How to Incentivise in-House eLearning & Succeed At It

Here is a not-so-surprising dilemma for you to ponder on:

What would you choose:

A lavish freebie-filled day off at an event held at a glamorous venue accompanied by an overnight stay in a swanky hotel?

Or, taking time away from your usual work to take an eLearning course at your desk instead?

For many, the draw of training outside your normal work environment is just too much, and that alone can sometimes influence how we elect to develop our professional skills.

But that shouldn’t stop your business from utilizing eLearning to the benefit of your organization.

Of course, there are various other factors that we take into consideration – there are benefits and drawbacks to each and every different type of learning.

However the point is this: we can’t allow the initial appeal of other types of training detract from the actual benefits of the most suitable training method in each scenario.

That’s the purpose of this post.

Below I offer up some solid strategies on how you can incentivise other learning methods that are of clear benefit to the business, but are perhaps deemed undesirable by your workforce.

Specifically, I’ll be using eLearning as the example throughout. Hopefully however, from my workings you can adapt my suggestions to meet your own requirements if eLearning isn’t the type of training you’re trying to encourage the uptake of.

I’ll demonstrate exactly how you can combat the benefits of these other methods by positioning eLearning as beneficial for both similar and additional reasons.

Let’s start with why your employees may favor other training and development methods over eLearning.

The benefits of traditional training

Business decision makers such as HR managers need to be able to make an informed decision on the types of training that are most suited to employees’ specific roles and thus have the optimum benefit and ROI for the organization.

In order to do so, it’s important that such decision makers possess up to date knowledge of the benefits of all different types of learning available.

L&D decision makers will already be acquainted with the factors to take into consideration when allocating training to staff – learning styles, available resources, individual progression plans and the nature of the learning topic to name but a few.

But when informed and aware of all the reasons why any particular learning method could be more beneficial than another, the job of the decision maker will be made much easier. What is most suited for each individual – as well as the business as a whole from a financial perspective – will instantly become more apparent.

The purpose of this post isn’t to go in to so much depth as to describe the benefits of every type of learning that your staff can undertake, however. This post from TrainingToday already serves this purpose, and as such makes a good reference for L&D decision makers.

Incentivising eLearning

Your employees don’t always know what’s best for them.

It’s your job to determine the most suitable method of training for each employee, in collaboration with your staff. Use the following suggestions to aid your communication and implementation of any potential new training method.

Reward performance

Because eLearning is entirely under your control, it’s so simple to measure the performance of your employees. This is an advantage to your management and your business as a whole, but that same benefit might be lost to each individual staff member who is understandably interested in their own development, rather than your advancement as a business.

So why not change that? Use this to your advantage and incentivize performance so that your employees can be rewarded for their results and learning outcomes. Obviously this will also act as an excellent staff motivator too, so it’s a win-win really, and to what cost?

However you reward your employees – financially or not – it’s likely that the benefits to this scheme will outweigh the drawbacks.

Incorporate into your review process

This tactic may seem a little underhand, but you could be surprised by the level of positive responses you receive in its implementation.

Setting targets based around an agreed learning method can aid in increasing acceptance of the shift to a new L&D system for the company. It positions the desired training method as commonplace, widely accepted and almost non-debatable.

Set staggered goals

The issue you may encounter – with some employees of a certain disposition at least – is that eLearning could potentially be viewed as extra ‘work’, and thus become less interesting to your employees.

Repositioning this as an ‘opportunity’ can be quite patronising, so instead, allow your employees to realise the full potential of the opportunity themselves by gently nudging them in the right direction.

The idea of running through an eLearning course hour after hour is kind of boring really – so set staggered objectives and deadlines! If you task your employees with only completing one assigned module at any given time, they’re more likely to crack on with the training and development plan.

Once their learning has begun, they’ll soon discover the benefits and enjoyment of what you have set out for them.

Encourage knowledge sharing

There’s so much to be learnt in such a short space of time – talking about this experience can help fortify that new found knowledge, and spread expertise throughout your entire organization.

Information sharing also provides a welcome break from the monotony of eLearning and could actually aid the learning experience – after all, studies show that we’re more productive when we take breaks from our work.

How will you incentivize your desired training method? Use the above ideas as inspiration, direct solutions or simply prompts to reconsider how your employees learn, and perhaps your workforce will benefit from a change in tactic.

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