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4 Ways to Engage Your Consumer Learners

Oliver Craddock 

September 22, 2017

As a learning and development professional, it’s your responsibility to keep your learners happy and engaged. Sounds pretty simple, right?

The challenge is, today’s consumer learners are used to an on-demand lifestyle. They expect to be able to access whatever information they want, whenever they want it. This can make it increasingly difficult for L&D professionals to anticipate their learners’ needs.

In this third and final part of my series of blog posts (you can find part one here), I explore the four actions that organizations can take to maximize productivity, and to increase learner engagement in a fast-paced, modern learning culture.

1. Treat Your Learners Like Your Customers

To understand what your employees want and need, your first action is to start treating them like your customers. And to deliver the right learning strategy, you need to really understand them.

So, don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out what their “pain points” are and where they go for new information. Ask for regular feedback to tailor the learning experience to what really works for them.

By seeing that you’re taking an interest and listening to them, your learners will feel more involved. As a result, they will likely become more engaged.

Tip: Ask advice from your marketing team on best practice for gathering the information you need. Asking the right questions and collecting data in the right way will help you to gain a clearer, more accurate understanding of your learners’ behavior. It will also enable you to build a learner persona for the people in your organization. This should become the center point for everything that you, your team and your organization do!

2. Let Them Lead the Way

To provide your learners with a flexible learning strategy, you need to manage them less and empower them more. This means taking advantage of the fact that your people want to learn, and that they are already doing it in their own time.

This doesn’t imply that you should step back and do nothing. It just means that it’s now your responsibility to provide them with the right tools – it’s all about empowerment.

Build an environment and experience that they will enjoy, will want to return to, and will recommend to others. The power of recommendation is huge for driving up engagement in your learning strategy.

3. Invest in the Right Resources

It’s important to give your learners the freedom to choose what they want to learn, but you need to be certain that they’re learning from top-quality sources. So, make sure that you invest in a wide range of well-researched, up-to-date, on-demand resources that are tailored to the needs and goals of your learners and your organization.

Tip: Think like a content curator. You want your people to have quick and easy access to content, just as they do with a search engine. But you still want to be able to guarantee the quality of the resources provided.

4. Recognize and Value Their Learning

Avoid thinking of learning as a task or a program that must be “completed.” Instead, it’s vital that learning is continuous and becomes a part of your culture. Your learners need to feel that their engagement in learning isn’t just noted, but also valued as a part of their personal and career development. You can reward this engagement with recognition and celebration of their achievements.

Even the smallest acts of encouragement will help to establish your workplace as a positive learning environment, ultimately driving engagement and productivity in your organization.

And word will very likely spread about how you value your people’s development, so recruiting top talent will become that much easier!

Four Key Takeaways:

1. Embrace the shift to on-demand, self-directed learning.

2. Give your learners the resources and opportunity to learn and develop, and show that you’re investing in their future.

3. Build a learning culture that encourages, engages, and supports employee development.

4. Give your employees the flexibility to take control of their own learning.

For more information on today’s consumer learner, their growing expectations, and the four actions that you need to take, download our FREE white paper, 5 Key Expectations of Today’s Consumer Learner.

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