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One challenge central to the training industry is keeping learners engaged. But what does this mean? The definition of engaged as described in the American Heritage dictionary is:

  1. Employed, occupied, or busy
  2. Committed, as to a cause

So, what is the true context of learner engagement?

At its core, learner-engaged training must have context and meaning. Whether it’s improved job performance, increased knowledge, or essential changes in specific areas of expertise, the best way to ensure that employees become and stay engaged is to ensure that training addresses both the company and the employee’s needs. Training should create a useful outcome for the employee and a measurable ROI for the company, regardless of the subject matter.

In addition, learners need to know management is supportive of any training initiative that comes their way. The last thing you want is for employees to feel that they are being taken away from productive, profitable “work” to complete training that is meaningless to management. To avoid this, establish the “why” and adhere to your desired outcomes:

  1. What is your intended goal?
  2. What changes do you want to see once the training has been completed?
  3. What metrics will help you determine if your goal has been met?
  4. How can you follow up to reinforce training?

So now that you know the whylet’s discover the how behind engaging learners. That’s where social learning comes in and can give you a competitive advantage.  

Social media is changing how we learn, and organizations are more apt to utilize social media techniques (social learning) for learning and development. While the challenges may seem obvious – chief among them, retaining control – a closely monitored social learning plan can be the key to efficient information transfer and increased learner engagement. According to ATDsocial learning approaches have a 75:1 ROI ratio over web-based training.  

Sounds compelling, but what about the compliance issues? You will need to define guidelines and make sure the content is appropriate. But don’t let the challenges steer you away, especially when learner engagement is at stake. Reaching the learner in the ways that they like to learn is the key. And the possibilities of a well-executed social learning strategy tie together all the ways that learning can be blended.  

Here are just a few of the benefits of social learning:  

  • Data is easier to tag, and built-in analytics allows tracking of learner behavior patterns. 
  • Greater speed of dissemination is driven by the rate learners consume information on a social platform. 
  • Allows for cross-divisional and cross-functional communication, alleviating traditional training silos. 
  • Drives engagement for employees, teams, and clients which leads to greater awareness of your products and services. 
  • Improves collaboration between employees, along with the potential for global reach and an expanded sphere of influence. 
  • Reinforces learning concepts that aid learner retention. 

Are you ready to learn more about developing your social learning strategy? 

Reach out to us and we’ll help you analyze your current learning strategy and determine the best blend of content and technology to reach your competitive advantage.