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The five secrets that unlock exceptional learner engagement

• 9 min read

What gets your learners excited? (No, not pizza.) 

Delicious, yes. But not the best way to engage your learners.

Fortunately, in Docebo’s latest webinar, Unlocking the Secrets of Learner Engagement: A Deep Dive into 3 Success Stories, we had the awesome opportunity to hear from three diverse companies, revealing five amazing learner engagement secrets!

Let’s dive into these success stories from Kiehl’s Since 1851, La-Z-Boy, and Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and find out how, with the help of GuyKat, a specialist in custom eLearning development, they are unleashing the full potential of the Docebo learning platform to create exceptional learning experiences.

Watch the full recording of this webinar here, or read on to reveal these secrets!

Secret #1: Nail the ‘look and feel’

You really want to make the appearance of your platform as engaging and as on brand as possible from the very start.” – Mia Kernaghan, Senior Digital Education Specialist, Kiehl’s Since 1851

First of all, let’s talk about first impressions. As it turns out, we decide on our first impressions within the first 7 seconds – maybe even as quick as a tenth of a second! Of course, this rule applies to your LMS too! 

Just take a look at Kiehl’s learning platform, Kiehl’s Academy. As soon as the sign-on and homepages load, learners are greeted with eye-popping, animated visuals and loads of customizable features.

Kiehl’s Academy makes an incredible first impression with plenty of eye-catching and customized features apparent on its sign-on page (left) and homepage (right).

Why do this? Your learning content may be stellar, but content by itself will not always get your learners through the door. Today’s learners expect a modern user experience that includes strong visuals and usability. In one survey of over 12,000 consumers, Adobe found that 59% prefer a well-designed, visually engaging website versus one that’s more basic (and boring).

It’s not just aesthetics! A site that’s easy to look at is generally easier to navigate, too. If your learners find it easy to move around your learning platform, they’re more likely to discover your amazing content.

La-Z-Boy recently worked with eLearning solutions specialist GuyKat to transform their Docebo-powered learning platform. The new landing page makes their content more accessible and engaging to the eye.

The BIS learned this lesson too when they commissioned an independent review of their learning platform, FSI Connect. Alan Clifford, Business Analyst at BIS says that they were getting increasing feedback from stakeholders that the platform could benefit from a facelift.

So, what did they do? With GuyKat’s help, the BIS revamped FSI Connect with a modern, more visually striking design. They also placed the most relevant learning content front-and-center on the homepage. “We wanted to minimize clicks and scrolling, and present [our platform] in a logical way,” says Alan.

BIS revamped the design of their learning platform, FSI Connect, from the ground up, making the user experience cleaner and easier to navigate.

Simply put, effective visual design and an amazing user experience can ensure that those crucial first impressions are always positive

Secret #2: Customize your content

When it comes to optimizing engagement, there really is no ‘one-size-fits-all’.You have to tailor it to different circumstances.

– Alan Clifford, Business Analyst, Bank for International Settlements.

Next, let’s take a closer look at content. Snazzy visuals and an accessible user experience have gotten your learners through the door, but what gets them to stay?

For one, it’s integral to not prescribe a single experience that every learner must unwaveringly follow. Just take a look at the user base for each of these companies:

  • La-Z-Boy’s employees range from as young as 20 to older than 70. Learners at one end of this age range have different attitudes and preferences compared to the other!
  • Kiehl’s has over 4,000 Skin Pros worldwide on its roster, each bringing their own level of comfort with technology and experience with the brand. This is a diverse audience with different age groups, languages, and local markets.
  • On FIS Connect, BIS has around 11,000 learners across 300 institutions and 160 countries. Experience levels range from fresh hires all the way up to central bank managers. 

Would you give each learner on any of these platforms the same content experience? Absolutely not! Your LMS needs to deliver a personalized experience to its learners, tailored to their needs and adapted to how they learn.

Let’s take another look at BIS. With thousands of courses on a wide range of niche content–and even more users–it’s absolutely essential that their LMS delivers a diversity of learning experiences.

