You’ve identified a learning need in your organisation, put the time into building a great course, and are finally ready to launch it to your learners. All sorted, right? Not quite. The next stage can easily be overlooked, but can be critical to the success of your elearning: actually getting people to complete it.
It might sound simple, but chasing employees to get those key courses done can be a time-consuming exercise. To avoid it, let’s take a look at some ways to promote the benefits of your elearning to the people who really need to be on board: the learners.
Think like a marketeer
Marketing a product is all about benefits. If your elearning offering is well-designed, these will be plentiful for your learners, so shout about them! What skills will they build by taking the course, and how will these have an impact on their performance at work? Will they be able to save time in the long run, or generate more revenue? Could this elearning even open up promotion opportunities?
Marketing teams don’t just throw the same resources at every single customer. They identify what each type of customer needs, and tailor their message. To be successful in promoting your elearning, you’ll need to do the same. And why not ask your own marketing team for help? Chances are, they’ll be pleased to share their skills and make an impact within the organisation.
Build a campaign
A single invite email might be enough for the most motivated of learners, but without a concerted effort to promote your course, you’ll struggle to reach 100% of your employees. Think about all the avenues available to you. Can you create an email campaign, with automated reminders? Does your organisation use an internal messaging system (like Slack, Teams or Zoom Chat) where you could promote the course? Or how about a good old-fashioned poster in the staffroom?
When you’re putting your campaign together, make sure you consider a couple of key elements:
- Images: These don’t need to be anything fancy, but will catch the learner’s eye and give them a quick overview of what the course is all about (it’s really easy to take screenshots on a Windows PC using Snip & Sketch, which you can launch by pressing WIN+SHIFT+S)
- Branding: Can you create your own mini brand for learning and development within your company, that echoes the wider organisational branding? This raises the status of learning, marking it out as something that is central to the success of the organisation
Make it easy
Nobody likes to waste time searching for the course they need, or digging up a long-lost link to the Learning Management System (LMS). Make it as quick and easy as possible for your learners. Why not ask the IT team to make a link available on every employee’s desktop, or place it prominently on the company intranet or shared drive?
Depending on your workforce, you may also want to consider how they’ll be accessing courses. Office-based staff are likely to use a PC or laptop, but are there teams who might find it easier to use a tablet or mobile phone to complete elearning? Designing courses that adapt seamlessly to device types and screen sizes is key to making this work.
Of course, none of this will have much impact if the course software is clunky or has a steep learning curve. The tool your employees use to access elearning should be simple and intuitive (you could try Nimble Author, a super-easy authoring tool that produces beautiful, responsive and straightforward courses that can be accessed from the Nimble LMS).
Use your influence
Whether you work in a small business or a large organisation, you’ll need to ensure the people who really matter are behind your L&D efforts 100%. The most obvious of these are the senior management team; it’s amazing what a simple endorsement from the CEO can achieve. But don’t underestimate the power of key staff members throughout the organisational structure. Identify key champions within each department who can spread the word about the value of elearning; we can all think of colleagues who are respected and well-liked, and what could be better than having them sing the praises of your newest course?
Make sure you include line managers in your plan too. As the people who have the most frequent contact with potential learners, they can really help to sell the benefits of your course. They know their direct reports’ preferences, strengths and limitations, and can help guide employees towards learning resources that will be most useful to them personally.
It’s also worth considering a major reason why employees don’t complete elearning: a lack of time. According to the CIPD’s 2020 report Learning and Skills at Work, 41% of organisations identified a lack of learning time as a barrier. If learning is a priority in your organisation, staff need to be given the slack in their schedule to give it the time it deserves – something you’ll definitely need management buy-in to achieve.
Once your course is out there in the wild, you have another golden opportunity to promote it by highlighting the positive benefits it’s already bringing to the organisation. After the initial launch, reach out to learners who’d be happy to provide glowing testimonials about the impact the course has had on them and their work. There’s nothing quite like a personal endorsement (particularly by a trusted colleague or senior leader!) to engage reluctant employees.
You can use a little healthy competition, too: heap public praise on the teams with the highest completion or pass rate (paying attention to which metric is most relevant for your objectives). And don’t forget to revisit this idea further down the line, when you’ve gathered data about the course’s impact on business objectives.
Gathering feedback from learners and evaluating your elearning offering is a key part of any L&D strategy. If employees feel listened to and can see that you’re taking their suggestions on board, they’re more likely to engage with learning opportunities in the future. Include a survey at the end of your elearning course, and analyse the responses regularly to identify any pain points for learners (easy to achieve with Nimble Author’s built-in survey function and linked LMS reporting).
Don’t just set it and forget it: by promoting elearning successfully, build excitement across the organisation that will translate into increased engagement and improved learning outcomes. With a few simple tactics, you can create real momentum behind your elearning offering that will bring even the most reluctant of learners along for the ride.