What does it take to engage the corporate online learner?
The changing job roles, new definition of work and the constant pressure of market volatility are re-defining the skills paradigm. Demand for up-skilling the workforce to take care of their new job roles has become more pervasive than ever and organizations are surely well aware of it. A workforce's ability to learn new skills, model new behaviors and adapt continuously has become the key to sustainable business.
HR leaders are consciously creating new talent strategies to integrate learning with performance to drive businesses towards sustainable growth. L&D leaders are being seen to grapple with the challenges of keeping learning strategies agile and impactful for the online learners in the current era of remote working. With rising concerns like digital fatigue, it is becoming essential for L&D leaders to create more engaging and effective learning modules.
At its core, learning is all about meeting the growing needs of businesses to match up with the new skilling trends for delivering outcomes to stay ahead in the curve. Hence, L&D programs must be molded to take care of the changing workforce and organizational requirements to create a future ready workplace. At People Matters TechHR 2021, Nikhil Gumbhir, Vice President (Engagement & Customer Success) at Harappa vividly explained how L&D leaders can make their learning strategies more engaging for virtual learners. He explains the 3Cs of engagement that is followed to make the online skilling process effective.
1. Consistency refers to ‘How frequently and on what intervals are learners coming back to online mode to learn’
2. Completion is pivotal to measure on how many learners are actually completing the course
3. Comprehension aims at the level of understanding and retention that learners acquire during the process
Undoubtedly, effective online teaching requires more planning and more overall effort than traditional classroom teaching. Hence, when it comes to online learning Harappa follows the following principles.
The WIFFY principle
This refers to ‘what’s in it for you’, why should learners pay attention to the content and how will it help the learner to apply those learning in his/her current job role.
The power of design
In a world filled with so much information, visual becomes an important factor to differentiate the effectiveness of the learning module, hence design matters when it comes to enhancing the impact of learning.
Content is King but context is God
Corporate learning has strong parallels to content strategy, however here it is also related to more on relevance of context depending on the role and level of the learner - how does the content connect to the context of the learner’s requirement needs to be addressed equally.
Credibility with role models
When you link role models, such ideas of inspiration for the learner help them to take learning in a more meaningful way propelling them in the right direction.
Weaving the human side into the online aspect has a much more impact and is of utmost necessity for every corporate learner in this remote era of work.
Nikhil touched upon a very pertinent concept known as the ‘Engagement flywheel’ which Harappa has integrated in their system to bring in more engagement for their corporate online learners. Harappa believes that ‘learning is just not an event, but a very powerful experience’ and the engagement flywheel acts as a catalyst to wrap the online courses with many layers of engagement to make the entire experience impactful and memorable.
The elements of the flywheel consist of the following ingredients:
- Onboarding – Setting clear expectations on what, why and how behind the learning leading to 2.5x more consistency and 2.25x faster completions
- Cohorts – Focus on blended learning approach in a meaningful way
- Benchmarking – Tapping into the urge to see progress and achieve mastery leads to 2x more consistency and 2x faster completions
- Role model – Lived wisdom leads to 3x more completions
- Contextual Practice – Leads to 1.5x more consistency and 20% more completions
- Community – Social learning leads to 3.25x more consistency and 20% more completions
- Personalized communication – This revolves around gifting, social proof, curiosity, framing, sequencing, stories and reminders to increase the 3Cs of learning
Next time, when you plan to create an engaging learning experience for your corporate learners, do remember to consider the above variety of factors and practices. Help your organizations redesign your employee job roles to equip them with the right skills and competencies that are needed to perform their new job responsibilities. As L&D leaders, create the right process and strategy to make the learning experience more powerful and engaging.