Training and development teams hold brainstorming sessions, strategies and goals are set, and deliverables are assigned. Teams set out with a sense of purpose to create and deliver the best training possible. But then…the end result somehow lacks the punch and sparkle everyone saw in those brainstorming sessions way back when. Engagement is tepid, and no one is talking about that great content you created. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are 5 essential tips for engaging your learners.

1. Make training interactive

Active learning is more engaging than passive learning, and static content doesn’t hold people’s attention or result in high levels of retention.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on a flat PowerPoint presentation or slideshows to deliver training anymore. Engaging today’s learners with interactive exercises and assessments provides opportunities for learners to experience training content. New training platforms such as Versal empower anyone to create and deliver interactive educational content rich with simulations, assessments, diagrams, flash cards, timelines, and more – without requiring any coding skills or IT support.

2. Blend online and in-person training

Interactive online training that results in active learning is crucial. Adding blended learning to your approach when possible is even more powerful.

Blended learning leverages a mix of online and in-person courses to meet learning objectives. In a blended learning environment, online courses are often available as pre-work, or as follow-up after attending an in-person workshop. Online self-directed courses help learners prepare for face-to-face discussions and provide a way to review key points afterwards. When learners take an active role before, during, and after training, engagement reaches a deeper level. Find ways to utilize the benefits of both online and in-person courses to deliver personalized yet scalable learning experiences.

3. Utilize internal subject matter experts

Subject matter experts drive engagement by ensuring that your training content has value.

There are reserves of knowledge spread throughout your organization. What if you could tap those reserves to relieve the burden of sole responsibility for training content? Partnering with internal experts is much easier if you already have an existing working relationship. Put time on your monthly calendar to invite at least one internal expert to join you for a lunch or coffee break. Soon, you’ll have a wealth of new connections to help create and deliver quality training content. Since newer training platforms allow for collaborative course creation, don’t be shy about giving internal experts direct access and asking them to “own” content. As long as you have an established internal review cycle, collaborative course authoring is an ideal way to spread knowledge across the organization and transform your job into one of strategic facilitation.

4. Develop with the future in mind

You can’t engage learners if you can’t reach them.

Successful companies grow, and your training will have to grow, too. It’s easy to see the present needs of your company, but challenge yourself to think beyond the present. How will the training you create today scale to meet business needs two years from now? How will training be delivered when your learner audience grows by 25 or 50 percent? By embracing a future-focused approach, you’ll be prepared to deliver on the learning strategy you’ve worked so hard to create.

5. Plan for updates in advance

It is impossible to be engaged with content when it’s outdated and irrelevant.

Companies today move faster than ever before. Sometimes it feels like there’s a relentless flow of new products and features, and it’s tough to keep training content relevant. Outdated content undermines training and causes confusion. It’s not always easy to predict what changes will need to be made, but we know they’re coming. If you can keep training materials in a format that is easy to update – so you or your internal experts can make changes on the fly – you’ll be in a position to impress teams with your nimble response to change.

Be sure to frequently evaluate the tools and services you use to create training. Are they easy to use? Can you clone content and implement changes quickly? Is there an option to have multiple authors? Make sure your training platform lets you keep your content timely, relevant, and accurate.

Conclusion

  1. Bring interactivity into your online training program to ensure a high level of engagement and retention.
  2. Where possible, leverage online training to supplement and expand in-person training experiences. It’s the best of both worlds.
  3. Distribute responsibility for training content by establishing collaborative partnerships with internal experts.
  4. Don’t let the day-to-day mundanities keep you from looking forward.
  5. Accept that content fire drills are inevitable, and give yourself every advantage to handle them with ease.