5 Ways Learning Professionals Can Motivate People to Learn

Most people who love to learn and grow, assume others do as well.  Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  The vast majority of people opt for various forms of entertainment instead of being committed to their personal and professional growth.

If only learning professionals had a way to embed Henry Ford’s quote into their people:

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Since this isn’t possible, it’s critical learning professionals look for alternative and interesting ways to motivate their teams to continuing to learn and grow.  Here are 5 that are important to remember.

Start With Expectations   

One of the biggest mistakes I see learning professionals make, is having completely unrealistic expectations around completion and engagement rates. For example, Elective training gets an 80% lower completion rate on average than directive training. If the learning content you are providing to your people is elective training start with a realistic and attainable goal for completion percentages.

Be a Sales Person  

The great Zig Ziglar said, “I have always said everyone is in sales.  Maybe you don’t hold the title of a salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.” You have to put your sales hat on and look for creative ways to “sell” the team on the benefit of taking the training content that is being offered to them.  Leverage success stories of others who have used the content before and blast the benefits on an ongoing basis.

Focus On ONE Program 

The rage these days is offering libraries upon libraries of content.  While there is a time and place for this approach, people are most drawn to one particular program.  As an example, I don’t subscribe to Showtime because of all the content they offer.  I subscribe to Showtime because of one show, Billions.  It’s easily the best show on television. If you focus on one specific program to highlight, sell, and focus on it will draw people in and allow them to be interested in other programing you offer.  At the end of the day, telling people there is a library of content “go and get it” rarely works. Highlight one specific program or course that will help them do their job or be more effective.

Leverage Success Relentlessly

As your team finishes ONE Program begin leveraging the program feedback and positive energy to gain excitement for new learning content or programs. This can be done via email by sending quotes, success stories, or doing short video interviews with team members that enjoyed it.    

Use Competition to Your Advantage

While I have never been a fan of Gamification for professional learners something as simple as a leaderboard can be powerful. Even the most uncompetitive people in an organization like some form of scorekeeping and recognition.  Create leaderboards or prizes for completing certain aspects of a program.

At LearnLoft, we have built and deployed many learning programs and  know motivating learners is a tough nut to crack.  Feel free to reach out to schedule a time to talk or leverage our Effective Leadership Program as a learning opportunity for your team.

About the Author Christina Wilder is the VP of Learning Strategies at LearnLoft.  She is passionate about the development of modern professionals through short engaging content.  Her article “Dispelling the 5 Myths of Microlearning” was nominated for article of the year by Training Industry.com.

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