The global business landscape is constantly evolving, and both employers and employees need to consistently hone the necessary skills and competencies for success.
This makes employee training inextricable from organizational growth and development.
Managers need to keep evaluating the current human capital management systems to ensure they are encouraging the right employee training and development options.
Investing in adult learning benefits both the business and the employee directly, through:
- A knowledgeable and highly-skilled workforce
- Better business practices
- Increased employee engagement
- Improved employee happiness, health, and well-being
- Enhanced community cohesion
- Greater personal income
- Higher business revenues
Even in these fast-paced times, adults don’t have the same freedoms as the younger generations. Certain challenges tend to dissuade adults from investing in learning; they have packed schedules and are raising families to boot. Time is a precious commodity.
Without the right motivation and employee engagement, no amount of training provided by employers could hope to result in a real adult learning experience.
HR Managers need solutions that are inclusive and beneficial to both employees and the business. They need to customize learning in ways that attract and appeal to adults.
Modern Learning management systems (LMSs) have the versatility to connect many HR functions together in one accessible place while offering sophisticated communication processes that enable effective employee feedback.
LMSs also resolve major obstacles to employee training; allowing both management and staff to focus on what matters – acquiring new skills.
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There are additional business advantages to using learning management systems:
- A centralized and secure location for all content
- Unlimited access to training and learning materials
- Easy tracking systems to evaluate learner progress
- Reduced learning and development costs
- Lower learning and development time
- Integrated social learning experiences
Adopting learning management systems gives managers the power to become proactive rather than reactive.
1. Align Learning With Their Professional Goals
In Adult Learning and Education, the author Rubenson accurately describes adult learners as selective. They mostly consider taking up new learning only when it is meaningful to them.
2. Make Learning an Adventure
Learning involves testing different approaches to solving a particular puzzle, and the journey should be exciting.
Adults are rarely allowed margins for error, and this is a key aspect in making learning enjoyable. When you are too focused on chasing perfection, you cannot be open to creativity.
Trainers can inspire adult learners by:
- Introducing a problem-solving aspect to learning
- Repeatedly reinforcing a judgment-free learning environment
- Supporting mistakes as part of the process
- Harnessing novelty and interest
- Always relating the training to the workplace, or real-life experiences to establish relatability
Many training or educational materials can be tied into a compelling theme or a dramatic narrative.
3. Personalize Learning
A great way to motivate adults to learn is by eliminating the conventional classroom setting. Adult learners may be more interested in courses or training materials that they can access anywhere, anytime.
Working professionals now spend the bulk of their time on a mobile device, so it’s important to offer readily available mobile learning.
The convenience of logging in day or night eliminates time and space pressure, making learning more appealing to time-poor adults.
When training interactively, use context-sensitive feedback to elicit a realistic response from learner input. The training material could also offer multiple paths through a course so learners are naturally guided by the choices they make.
Learning using individualization methods like these can help a person build accurate knowledge structures, improving competency and confidence.
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4. Ensure the Learning Material is Accessible
To motivate an adult learner, you must package the information in an accessible and convenient format. It’s important not to overwhelm learners with a horde of information – remember all the responsibilities that they are dealing with already.
Break learning into manageable chunks to give learners the motivation to stick with the curriculum. The information needs to fit into their already hectic schedules.
The idea of learning something new while commuting to work, for instance, can be very attractive to an adult learner.
Not everyone can retain all the content in a course. Offer the adult learners self-directed just-in-time (JIT) learning tools and aids – allowing them to decide what they need to know and when.
5. Adapt to Different Learning Preferences
Learning is most often considered a process of getting rather than giving. This is most evident in the conceptions of student/teacher roles: Teachers give and students get. Yet, in adult learning both giving and getting is critical.
Certain adults learn better using visual materials such as graphics and presentations; others become more engaged through workshops or videos.
Some employees may thrive in live or scheduled learning activities, while the rest may prefer solo learning in their own space, time, and pace – recorded webinars fit this individual preference.
Organizations should adopt the content format most appropriate for the learning objectives they have in mind for their employees.
Use these free employee engagement posters to collect diverse feedback that will make your online program more inclusive.
6. Make Learning a Social Affair
Encourage your adult learners to foster a community centered around the learning material.
Social networking platforms are an easy way to build groups with a common goal or similar interests. Organizations can even design a social media strategy as part of their learning experience.
Human beings learn exceptionally well through informal networks. Sharing knowledge and experiences really motivate your team to keep at it.
7. Give Learners Helpful Feedback
Feedback can be packaged in a variety of forms:
- Feedback from a mentor or leader
- Real-time quantitative feedback like automated quizzes
Feedback is a necessity in the learning experience. But unless it’s structured in a practical, constructive, and helpful manner, an adult may resist pursuing further learning.
Constructive feedback gives adults a measure of their learning progress, allowing them to focus on any problematic areas.
Feedback should emphasize ways for learners to leverage their strengths and improve their areas of development, and should never focus on their mistakes or weaknesses.
8. Motivate Learners Using Exciting Rewards
What’s an easy way you can use to reward adult learners? Gamification.
Gamification is ideal for motivation because:
- It recognizes small wins
- It encourages a fun-based learning experience
- It nurtures healthy competition among learners
- It reignites the spirit of curiosity in adult learners
It’s easy to use leaderboards, badges, certificates, and levels in a learning management system. People like being part of an immersive and interesting learning experience.
Note that while gamification is a fun reward system, it’s not exhaustive and may not always be enough for long-term adult learning motivation.
So, you should link your adult learners’ objectives to performance reviews punctuated by other awards like certificates, bonuses, or promotions so that employees feel validated by their team and leaders for their learning achievements.
Now that you have eight ways to inspire your employees to learn, how would you like to demo an LMS that can incorporate all those ideas and more in one easy-to-use platform that works on all your employees’ devices?
Book a quick customized demo today and find out why so many of the world’s leading brands are using World Manager’s best-in-class LMS to keep their employees engaged.