Top Tips for Encouraging Users to Engage with Your Learning
By Tess Robinson, Director, LearningAge Solutions
It is incredibly disheartening to put all of your creative efforts into a piece of learning design for it to be largely ignored by your target audience. You’ve identified the organisational need, followed a robust design process and come up with a killer approach – so why won’t people engage with it? The answer is often that internal marketing and communication about the project has been ineffectual, or even non-existent. Here are our top tips to stop this happening to you…
- People won’t use something that they don’t even know is there. Find out where your target audience hang out and focus your communications there. For example, this could be posters near the coffee machine or using particular online social networks.
- Help your learners to understand what’s in it for them. Depending on your subject matter and audience, introducing a fun or a competitive element can be very effective for raising awareness and encouraging your learning to go ‘viral’ within the organisation.
- Align your elearning to a wider organisational initiative or strategic objective. Any training that is being undertaken should be in line with company strategy anyway, but it can help raise awareness and encourage participation by piggy-backing onto something that is already high-profile within the organisation.
- Find yourself some advocates. Imagine what a difference it will make to take-up if you have someone who is visible, influential and popular within the organisation telling everyone else how great your learning intervention is. The flip side is to find ways of communicating with your detractors. For example, if you know one of your stakeholders has issues with your approach, don’t just ignore them and hope they’ll go away. Take time to listen to them and work through their objections. If you do it right, they could become an advocate too!
- Run a pilot. Although end-users will have been involved in your design process, this will give you the chance to gain more feedback from the users themselves and to create a bit of excitement around your elearning. Their feedback will help you to hone your offering before rolling it out and your trailblazers can then also be used as champions to help spread the word.
- Don’t just communicate about the project when it is launched but share progress throughout the build. Be open about the challenges you have faced in creating the learning intervention and celebrate any successes with the wider organisational community. The aim is to have your audience feel like they have taken a journey with you, that they are active participants and that everyone can share in the glory when it all goes right.