Organizations spend huge amounts of money developing and hosting eLearning courses but very often, employees do not seem to be as enthusiastic about them as one might expect them to be. Not many employees register for the courses, and even if they do, they do not complete them. With competing demands on their time, employees require compelling reasons to visit the learning portal or LMS and take the recommended courses.
E-Learning courses are just like any other product on a super market shelf-space. How does a potential buyer go to look for that product? Potential buyers need to first know about the product, then they need to be convinced that the product is good for them; only then will they be motivated to go and purchase it. The same is true for eLearning courses. Here are some “ideas” that help promote and market eLearning courses within the organization.
Trailers: Short videos highlighting the benefits of the course so that the course or key takeaway from the course attracts the attention of the employees. Employees need to be educated on how the course will significantly promote their individual careers as well as help attain organizational goals. These trailers can be strategically placed on the employee company’s intranet or HR portal where employees are certain to login. Link to the trailer can be sent to the employees through emails, social media groups and internal newsletters.
Message from CEO or a Senior Executive: A message from a senior executive of the company makes an instant connect with the employees and is taken with due seriousness. One of our clients has shared with us that before the launch of an online compliance training program, the Senior Vice President, HR had sent an email message explaining the benefits of the program and soliciting employee cooperation for its successful implementation. Needless to say, the program was a resounding success.
Internal Promotional Efforts: A message from higher ups in the organization gives the program a good start. However, if the program is to be a success, sustained efforts to promote the program through internal communication channels is an absolute must. There needs to be a buzz about the courses and how they can benefit the employees. Posters and announcements at common work spaces such as canteens, notice boards, banners on intranet site and social media will build awareness among the employees about the courses available and keep reminding them of the learning commitment expected from them.
Certification, Recognition and Appreciation: Employees need to be intrinsically motivated to take up the courses. Providing valid certificates on completion of the courses is another way of encouraging employees to take the online learning programs. Knowing that the time they spend is going to be rewarded and recognized, encourages them to invest their time and effort in the program, more so, if the certificate is co-signed or recognized by a professional body.
Recognition and appreciation boosts employee morale and can do wonders for employee motivation. Sharing peer success stories on the company website and in newsletters, rewarding employees financially or with higher positions for their efforts to gain new knowledge and skills, serve as motivation for others to follow suit.
Gamification: Gamification is still in its infancy and a few organizations are experimenting with this strategy for corporate training purposes. A recent article gives the example of “Deloitte Leadership Academy” where they have successfully adopted “gamification” to enthuse and motivate senior leaders to complete their assigned courses. Only time will tell how gamification will evolve but organizations can explore it in a small way by giving away points to those employees who complete different levels of the online training program.
Thus, organizations need to have “Employee motivation & acceptance” as a necessary part of their eLearning strategy. They need to remember that courses hosted on the LMS don’t automatically gain user-registrations. Just as any other product, eLearning is a product too and it needs to be marketed to the internal employees for successful acceptance and adaptation.