Fortunately, with their Docebo platform, BIS could create eight separate learning portals, each tailored specifically to a particular audience and subject matter. This makes it incredibly easy for their learners to find the content that matters to them.

With a multitude of use cases, BIS ensures that each of its learning portals on FSI Connect has unique content and personality. All are hosted on the same domain, and learners can self-select at any time which is their default homepage.

Kiehl’s Since 1851, with help from GuyKat, created sub-channels for the 350+ courses on Kiehl’s Academy, creating a more intuitive and customized user experience. The product channel on Kiehl’s Academy has sub-channels dedicated to cleansers, toners, eye creams, and other skin care products. That’s definitely more convenient if you’re looking to learn about a specific product!

Learners on Kiehl’s Academy can pick and choose the courses relevant to their needs, with sub-channels giving even more specific information.

This is all to drive home one major point: Customization is non-negotiable. If you want your learners engaged, don’t clutter up their learning experience and lead them down the wrong aisle.

Secret #3: Adapt to how your learners *actually* learn

No one wants to sit in front of a computer, especially if you’re brand new and listen to nothing but computer courses all day long. The action is on the floor.

– Amy Salm, Director of Product Education at La-Z-Boy.

Want to know a really neat way that employees at La-Z-Boy are engaging with their platform, LearnAtLZB? While an employee waits between customers, they can access their learning program on the floor via a tablet they carry. On the fly, learners brush up on the latest product knowledge and safety training available.

It makes sense: If the floor is where La-Z-Boy employees spend most of their time, why not bring the learning experience there? It’s a convenient way to get that extra boost of product knowledge that can make a difference in closing a sale. La-Z-Boy also designed the interface of their learning platform to be consumer-friendly too, in case an employee wants to show that info directly to a customer.

Inside LearnAtLZB, employees can easily find content relevant to their position and needs, such as sales and design info or safety training.

La-Z-Boy excels at microlearning. “The majority of our courses are 10 minutes or less, so [our employees] can get in a snippet of quick learning,” says Amy Salm, Director of Product Education at La-Z-Boy. “Then they’re back on the floor and they can practice what they’ve learned.”

This means that LearnAtLZB has to be flexible enough to keep track of a learner’s progress (in case they need to stop and help a customer), while still high-level enough to be understandable to customers. 

Secret #4 – Reward engagement with goodies

“It’s important to recognize and reward your users at every single opportunity, whether that’s in small- or large-scale ways.’”

– Mia Kernaghan, Senior Digital Education Specialist, Kiehl’s Since 1851

Of course, your learners want to do well on your platform. But what are you actually offering to them in return for their engagement? For example, are you making it easy for your learners to prove their competency through certification?

Kiehl’s did just that when they created an advanced certification course for skincare expertise. As Mia Kernaghan, Senior Digital Education Specialist, at Kiehl’s Since 1851, puts it, “[Our users] have tangible results for their learning, and they can better connect with customers as well as demonstrate their elevated expertise.”

In addition to gamification, videos, and knowledge checks, Kiehl’s advanced certification includes opportunities for interactivity.

But that’s not the only thing Kiehl’s offers that makes their learners feel accomplished. They also deliver physical rewards too, in the form of their Sustainable Rewards Store. Through this digital storefront, Kiehl’s rewards their learners for completing courses and other winning achievements.

Giving rewards is also a great opportunity to reinforce the values of your company’s brand. Consider: What do your learners – and your business – consider special and worthy of being a reward? 

In Kiehls’ case, the Sustainable Rewards Store upholds their brand commitment to sustainability. The products they offer as rewards are eco-friendly, packaged with recycled material, and create zero waste. “We’re proud to say that we’ve shipped over 2,000 items worldwide to each user’s front door,” says Mia.

Through surveying its learners, Kiehl’s found that many used the company’s Sustainable Rewards Store to lead more sustainable lives, inside-and-outside of work.

Sure, it may take investment in time and resources to integrate a certification and/or rewards system into your learning platform. But it’s easy to do with your Docebo LMS; for instance, you can use Docebo to create customized e-learning certificates. And once you consider the returns – incredible engagement from your learners – it’s certainly worth the effort!

