The old adage in business that “if you build it they will come” doesn't necessarily apply to e-learning courses.
Rather, employees will log in and complete a module or two because they have been asked to, and then gradually, they drift away and do not finish the course.
How can you increase employee engagement with e-learning?
Here are seven key components to help employees get the e-learning that they need:
1) Create a welcoming course design
Deliver your information in small, digestible chunks rather than huge, sprawling topics. Ensure the course design is uncluttered, and that the use of graphs is not excessive. Select an easy-to-read type font and avoid the urge to use too much bold type or italics. Use headings and sub-headings and bullet points to keep material easy to comprehend. Proof your material thoroughly to avoid ambiguity or grammatical mistakes.
2) Ensure that the training you offer your employees is relevant to their roles in the organization
Too many companies take a snowfall approach to learning. They figure if flakes of knowledge keep falling on an employee, some of it will stick and accumulate. It doesn't work that way. If an employee cannot find some way to use the knowledge they are taking in, they will soon forget it or become bored with it. People learn better when they see a purpose behind their efforts.
3) Consider whether the level of technology involved in the course matches the technical skills of the employee
Many e-learning programs have failed miserably because of miscalculating the employee’s level of technical skills. Ensure that basic computer training is available to those who want to engage in e-learning but whose computer skills may be severely limited or non-existent.
4) Make the intent of the course clear to the employees
Motivation springs from purpose, and if your employee is not clear why they are being asked to take a certain course or learn a certain skill, their engagement will often be limited. But if they can see the training prepares them for advancement in the firm or is essential to keep their jobs during times of technological change, they have a clear intent and will be more inclined to get it done.
5) Include elements of competition and gamification
Bringing some elements of computer games into your courses enhances employee participation and makes learning fun. Employees enjoy competing with co-workers. Set it up so employees can keep taking gamified tests, for example, until they reach the next level and you will have built in a natural review process of all your material.
6) Schedule time within the workday for employees to engage in learning
Telling an employee it's important to learn, and then insisting they do it all on their own hours rings hallow. Today's worker has a multifaceted, over-scheduled life that often involves heavy family responsibilities and community endeavors. While they are often willing to give some their home time to learn, if you can't meet them half way and ensure they have some work hours, it sets a bad precedent about what is really important and discourages engagement.
7) Reward achievement
Give out certificated and stage congratulatory events when employees complete their e-learning. It reinforces that it matters, and everyone likes a little recognition for their hard work.