We all remember great teachers from our school days. Those teachers that inspired us, made us want to turn up to class and do our homework. Amazing teachers turned their subject into a whole world of wonder, imagination and surprising revelations. Many corporate learning programs struggle to engage learners to the same degree. Why is this? 

User Experience is Everything

Quite simply, teachers spent time working out how to get their young students in their classroom to connect with the subject by finding a connection that made sense to them. They worked out how to engage their audience, then finished the job with a presentation that turned a lesson into an ‘experience’.

Research suggests that when children engage in ‘acts of engagement’, their perceptions of whether that engagement was worthwhile, or that they were able to engage successfully, is key to the future formation of habits and future engagements (Lawson and Lawson, 1998).

Why then, as we move into the professional world, do we forget that the user experience and the level of engagement is what makes corporate learning programs work? 66% of L&D leaders say that they’re having a tough time getting employees to engage with corporate learning.1

This is concerning because engagement is still vital in effective learning programs. While instructors, coaches or trainers play a vital part in connecting learners with knowledge in an exciting way, the user experience is now being improved using more than just a teacher with insight and empathy.

Demystifying the Modern Learner

How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning

The Will to Learn

66% of L&D Leaders say that they’re having a tough time getting employees to engage with corporate learning.

Learning and development organizations are increasingly moving towards online, on demand training sessions and replacing live teachers or trainers with online knowledge portals, remote trainers, learning paths, and strong search capabilities. This move makes learning more convenient for employees, reduces training costs and empowers learners to take control of their learning. It’s that control that is critical to the user experience.

One of the key considerations for a positive user experience in corporate learning programs is context, which should be optimized for each different user. Very often organizations have a number of generations making up their workforce in 3 categories.

First, the HR team needs the learning delivery system to be easy to manage. Next, people managers and employees need the system to support them in managing performance, and enabling development and collaboration.

Employees need to be able to access the learning content that is relevant to their individual needs whenever they want. A 20-minute bus ride is a great time to access learning content thanks to a portable device combined with the will to learn. This is the epitome of the modern, positive, user experience.

Try a ‘Positive User Experience’ on for Size

With Millennials now a major contributor, the makeup of our workforce has changed dramatically. At the same time advancements in mobile apps, video content, machine learning and social collaboration technologies are influencing the way companies think about and expect to use talent management software with engaging user-friendly experiences that employees today are accustomed to as consumers.

96% of CEOs now recognise that above all other factors like efficiency, application and even ROI, impact is the most important factor in learner success.2

Getting and keeping learners’ attention would seem to be the methodology to use, so how do we do that? We need a good tailor!

If you’ve ever been fitted for a bespoke outfit then you’ll know how good it feels to have something made just for you. It fits you perfectly and gives you confidence. Tailor made learning content can have the same effect on learners simply by matching their exact needs. No one wants their training to resemble a badly fitting suit.

Further reading

Why HR Must Embrace the Consumerization of Learning

Extra-Curricular = Positive Engagement = Effective Learning Programs

Engagement researcher George Kuh created a mass of data which shows that when students engage more, the impact can be extraordinary. Engagement data, as measured by the National Survey for Student Engagement, has been shown to have positive impacts on retention, student success and achievement of learning outcomes (Kuh, 2003).

96% of CEOs now recognise that above all other factors like efficiency, application and even ROI, impact is the most important factor in learner success in corporate learning programs

If you’ve ever engaged in something related to your professional activity that was beyond your core role or everyday responsibilities, it will have created a tangible emotional response, whether positive or negative.

Did you continue to engage? Why did you perceive it to be positive or negative and did you think it was more about the benefits or a perceived competency?  Formative experiences can be important in building habits for the future as well as self-confidence, after all there has to be a reason why 43% of professionals look for learning opportunities outside their company at least half the time3

Delivering an Effective Corporate Learning Program

These days the teacher or trainer can be anyone, from a human being at the front of a classroom, to a human built digital platform for use anytime, anywhere. The secret of a delivery system’s success is its ability to understand what the learner wants on an individual basis, then deliver it in a way that connects with them.

Positive learning is fuelled by personal, consumable learning and collaborative employee-centric experiences with anytime mobile access.

Allowing ourselves to simply let go of the old ways of delivering corporate learning programs, like didactic one size fits all outdated content and delivery, is key. Try working with a training solution that has ‘listened’ to your needs, then responded to them with not only relevant content, but content that you can understand and works for your preferred way of learning. If you do, it’s likely that your corporate learning program will be an effective, positive user experience.

1Bersin by Deloitte, Three Marketing Lessons for Learning and Development (webinar), 9/2014
2 ATD / ROI Institute, Measuring What Matters: How CEOs View Learning Success, 12/2010

 3 SkilledUp, Who  Chooses Professional Training: The Real Story, 3/2015