Learner engagement tips for digital L&D

Jul 01, 2022

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Learner engagement is one of the stickiest problems of digital L&D. You've invested in a platform, you've made a plan, you've rolled learning out to your people. And now...engagement is lackluster at best. What to do?

Learner engagement strategies: an overview

Learner engagement strategies have traditionally focused on tactics that are essentially little more than tips and tricks for getting learners into the platform and maximizing the number of people who finish their modules. And while optimizations like these are great, they don't get at the heart of why learner engagement is so often low: simply, learning doesn't feel like a priority.

Any long-term solution to engagement will need to address this problem, by first ensuring that learning is directly tied to learners' daily work, and then by communicating that it's a key priority. This means moving toward a more ambitious vision of the role learning can play in the larger business. One that moves away from simply asking how we can get learners into the platform, and toward a deeper question: what makes learning matter, and why should learners and leaders care?

Here are three tips to help you move toward this more strategic vision of learning and drive learner engagement at your organization.

Three tips for learner engagement

1. Empower learners to take the lead.

To be successful, a learning initiative must be learner-centric. Identifying learning influencers and featuring them in your communications helps send the message that learners are truly at the center of your initiative. Holding teach-ins where learners share their takeaways with their colleagues and explore how they’re applying these concepts to their work amplifies impact and gives learners a chance to make this learning their own.

Empowering learners also means giving them as much voice as possible in learning topics and focus, including listening sessions early in the planning process and surveys during and after each stage of learning to ensure the topics stay relevant, meaningful, and applicable to their daily tasks.

2. Deploy synchronous and asynchronous learning strategically.

For global teams, opting for an asynchronous solution as the base of your strategy frequently helps drive engagement: everyone can log in at the hours most convenient for their schedules and workflow. Semi-synchronous solutions like our Academy offer this convenience, too: Programs are time-bound, with learners moving through them during the same five or six weeks. But each individual can choose when to log in and engage with the discussions and content.

Alongside these more flexible solutions, occasional synchronous sessions led by a guest facilitator, learning influencers, or a leader within the organization can boost enthusiasm and provide learners a real-time chance to share their thoughts and ideas.

3. Show learning matters.

When learners and their team leaders know that the organization truly cares about L&D, making time for learning becomes much easier. Creating a culture of learning across the business is crucial. One of the most effective ways to do this is to get senior leadership involved, whether through a kickoff event, mentioning the initiative in all-hands meetings, or––ideally––taking part in the learning themselves.

Rewards and recognition can also drive home the point that the organization values learning. Our clients have seen success with graduation ceremonies, awards for the most-engaged learners, and internal communications featuring employees who model great learning practices for their colleagues.

Learner engagement: the key takeaway

Above all, any effective learner engagement strategy will focus on making learning meaningful, relevant, and interesting. Design with this in mind, and you'll not only see heightened learner engagement, but also real learning and and business impact from your efforts, too.


For more tips on learner enagement and an interactive checklist to help you put this into practice at your organization, download your free copy of The New Learner Engagement Toolkit. It features seven key strategies and four tactical tips you can apply right away, alongside great insights from learning solutions experts.

To learn more about Nomadic, you can also get in touch to discover how our cohort-based learning has driven record engagement and impact across industries and organizations.

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