Secret #5 – Power to the power users

“When it comes to curating content and knowing what learners need to learn from our massive library, it’s our power users that have the biggest role.

– Alan Clifford, Business Analyst, Bank for International Settlements.

Who are the power users in your LMS? The learners who use your platform so much, they know all the ins and the outs of the platform? 

Though they are already well engaged, it’s crucial not to ignore these folks…in fact, you’re probably not giving them enough attention right now! That’s because your power users, more than anyone else in your company, know what your learners – their colleagues – are most interested in. That’s valuable intel!

BIS, recognizing this potential, gave their power users “mini-superpowers”: Dedicated, customized homepages and admin-like tools to create learning plans and assign them to other learners. Effectively, BIS created cheerleaders for their learning platform!

Meanwhile, La-Z-Boy provides a dedicated coach-and-share area within LearnAtLZB, called the Knowledge Sharing Community. It’s a formal way for employees to share what they’ve learned with others. Naturally, we want to help our co-workers, so why not enable that with your LMS? 

Enabled by the Knowledge Sharing Community, learners can share best practices and additional info on a variety of topics relevant to employees at La-Z-Boy.

Companies can also take advantage of Docebo’s Discover, Coach & Share feature, where businesses can empower their learners not only to discover content, but to share their own. Effectively, it’s like creating your own mini social platform, customized to fit your business’ unique needs and culture.

Kiehl’s did just that, transforming their application of Discover, Coach & Share to create their own social learning channel: Kiehl’s Global Community. Led by the power users of Kiehl’s Academy, it’s helping learners foster cooperation and trust as they work together towards a greater goal.

Allowing learners to share their achievements, Kiehl’s Global Community is a great complement to the more traditional learning content found on Kiehl’s Academy. 

It can be a balancing act to figure out just how much power you want to give your power users. But, as these examples show, providing even one opportunity for your power users to contribute is an excellent way to raise engagement across the board.

Renewed learner engagement delivers results

Let’s see the results!

  • When La-Z-Boy relaunched LearnAtLZB last August, they witnessed user engagement “increase exponentially,” according to Amy. More employees than ever are participating in their learning program. Recently, La-Z-Boy added 100 new users to the platform. Just yesterday Amy added 4 new branches to the platform. The word is spreading, the excitement is definitely there!
  • Last year, Kiehl’s won Docebo’s Best Employee Training Program, and were a finalist for this year’s Best Social Learning Strategy. Today, over 75% of their markets worldwide use Kiehl’s Academy as the primary training tool for education. Not bad at all!
  • Meanwhile, BIS and their learners are thrilled with their modern LMS. “We’ve got this nice, lovely, new modern platform that’s working really well, and everyone really likes it,” says Alan. They’ve also noticed a decrease in the number of technical problems reported by learners, freeing up time to look at other ways they can improve their LMS. 

A big congrats to La-Z-Boy, Kiehl’s, and BIS for boosting their learner engagement!

Remember these takeaways

Though La-Z-Boy, Kiehl’s, and BIS are three very different companies that wield their Docebo LMS in three distinct ways, there are plenty of common factors! Let’s review the five secrets to unlocking learner engagement:

  1. Invest in your aesthetic. Content is king, but you will never get a second chance to make a first impression.
  2. Customize your content. The bigger your learning platform gets, the more important this is. Give each user what they want, and none of what they don’t want.
  3. Adapt your content to how your learners want to learn. Consider that we’re in the age of TikTok now; people like their content short and sweet. Where can you fit in micro-learning?
  4. Rewards and certification work! Giving your users that little dopamine hit will keep them coming back for more. After all, people respond more to carrots, not sticks.
  5. Think about your power users. Of course, this depends on what kind of power users you have, but you’ll likely find that nurturing your power users will only create additional benefits down the road.

One final tip! Find an expert to help you make these changes to your Docebo platform. For example, all three businesses used GuyKat to implement the strategies you read about today. Maybe you’ll unlock a new secret that works for the unique needs of your business!

Hear the full stories

Want more examples and details to these success stories? Just watch the full webinar, Unlocking the Secrets of Learner Engagement: A Deep Dive into 3 Success Stories