How To: Get your Employees, Partners & Customers Motivated to Learn

• 4 min read
Engagement requires an emotional connection between content and the learner to serve their learning and development needs

Motivating your learners by nurturing learning engagement.

It’s a problem learning and development (L&D) sees time and time again. Learning programs don’t connect with learner needs or fail to engage learners. 

Getting your learners (whether they are employees, partners or customers) motivated to learn starts by focusing on engagement and its importance to learning success. Motivation can only happen after you have fostered engagement. And engagement isn’t just keeping learners busy. It’s about connecting with them and then keeping them motivated by: 

Giving them the tools they need to learn.
Fostering a sense of pride in achieving personal goals.
Encouraging learning for the love of it. 

“Employee retention and engagement are now the #1 problems companies face…”
Josh Bersin, Bersin By Deloitte 

The risks of low engagement: 

– Higher dropout rates
– Lower knowledge retention
– Greater employee turnover 

Connecting Learning Engagement and Motivation 

When learning content and the platform used to deliver it are disconnected from the needs of the business and its workforce, the motivation to use it is low. 

Engagement requires an emotional connection between content and the learner. The only way to do that is by knowing what drives people to spend time, effort and energy learning. 

Questions to Ask to Determine Engagement and Ways to Motivate Learners 

Recency
– How recently have your learners logged into the learning platform?
– Are they aware of new content or learning experiences when they become available? 

Frequency
– How often do they log in?
– Is this frequency consistent? 

Duration
– How long are they staying on the platform?
– If they aren’t staying long, what are they looking at?
– If they are staying on for longer periods, why is that? 

Virality
– Are people talking about your learning platform within the company?
– What are they saying? Is it good or is it bad? 

Rating
– What do learners think of not only your learning platform, but also the content within it?
– Are they giving you feedback about what could be improved? 

By asking these questions and delving into the data you have about learner activity, you will have a clearer understanding of what is working and what isn’t. 

You can then apply these insights to build out learning strategies which are both engaging and get learners motivated to interact continuously.

Motivators to Build Learning Around 

As we have outlined in a previous blog, there are two general types of motivators – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to internal motivations such as autonomy, mastery and meaning. Extrinsic refers to external motivational techniques such as money, rewards, trophies etc. 

E-learning, in general, promotes autonomy for learners as they can choose when and where to take their courses but here are a few learning strategies that leverage both types of motivators: 

Make Learning Bite-sized 

Microlearning is all about content delivered in small, short bursts, such as videos or quick, easy-to-digest animations. One of our customers, Cineplex, supports more than 13,000 learners across Canada with The Cineplex Academy. The average age of a Cineplex Academy learner is 24. Knowing this demographic and the working environment, Cineplex provides information that is bite-sized and easily digested and delivers mobile learning as part of its learning delivery strategy. 

Keep Things Fun 

Gamification includes some of the most common extrinsic motivators, such as the use of competition, badges management, point systems etc.

Employees who may lack drive or are easily distracted typically need an extra nudge, and gamification gives them an incentive to actively participate. 

Fun can also mean keeping things familiar to deliver more engaging user experiences, which was the case for another Docebo customer, Vision Hospitality Group.

“There’s something that can potentially be a little intimidating for people who are not all that familiar with computers to sit them down in front of one for training. But if we can hand them an iPad, it makes it a lot more accessible and a lot less intimidating — it makes it fun,” says Megan Brown, Director of Culture and Talent Development at Vision Hospitality Group.

Creating a Community Around Learning 

A community only exists when the members of that community interact with each other. The same should go for your learning activities.

A modern learning platform should enable L&D admins to measure learner progress or determine if learning content is helping solve job-related challenges encountered every day. By aligning it with the situations your learners face and providing the answers they need at their time of need, you create a demand for continuous learning. This ultimately leads to greater knowledge retention and more effective learning outcomes. 

What are your strategies for driving engagement and motivating your learners?See how Docebo helps you deliver automated and personalized learning experiences at scale in the flow of work to drive growth, organizational performance and revenue.