In the last article, KPIs for Leaders and Learners, we talked about how well-written key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical to eLearning success. After all, if the learner and the organization aren’t clear about learning objectives, how can any educational endeavor be successful? Today we’re going to dive a little deeper into making those KPIs work by exploring motivation.
When we think about motivation, we often think about how managers can encourage employees to get work done –the classic “carrot” approach to creating incentives. However, motivation isn’t just up to management –there are opportunities for learners to motivate themselves as well! In fact, one of the strongest motivation techniques is for leaders and learners to work together. Let’s explore how both leaders and learners can contribute individually and then how they can come together.
Leaders. A missed opportunity I often see is when leaders don’t share that they value continuing education for employees. While most leaders realize that an individual who is committed to their own self-improvement is an invaluable asset to the organization, they don’t always say it. Leaders should praise these committed employees in their conversations and recognize the value that continuing education include has in their organization.
“A special thank you to our team members who completed their customer service training module this month. Their commitment to listening to our customer’s needs and finding new ways to ensure satisfaction contributes to our current and future positive reviews online and high rate of loyal clients.”
Learners. Individuals completing eLearning programs should have the opportunity to tap into internal motivation. Like the leader who shares why they value continuing education, the employee can ask themselves why they value the education they are taking the time and energy to complete. Reflecting on the value of continuing education can help employees recognize the importance of the eLearning program and motivate them to complete the training.
“What about this eLearning content is making you a better contributor to your organization and community? Even if your primary motivation is that you’re required to complete the training, what in the materials will be beneficial to you?”
Together. When choosing eLearning opportunities, it’s always recommended that leaders and learners come together and talk about what will be best for everyone involved. If a leader chooses a training path without gathering input from the learner, there’s a good chance they’ll not only miss the opportunity to gain buy-in from the employee, but they will also risk paying for education that isn’t needed. Similarly, if the learner blindly follows the course set out for them by their organization and doesn’t contribute thoughts or ideas, they will miss the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. But if the two groups have a conversation, the leader and the learner can better align their goals and achieve the best possible results.
Aside from tapping into the meaning and value of the education being pursued, there are also quick and easy things that can be done to keep eLearners motivated.
- Track progress. Publicly tracking module completion is a way to keep everyone engaged. This works best whenf team members are on board with the idea. If that’s too much peer pressure or is unpopular, private tracking can be equally effective (especially if progress is shared with the immediate supervisor for praise and encouragement).
- Eliminate distractions. Take a few minutes to set up your environment so it’s free of distractions (TV, noisy coworker, etc.) and has everything you need to stay focused (water, music, etc.).
- Schedule reminders. If you’re working as part of a team, make one person responsible for emailing a check-in to everyone who is working on the modules. Working on your own? Schedule calendar alerts to remind you to get back to your eLearning!
Motivation is different for everyone, so don’t be afraid to try different approaches! And be honest about what matters –everyone benefits when eLearners get the education they want and need!
eLearning Motivation Tips
Looking for an easy way to stay motivated while you’re working through eLearning modules? Give yourself a reward! Think about something that would make your day and set an eLearning stretch goal (challenging, but not impossible) with that reward in mind. Be sure to put a picture of the reward where you can always see it so you keep your motivation high!
Need to make completing eLearning modules fun? No matter the content, you can make a game out of completing tasks! Have daily and weekly winners, prizes for people who complete eLearning early or late in the day, or create bingo cards with various ways to fill a square. Creative approaches to giving rewards leaves everyone feeling like they have a chance to win and keeps every team energized.
Dr. Amy Jauman, Ed.D., SMS, is an author, international speaker, and the Chief Learning Officer for the National Institute for Social Media. She focuses on using social media, experiential learning techniques, and online resources to make information meaningful to adult learners in traditional and remote business and educational environments. In 2017, she authored the NISM textbook Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists: Master the Six Content Domains of the SMS Exam. In 2018 her second book, Certification Success: Create Your Personalized Study Plan, will be available through Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. Amy is a certified social media strategist with a master’s degree in experiential education and a doctorate in organization development.