Liam Butler, VP, Corporate Sales EMEA at SumTotal

4 easy steps to employee engagement

Thanks in large part to the pervasiveness of brands like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify, we are now seeing their influence reach beyond the business and consumer arenas and into education. While each of the above has obvious mass appeal, they also excel in having a very personal appeal. Think of how each brand works at tracking individual selections and then based upon them, offers suggested titles, movies or music that might be of interest. I have taken their recommendations on many occasions and somewhat reluctantly must admit they appear to know me better than I know myself.

So it is hardly surprising that what we now experience as consumers, we seek as learners. Technology can deliver this in a way that was not conceivable in the past. This means an organisation’s learning and development (L&D) efforts must also evolve in order to keep pace with changing employee preferences. Many of us are already turning to YouTube, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), Ted Talks and a host of other channels to find engaging, easy to digest content that is personalised to our particular interests and goals. So why not our employer?

For employers, it is easy to meet these demands and deliver learning programmes that match consumer, as well as learner, preferences.

All it takes is 4 easy-to-follow steps:

1. Make your content relatable

It is all about the individual. Everything is now increasingly personalised, so learning content must follow suit and be relatable. Think of an episode of a popular TV show, for instance Game of Thrones. As the viewer, we get so familiar with a particular character that it almost feels as if we know them. This is what should be recreated through training materials – that same sense of familiarity. This form of learning creates empathy and relatability between the character and the learner and, ultimately, makes the message stick.

2. Keep sessions short

With emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and more, we are constantly being bombarded with demands for our time and attention. To ensure learners invest time in training programmes, their time has to be made the most of. Research shows that around five minutes is the ideal length for a learning module – long enough to convey an important lesson, but short enough to sustain interest so that the facts are retained.

3. Allow self-guided learning

When personal development is combined with professional development, L&D becomes more valuable and meaningful. For example, if an employee wants to learn about ‘Time Management’, they should be able to pick and choose from the best books, videos and courses on the topic. Employees should be able to consume the content in a way that suits their needs. In time, more and more companies will allow employees access to public material. In turn, this will enable learners to compile a variety of personally selected content and gain learning credit for it.

4. Invest in consumer-led technology

The future of learning is not just personalised, it’s also in real-time. Managers need to have immediate access to information to allow them to problem solve quickly and efficiently, solving difficult situations at work.
As companies continue to invest in their employees, it makes good business sense that the investment appeals to the intended audience. This will mean that not only is it engaging, but it also encourages greater learning and retention.

Join the discussion as a guest or using , or Google

Top Ten Most Read