House Of Smarts: 5 Ways To Get Teams Binge-Learning

How To Get Teams Binge-Learning 

Who among us has not lost a weekend to an entire season of Orange is the New Black or House of Cards? The prevalence of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu has awakened consumers’ appetite for binge-watching, and changed the way traditional entertainment networks are offering content. So how can the Learning and Development community tap into on-demand TV’s best practices and foster a culture of binge-learning? Through my firm’s work with entertainment giants like HBO, Time Warner, and others, we’ve identified 5 tactics designed to compel learning that’s addictive among employees.

  1. Queue up entertaining video content.
    It’s a YouTube world, and if your Learning and Development program still uses PowerPoints or yawn-inducing modules, employees won’t log a minute of learning beyond the minimum requirement. Like everyone’s favorite shows, the most addictive learning resources are quick, serial, compelling, and on-demand. Your content needs to tap into the powerful reward center of employees’ brains, where a surge of dopamine is released after a task is completed. This dopamine then motivates people to continue, creating a feedback loop that can last for hours. For examples of training resources that offer this level of engagement, check out this video series and this one.
  2. Make binge-learning easy.
    Accessing your learning portal or Intranet should be as simple as logging into Netflix. And once employees are in, how easy is it to navigate? Is there a post-play feature that pushes users to the next learning resource... or is it a five-click process? Can people save items to a queue or mark as favorites? Work with your IT division to shorten the steps toward learning and create an environment that’s intuitive and totally immersive.
  3. Make binge-learning appetizing.
    Why not shamelessly pair your learning program with the food most associated with binge-watching? Spread the word that the Learning and Development cupboard is stocked with complimentary gourmet popcorn for employees to pick up before binge-learning sessions. While the promise of basic microwave popcorn may inspire a few takers, we recommend springing for individually wrapped packs of this Bacon & Cheese Popcorn as well as this traditional Movie-Style.
  4. Share weekly previews of episodes.
    Take a tip from every network’s fall-programming playbook and show your audience a sneak peek of can’t-miss learning. Most video-training series will come with a trailer, but after you’ve shared it, you’ll need to push new previews to your audience. If your video-editing skills are as wanting as mine, take a screenshot of a scene in this week’s spotlight episode and use a free site like this one overlay a line of funny text with a call to action underneath.
  5. Publicly reward the Binge-Learner of the Month.
    Some employees will respond to a funny preview or the promise of free snacks, and others will be compelled only by the challenge of competition. Make the prize enviable: a front-row parking spot for 30 days; free lunch for a week; or an Apple TV console for more binging. Once you have buy-in on the reward, announce the challenge enterprise-wide. Share a photo of last month’s winner (perhaps with a silly quote or video from him or her) at the beginning of each month to maintain the competitive spirit around learning.

Want more tips on how to motivate your teams? Our Innovation Portal has over 200 videos, podcasts, and tools you’ll want to binge on. Take a 5 min demo and get a free tool (23 Nontraditional Ways to Incentivize Employees). 

Email me at and say “Demo and Tool please!”