How To Add Intrinsic Motivators In Online Training
There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is governed by outside forces, such as the need for approval, tangible rewards, or simply to avoid negative consequences. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is fueled entirely by intrinsic motivators and factors. Employees who are intrinsically motivated are participating in the online training experience because they know it will benefit them in the real world, and that it will improve their lives to some extent.
Extrinsic motivation is relatively easy to achieve, but intrinsic motivation is more complicated. This is primarily due to the fact that you must first discover what drives an individual, what makes them want to learn, and why they are willing and ready to actively participate. Here are some tips that can help you add intrinsic motivation to your online training initiatives.
- Give them control of the online training experience.
Autonomy gives employees the opportunity to pursue their personal learning paths and choose how they are going to reach their goals. If they know that they are in complete control of not only the experience, but the outcome, they are more likely to fuel their own motivation. Give them supplemental online training materials or resources that they can explore outside of the training environment, or offer self-assessments that they can use to identify personal performance gaps. All of your employees should still receive the individualized support and assistance they need, but they should also be empowered to take charge of the online training process.
- Foster a supportive learning culture.
Developing a successful corporate learning culture offers two key motivational benefits. Firstly, it makes employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Instead of being forced to participate, they willingly become active members of the online training community because they know it will benefit them. Secondly, it creates a meaningful connection between them and their colleagues. They can tap into the experience and talents of others, and have the chance to collaborate with like-minded individuals who are pursuing similar goals.
- Design activities that involve creativity and ingenuity.
Encourage your employees to think outside the box and approach challenges from a different angle. Ask them to think of new ways to tackle a task or innovative solutions to a problem they face on a daily basis. The key to intrinsically motivating your employees is to involve creativity, ingenuity and problem solving as much as possible. By doing so, they aren't simply going through the motions and repeating the same steps time after time. Instead, they are venturing outside of their comfort zone and turning their online training experience into an opportunity for personal growth.
- Make the experience real and relevant.
Employees must be able to see the real world benefits and applications of what they are learning. The desired outcome should tie into real and relevant challenges, situations, or obstacles they face on a daily basis. Otherwise, they won't be able to see the true value of the online training experience. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by integrating online scenarios, simulations, and serious games into your online training course. This gives them the opportunity to make their own choices, which lead to negative or positive consequences. It's in a risk-free environment, but they still get the sense that their actions and decisions have an impact. You should also learn as much as possible about their professional priorities, so that you can make them the main focus of their online training.
- Give them a purpose.
It's a known fact that human beings are intrinsically motivated by the idea of fulfilling a purpose. This is why it's so important to create online training that focuses on the specific needs, skills, and tasks of every employee. If they are able to see how the online training can help them to fulfill their professional goals and be a more productive member of the team, they will be driven to succeed. You may also want to get their point of view by asking what they believe their purpose to be. What are they passionate about? What makes them want to be better employees? How do they fit into the organization, as a whole?
- Create challenging, long term goals.
A major source of intrinsic motivation is trying to achieve a goal that is both challenging and attainable. More specifically, a long term goal that requires perseverance, determination, and mental focus. It's relatively easy to reach a short term goal that doesn't call for much effort or concentration. However, pursuing a goal that takes days, weeks, or even months to accomplish is a completely different story. This is because it centers on delayed achievement and gratification. You aren't able to immediately reap the rewards or see the outcome. Think of it this way: if an employee can see the finish line right in front of them they are more likely to give it all they have. If the finish line is out of sight, employees are going to need intrinsic motivation and dedication to reach their goal.
Intrinsic motivation is a powerful resource. To take advantage of it, however, you must learn as much as possible about your employees. Surveys, focus groups, interviews, and eLearning assessments are some of the most effective ways to discover the motivators that influence your employees. Find out what drives them and makes them want to become better employees, and then use this information to create meaningful and inspiring online training experiences.
There is no doubt that online training offers a myriad of advantages. Employees gain the opportunity to build their skill sets, master complicated tasks, and improve their performance. But how do you really know when they are ready for online training? Read the article 6 Tell-Tale Signs That Your Employees Are Ready For Online Training to discover signs to look for that indicate your employees are eager and excited for an online training program.