Your Employees Need to Enjoy Learning, Not Just Tolerate It

One of the best ways to retain your valuable employees is to invest in ongoing training opportunities that help them advance. Even so, it can be a major challenge to keep employees actively interested in learning and development, or L&D. Only 28% of respondents to a 2015 Deloitte survey felt that they had a fully capable workforce heading into 2016, and 85% of leaders felt that L&D was a significant challenge that their organizations faced.

It isn’t enough to provide your employees with tolerable training. Rather, you need to give them a delightful experience with L&D, so that your employees are motivated to complete and retain the material. Enjoyment is one of the most vital parts of employee engagement, and if you’re hoping to provide an enjoyable work environment, that includes continuing education and ongoing training.

Why employees need to enjoy learning

Creating a happy work environment is the first step to sustaining a productive office culture. Team activities, after-hours happy hours, and prizes for meeting small goals are all ways you might already contribute to a gratifying work environment.

But it doesn’t stop there. If you want your employees to both succeed and feel successful, learning is a key component–and they need to do more than just go through the motions. Happy employees are 12% more engaged at work, and employees who are actively unhappy are 10% less engaged than the baseline. When Google invested in overall employee happiness measures, they found that their employees were 37% more engaged overall.

What is enjoyable L&D content?

Satisfaction and enjoyment at work isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept–it will differ by industry, company, and the individual. But we’re learning more and more about what defines successful L&D content, and how that positively affects satisfaction at work. Here are a handful of simple pointers to get your eLearning L&D content started in the right direction.

  • Keep your eLearning content on-the-go. It’s easier to enjoy learning when you have the flexibility to do it from wherever you are. Give your team the opportunity to interact with their training content from a tablet or smartphone rather than tying them to the office computer.
  • Implement a social aspect. Enable opportunities to collaborate and share ideas regarding your L&D content. This might be through an integrated chat server, message board, or live-updated sticky notes.
  • Consider emotional connection. Use images and design elements that trigger an immersive experience, allowing your employees to empathize with situations and internalize the material that they’re reading. If you want, get personal by letting your employees create their own avatars to accompany them through the training module.
  • Use interactivity to your advantage. Dynamic content lets your employees learn the way they want to, whether that’s through viewing video elements, reading text, listening to audio, or completing an in-course quiz.
  • Most importantly, keep it easy to use. There are few things less enjoyable than a course that’s difficult to navigate and has a high learning curve. Make sure that your eLearning content is intuitive and convenient to use. A good user experience will help your team crack those tougher concepts.

Be sure to check your engagement metrics using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to see whether your content is as engaging and enjoyable as you think it is. After all, your employees know best in this case, so it’s important to compile data and ask for feedback. Dynamic content is easy to modify on an ongoing basis, making it simple to change aspects that aren’t up to your–or your employees’–standards.

Above all, know your team and understand what they need out of their L&D experiences to succeed. Enjoyment is subjective, so follow these guidelines to create a fun and interactive training course, and then seek feedback and modify accordingly to make sure it’s doing its job. The result should be a highly engaging, highly effective L&D course that increases job satisfaction and enables success.