Workplace Culture, And Learning Design

How Training Needs Analysis Helps L&D Overcome Common Learning Design Challenges

Learning in the Flow of Work: 4 Tips to Boost Employee Performance



eBook Release: SweetRush


Our job is that can assist you obtain your aims and achieve success. Interact us at any level, from evaluation to customized growth (together with e-learning, cell, gamification, and ILT) to analysis.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here