Corporate eLearning

Learners Think Training Is A Burden - 8 Tips to Change This!

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I am sorry to bring the bad news, but unless you are creating commercial courses that people buy on their own, there is a big possibility your precious learners think that training is a burden. You might be putting your heart and soul into a product for people who actually wish training would disappear from their to-do list, and think that training is a useless waste of their time, time that they can use for other, more productive activities (like for example meeting this month’s target). I know it is unfair and harsh, but can you really blame them?

Training Is A Burden - 8 Tips To Change This!

If you are a part of the corporate training world, you create training that is going to be explicitly or implicitly mandatory. In many corporates, management forces employees to take training; this is in itself a major turn-off. Adults do not like to be told what to do. Anyone with any knowledge of Adult Learning knows that one of the most important factors of a successful adult learning endeavor is that learners have ownership of their learning. Ownership easily disappears when you tell them they have to learn, because guess what? They will resent it. Some corporates think that since they pay people in the training department to create courses, they must have all employees take them, often without even considering if it would be useful for all of them. Other times, for quality conformance, standard compliance, or maybe for a certain certification, they have people take courses that sometimes are irrelevant to what they do or that contain information they already know. Do you think this is worth forcing them to take time away from an already busy day?

What to do?

  1. Spend sufficient time doing the Needs Analysis; please do not rush it. Make sure learners actually need the training, and that it is not there just to increase the number of courses on your LMS. If they do not need it, they will not want to take it. Recipe for an un-engaged learner.
  2. Whenever applicable, always start your course by finding out what your learners already know. You can save your learners a lot of time and effort if you customize their individual learning experience based on their needs, and simply skip what they already know.
  3. Also, please allow them to skip ahead; they are not your prisoners. Do not lock the “Next” button to force them to listen. If they do not want to listen to the end of the audio track on a slide, they will not, even if you keep it playing.
  4. Now imagine a virtual gun, and shoot the one-fits-all method in the face. You cannot have all your employees take the same training; it just does not make sense. On the rare occasion that you honestly believe something is really important enough that everyone needs to know, maybe like a safety course in an industrial environment, follow the previous advice, and keep the course itself really short and fun.
  5. Add motivation to the mix. Consider Gamification on a large scale. Do not stop at gamifying your courses, try to turn your LMS into a multiple player gaming website. Give them badges when they pass a course, create levels, put the names of the most active employees on a wall of fame, and have them take little courses or assessments as missions that can unlock courses you think they want to take.
  6. Embrace social networking. Many LMS’s now support the use social networking as a tool for learners to vote for their favorite courses, comment on what they liked or disliked, or tag colleagues whom they think should take a certain course. Add credits to the courses and tag the design and development team that worked on it, allowing learners to interact with them, ask them for help, suggest new courses, or just tell them they enjoyed the course. This can go a long way.
  7. Listen to your learners; make sure you take your courses’ evaluation reports into consideration. If learners do not like a course, figure out why and fix it. A learner’s feedback can be very insightful and can even guide your creative train of thought in future courses.
  8. Last but absolutely not least, make your courses fun so your learners actually want to take it. It is not enough to present the information, make sure you engage your learners, get them excited, get them to relate, make them laugh, ask them for their opinion, and give them ownership over their own learning experiences. Create courses that educate and entertain at the same time.

Your learners think training is a burden because they do not get their way, just give it to them; it’s a win-win.

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