Too often, the training that companies deliver can feel isolated, disconnected and reactive. And in our experience, when this happens, many employees struggle to engage with it. That lack of engagement with training can lead to poor performance, and ultimately prove incredibly costly for the organisation. According to some recent research, disengaged employees have cost US businesses an estimated $500 billion dollars.
Of course, some individuals will just get on with things, and make the best of a bad situation. Others will be stuck in a negative mindset that sees training as onerous at best, and irrelevant at worst. None of this will help the company to develop a workforce who will support it in achieving its goals.
We’ve talked before about the need to move training on from simply being a tick-box exercise, and offered some potential ways to do that.
We also believe that an element of competition can play an important role in engaging your teams in learning. But to make that happen, any competition has to be embedded within an established and successful culture of learning. Here are some thoughts on how that can work.
First, create a culture of learning
Creating a culture of learning is easier said than done. In our experience, it all needs to start with you as a leader. Show your teams that learning is a key driver behind every decision and action you take as a business. You might even want to explicitly say this by establishing it as a company value.
Help your teams to see how their personal goals and the goals of the business are aligned, and how their newly acquired skills can also contribute to everyone’s success. And finally, make sure that you reward and recognise those people whose behaviours are contributing to developing a successful learning culture in your organisation.
But we also know that even when there is a healthy culture of learning within an organisation, not everyone is going to be fully engaged in training. Every learner has different motivations.
We’ve found that this is often where introducing some healthy competition can be a useful catalyst to encourage even greater engagement.
Make learning fun
It’s easy to forget sometimes – as we focus on strategic objectives, regulatory requirements and bottom lines – that people still need to actually enjoy what they do every day at work.
That includes learning, and here at Cognito we’ve always been committed to the idea that making learning fun is a critical aspect of engaging employees successfully. We’ve found that using techniques like gamification can encourage people to get more involved in training, help them to enjoy it more and motivate them to perform even better.
So, how does Cognito build this into the learner experience? Our leaderboards are a fun and engaging way to generate some gentle competition between employees. You might use them to reward those employees who have improved the most or who are performing at the highest levels.
They’re a simple mechanism for recognising and rewarding employees – and in turn reinforcing the behaviours you want to underpin your culture of learning. Of course, we also know that competition isn’t for everyone, which is why we’ve made the gamification tools an optional feature in our technology.
Keep it personal
Once again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to take a personal approach to the learning journey your employees are on. Focus on the big strategic objectives of course, but always remember that people learn in different ways, at varying speeds and with their own very personal motivations.
Cognito’s technology makes leaning an ongoing process. It adapts to the needs of individuals while making it easy for the organisation to see how those needs align with any overarching strategy.
As part of this process, introducing a bit of competition or gamification is just another tool to help you to achieve your aims as a trainer. And with Cognito, we’ve made it easy for you to make use of it if it is appropriate for your teams.
To find out more about how Cognito’s gamification features could help to drive knowledge retention and performance in your own business, get in touch with us today. Just call us on 01423 203 733 for a chat.