Drive learner engagement in a world of unknowns

Rosie Cairnes, Regional Vice-President, Skillsoft Asia Pacific, details how organisations can drive learner engagement during uncertainty.
By: | February 26, 2021

By Rosie Cairnes, Regional Vice-President, Skillsoft Asia Pacific 

As a result of COVID-19, companies are exploring technical and non-technical pivots. These may include spending shifts to enable remote work for an extended period, increased focus on cybersecurity, expanded mental health and wellness programs, and enhanced personal safety measures.

How will companies successfully pivot to a digital learning environment that is engaging and delivers sustainable outcomes in a world full of variables and unknowns, while also keeping costs and complexity under control? When it comes to engaging your people effectively in today’s uncertain environment, here are some approaches that can help:

  1. Connect learning plans to each learner’s short and long-term career goals

Historically, personal growth was the number one motivator for learning. Now, our user base identifies delivering results in their current role as their number one motivation, while the second biggest driver is preparing for their next role in the organisation. This shift from personal interests to training that impacts their performance implies that today’s learners are working hard to deliver business results and influence outcomes.

Develop a clear connection for your people between what they are learning and their current or future job role. This motivates them to dedicate time and attention to their development. Next, ensure they can easily find assets that help them drive results quickly, and more importantly, apply what they are learning to their daily work.

  1. Offer meaningful, portable recognition for individual accomplishments

Traditionally, learners who completed training programmes displayed framed certificates of achievement as a source of pride. Still, long before COVID-19, digital badges became a proven method to motivate and engage learners. The power lies in their portability, allowing learners to attach them to their online profiles, while also offering a digital history of skills that the company can reference as well.

Allow your people not only to reach milestones but also to spread the word. Empower your learners to cultivate their personal brand and proudly showcase their expertise among colleagues, peers, managers, and social media networks. Encourage learners to share their accomplishments across digital environments in a way that is progressive, personal, and verifiable.

  1. Enable learners to spend more time honing their skills, and less time searching for the right content

Success amid a global pandemic requires a level of multitasking and agility previously thought unimaginable. Engaged learners develop the habit of maximising their time with learning that fits into the cracks of their calendar. To support this, learners need a clear starting point, as well as guidance on where to go next to achieve their goal.

Personalisation is a critical element of an engaging learning experience. To avoid information overload, and to help your people identify Point A, look for opportunities to suggest curated content that individual learners are likely to find meaningful and relevant. Next, promote continuous learning by offering additional suggestions based on the learner’s activity and the activities of their peers. As learners refine one skill, this is how they will be enticed to develop a new one.

  1. Meet learners wherever they are

Of course, people were busy and short on time long before the pandemic, but today’s reality amplifies the need to capably manage professional and personal responsibilities simultaneously. Imagine the employee who routinely listened to audiobooks while commuting home in the evening. With so many offices still closed, that commute, and thus learning window, has vanished. Meeting learners where they are today requires an acknowledgment that the cracks in the calendar available for learning are even smaller than they were pre-COVID-19.

In addition to AI-driven content recommendations and mobile experiences, provide your people with learning opportunities that are not merely adjacent to their daily responsibilities but embedded within their workflow. This environment brings the notion of immediate application to a new level.

Where to Go from Here

The most insightful and applicable content in the world is only useful if learners can discover and consume it meaningfully. Learner engagement is an essential element of a successful pivot to a digital learning environment that delivers positive outcomes.

Organisations that adopted Skillsoft’s newest learning platform, Percipio, have seen a dramatic increase in learner engagement and report a higher confidence in skills and abilities applied on the job. To learn more about how the Percipio platform can improve learner engagement at your organisation, please request a demo.

Join Skillsoft at Learning Technologies Asia 2021, which will examine how organisations can develop their L&D strategies to stay ahead, innovate and grow.