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Building Learner Engagement

December 9, 2020 | By David Wentworth


When it comes to learning content, that is definitely not the case. Too often, the learning function relies on compliance and compulsion to ensure learners complete the learning programs they create. Yet, not a lot of thought goes into how engaging the material is.

Learner engagement is critical. Even if an employee is required to finish a course, if they aren’t engaged in the content, the knowledge, skills or behaviors presented to them are not very likely to stick. Even though the company can check off the completion box, the outcomes are not being achieved.

Brandon Hall Group research consistently shows that when learning programs are learner-focused, they achieve better results. Engaging programs have a stronger impact on time to productivity, individual performance and overall employee engagement. These learner experiences are more relevant and contextual and learners can clearly see the expected outcomes from the program. This allows learners to make the connection between themselves, the learning and the overall goals of the business.

Another benefit of strong learner engagement is the perception of learning itself. If employees are forced to take part in boring, irrelevant programs, they will invariably view all subsequent programs with suspicion. Learning will be viewed as a burden; an obstacle to the day’s work, making the achievement of learning’s goals even more difficult.

Creating engaging programs is easier said than done. It requires understanding the learning audiences and desired outcomes. It can often be helpful to look externally for partners specializing in this challenge. They have experience in what works — and what doesn’t — for a wide variety of learning audiences and can draw upon that to help create truly engaging, impactful programs. 

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Platinum Preferred Provider EI has 20 years’ experience and is exceedingly focused on the connection between learning and performance. They use a highly adaptable development framework that helps them design within tight timelines, too. They specialize in creating immersive learning that is highly engaging and designed to change behavior and drive performance. EI’s creative instructional design approach allows them to create the kind of learner experience our research shows to have a strong impact. As they put it, their content has strong “learnability,” meaning learners can quickly gain the knowledge and skills they need, as well as retain it over time.

If your organization has learner engagement needs, take a look at EI and you will see why they’ve won so many Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth
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