10 proven ways to keep corporate learning engaging
Rolling out certain types of learning content can sometimes cause L&D or IT managers to cringe. This is especially likely when technical content focuses on dry subject matter or tick-box compliance exercises that aren't always directly related to the learner's role.
Top 10 tips for HR heads, IT security, and L&D professionals to foster active learning
Technical training topics, such as cybersecurity awareness training or learning a new software system, are often essential for employees to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be productive or to comply with legal/regulatory requirements. However, these topics are often considered dry and boring due to complexity, specialised language, or seemingly distant relevance to everyday work life.
The 10 ways to keep corporate learning engaging set out below make the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
1. Relate to real-life scenarios
Learners are more likely to engage with technical topics if they can see the direct relevance to their lives or careers. Present real-life scenarios, case studies, or anecdotes that demonstrate how the technical concepts are applied in practice. This will help learners understand the importance of mastering these topics and make the material more relatable.
2. Break down complex concepts
Technical topics can be intimidating due to their complexity. Break down the concepts into smaller, digestible parts, and provide clear explanations and examples for each. Use analogies, metaphors, or comparisons that learners can easily understand to explain difficult concepts. Additionally, create a logical progression of information, building on what learners have already grasped.
3. Use multimedia resources
Leverage various multimedia resources, such as videos, audio recordings, graphics, and animations, to illustrate technical concepts. These resources can help make the material more engaging and accessible, as well as cater to different learning styles. Additionally, incorporating multimedia resources can reinforce key concepts and provide alternative ways for learners to process information.
4. Encourage active learning
Active learning techniques, such as group discussions, problem-solving exercises, and hands-on activities, can make technical training more engaging. By actively participating in the learning process, learners can better internalise and retain the material. Encourage learners to ask questions, share their perspectives, and collaborate on projects to create a more interactive learning environment.
5. Gamify the learning experience
Gamification can make dry technical training topics more enjoyable and motivating. Introduce game elements, such as point systems, leaderboards, and badges, to create a competitive atmosphere and drive engagement. Additionally, design interactive quizzes, puzzles, or simulations that require learners to apply their knowledge in a fun and challenging way. As an example, we turned one of the driest topics of all - cybersecurity training - into a fun, interactive game - Cyber Crime Time.
In this gamified learning experience, you take the role of a devious hacker. By exploring IT security from the hacker's perspective, learners gain new levels of cybercrime awareness without the process feeling like 'training'.
Try out the game for free to learn about this innovative approach to technical training.
6. Provide immediate feedback
Timely feedback is crucial for learners to understand their progress and identify areas for improvement. Provide immediate feedback during training sessions, either through automated systems or personal interaction. This will help learners adjust their learning strategies and stay motivated.
7. Foster a supportive learning environment
A supportive learning environment can help learners feel comfortable asking questions and discussing technical topics. Encourage open communication and create a culture of mutual respect and understanding. Instructors should be approachable, patient, and willing to provide assistance as needed.
8. Set clear goals and expectations
Learners are more likely to engage with technical training if they understand the goals and expectations. Clearly communicate the learning objectives, expectations, and assessment criteria at the beginning of the training. This will help learners focus on the most important aspects of the material and track their progress.
9. Offer flexibility and customisation
Allow learners to customise their learning experience based on their needs, interests, and learning styles. Offer flexible pacing, optional supplementary materials, and various learning pathways to accommodate individual preferences. This will help learners feel more in control of their learning experience and increase their motivation to engage with the material.
10. Incorporate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing
While some technical training will often need to be formally structured to ensure precision or regulatory compliance, there is often space for informal, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
Does your new software system have a 'power user' in the company? Or does one of your team have a way of communicating and sharing knowledge that’s particularly funny or engaging.
Some new e-learning authoring tools, like our own imc Express, are emerging that make it quick and easy to create and share multimedia learning nuggets in as little as 10 minutes. This can enable subject matter experts to become a useful addition to the L&D team - albeit unofficially. It also helps to avoid valuable knowledge and experience to be siloed within departments - or even worse, lost altogether if key personnel were to leave the company.
How to get started
Engaging learners with dry technical training topics may be challenging, but it is achievable if you implement some or all of the above 10 ways to keep corporate learning engaging. By relating the material to real-life scenarios, breaking down complex concepts, using multimedia resources, and fostering active learning, L&D or IT leaders can create a more engaging and effective learning experience for their learners.
With the right approach, even the driest technical topics can become engaging - maybe even fun! 🙂
Want to learn more about tools and strategies to make technical training more engaging and effective? Get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!