How to keep employees engaged in workplace learning

Keeping employees engaged in their training is one of the biggest challenges facing L&D teams today. But learning doesn’t have to be a chore. With our four tips, your employees will be motivated to learn daily and in the flow of work.


Design for relevance

It’s hard to be engaged in your learning when you’ll never use what you learn. It’s the reason teachers hear students lament, “Why do I need to know this?” in seemingly abstract Mathematics classes. 

Giving your learners relevant training in areas that are important to their domain is the easiest way to keep their attention.

But how do you find out what staff really need to know? What’s the best way to elicit requirements from learners? The different ways to gather requirements for training could be a whole other blog post, but the important thing is that it gets done. Sit down with your team leads, staff members, and knowledge experts to find out where the knowledge gaps are.

It might be that the formal training given to employees covers common, well-trodden scenarios, but doesn’t address infrequent edge case scenarios that are also important to handle well. In other situations, regular training might cover beginner topics, but none of your training delves into advanced topics.

By doing this - and then acting on it - you’re bringing your training to align closer with the needs of your organisation. With better aligned content, your learners are that much closer to feeling engaged and ready to learn.


Appreciate continuous learning

 Where does learning happen in your organisation? Learning can happen in lots of places: undergoing formal training, reading articles, watching videos, tackling a tough problem, and reflecting on a completed task are just some places where we can learn.

 Continuous learning is the act of continuing to acquire and refine your skills, even when the formal training is over. This includes formal learning, but also social learning, self-directed learning, and applying your learning.

The 70:20:10 learning model posits that on average

  • 70% of an employee’s learning happens during day to day work experiences
  • 20% of their learning happens in social settings, and that
  • 10% of their learning happens in formal training

When you can appreciate that learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom or Learning Management System, opportunities to keep your learners engaged while learning pop up everywhere. And when learning happens in the flow of work, employees stay engaged. 


Bite-sized (micro) learning

 mployees don’t often have the time or inclination to be in formal training all the time. Whether they require time off, offsite travel, or fees for external training, formal courses aren’t always appropriate.

That’s why introducing bite-sized learning can meet your needs. Bite-sized learning, or microlearning, gives learners an opportunity to skill up on their daily commute, waiting in line, or between meetings. 

Bite-sized learning is ideal for training that doesn’t need to be a full-sized course and is often done at the point of need. Ideas for what bite-sized learning looks like include:

  • A short article on how improve leadership skills, written by a member of the C-suite
  • A how-to video explaining how to solve a common technical problem, produced by a member of the IT service desk
  • A list of tips for new starters, collaboratively written by everyone in a particular department and shared with employees as part of their onboarding.

 Bite-sized learning is often done at the point of need and shared when it’s needed. It doesn’t replace formal training, but supplements it, bridging the gap. 


Implement a Learning Experience Platform

Engaging your employees means giving them every opportunity to learn and grow. A Learning Experience Platform allows your employees to share their knowledge, collaborate with others, and learn in the flow of work. When it’s integrated with your LMS, an LXP is a seamless extension to formal training where employees can go for help when they need it.

An LXP like Totara Engage allows users to curate and share playlists on a particular theme so that their colleagues can easily find learning at the point of need. 

Workspaces allow employees a space to collaborate on a single topic. Workspaces can be used as discussion forums for a particular course, a place to work asynchronously as a team on a task, or to chat with SMEs about a specific facet of work.  

One of the benefits of Totara Engage is how it integrates seamlessly into Microsoft Teams. Once integrated, users don’t need to leave Teams to access Engage. It’s easy to learn, search for resources, and share them with colleagues all from the one interface. 

Want to learn more about implementing an LXP in your organization? Read our guide to encouraging participation on your LXP.