We have been delivering eLearning for major brands for over 30 years. We know more than anyone about how to make it a success.
Some of the high street’s biggest names, from Google to Intel to Dixons Carphone, have relied on us to train their staff and inform their customers. We help them increase sales and they come back time and time again.
Every project is bespoke, but they each have several things in common. Here they are as seven tips – plus one to avoid – for putting together successful training programmes that keep learners engaged.
1. Stagger the release
We encourage clients not to roll out everything on day one, and instead plan for a phased introduction. There’s a very good reason for this: a high percentage of learners will log-in right away, and either try a few modules or set it aside for another time.
What happens if they return three weeks later and see no change? They’ll believe that the platform is stale, and they’re unlikely to buy-in. You need to be able to show them that your learning investment is a dynamic, ever-changing process.
2. Keep it current
We encourage learners to give feedback on every module they work through. That way we can tweak them if they aren’t engaging the audiense. Likewise, if anything changes, such as the data that underpins a quiz question, or a core business process, we can update the content to reflect it.
Keeping your learning programme current doesn’t only mean it more accurately reflects the business environment. It also stops learners losing faith if they spot errors and omissions.
3. Plan, plan, plan
It’s vital to write a plan for your current and future content and stick to it. Having successfully rolled out a training programme for one of the best travel companies in the industry, we worked together on a roadmap of content to support its business.
By knowing what’s in the pipeline, what’s coming next, you can evolve your training programme and signpost forthcoming developments while they’re still works in progress.
4. Have a news feature
A news page is important as it shows you care about the content and that there’s a reason to come back again to the training platform. This, or an emailed newsletter, is a really effective solutiuon.
If that’s not possible, at the very least have a welcome message or a banner advert that changes frequently. Adding a banner is one of the easiest ways to give the impression of ongoing updates, even if it says nothing more than “Welcome to February 2021’s training content”.
5. People engage with people
Wherever possible, include pictures of the team behind the training as part of the learning platform. Learning can be very mechanical and distant, but a picture of the ‘Head of HR’ beside a short welcome note, or appearing in a video talking about the programme’s latest additions, will enthuse your audience.
They’ll perceive that there’s a whole team behind the platform looking after their development.
6. Cultivate champions
Champions are your most loyal and enthusiastic staff. Think of them as your agents on in the business – not there to spy and report back, but to promote the training platform in discussion with their colleagues.
We helped a major retailer build a business transformation plan. After years of writing orders on pads, it was going paper-free, a move that took a lot of getting used to for its staff. To ease the process, we highlighted select people, who were to be trained first so they can act as ambassadors for the new learning system. This was crucial to the plan’s success.
7. Offer an incentive
There are several ways to do this. Having learners compete for the glory of a leader board works well, if their managers embrace it, but if you can also offer a tangible reward you’ll be able to take your people further.
Many clients consider adding points to their training, which learners will earn for progressing their training. They are then able to swap them for discounts off the manufacturer’s hardware and services.
Incentivising training this way keeps learners engaged.
DON’T assume everyone likes the same thing
One size doesn’t fit all. Some people thrive in the classroom while others prefer remote Learning. Some are visual learners and some like to read.
Listen to your audience, actively follow-up at the end of a module, see what works for them and what doesn’t, and evolve your bespoke training programme over time if you want to get the best results.