Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010 - (Page 38)

F O C A L P O I N T THE RIGHT STUFF: ENGAGING LEARNERS BY TRACY HOLLISTER F or learning to have its intended impact, learning professionals need to get and keep learners engaged. Meeting that goal involves providing the right content in the right way at the right time. This article boils down the key insights from more than 1,000 learning professionals on those three requirements for engagement. The Right Content The right content must be relevant to both the sponsoring or requesting organization and the learners themselves. In three annual studies, at least 75 percent of learning professionals consistently spotlighted the key to relevance—content that is strategically designed and aligned to meet business or organizational objectives. This requires that we understand what the business objectives are, and—like doctors—diagnose whether the problems can be “treated” with learning solutions. If so, we can later gauge the success of delivering specific content with improvements on key performance metrics. Just as a patient’s positive response to a medication helps confirm a diagnosis, this helps confirm that a lack of knowledge or skill actually was part of the problem. Organizational relevance also contributes to learner relevance. If employees can see the connection between their learning and a larger company purpose, they are more likely to be motivated to learn. They will also be even more engaged if they can further connect the content with their own experiences and if the content includes real-world examples. The Right Way Just as there are many ways to deliver medical solutions, there are also many ways to deliver learning solutions. The right way depends on how well the delivery method and facilitation style are matched to the subject matter and learners’ accessibility needs. Consider the following recent research findings: • A study on continuous improvement training found that basic or “awareness” topics can be effectively delivered in a variety of ways, but other topics like advanced skills or leadership training are better matched with instructor-led training. • Another study on using virtual instructor-led train- 38 TrainingIndustry Quarterly, Fall 2010 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010
From Where I Sit
Training Industry Top 20
At the Editor’s Desk
The Training Associates
Winning Organizations Through People
Learning Technologies
Knowledge Pool
Performance & Productivity
Kaplan It Learning
Learning Design for Every Mind
Rapid Intake
The New Era of Mobile Learning
The Essential Tension: Developing Leaders around the Globe
Manager Engagement: Reducing Scrap Learning
Partnering For Performance Conference
CASEBOOK: American Bankers Association
FOCAL POINT: The Right Stuff: Engaging Learners
Closing Arguments
Delta College Corporate Services

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010