Improving Employee Engagement – 8 Simple Tips
Employee engagement is seen as an internal state of being- physical, mental and emotional- that brings together earlier concepts of work effort, organisation commitment, job satisfaction and flow. In simpler terms, employee engagement is about waking up in the morning and not just going to work for work’s sake but feeling that your organisation is fulfilling its purpose and you are working on a common goal to achieve your business’s objectives.
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
– Simon Sinek
But why is it important?
According to a study done by Gallup only 13% of employees are engaged at work. This is very concerning as employee engagement is vital for business success. Having a disengaged workforce carries huge risks and now more than ever, for many people, work is less about money and more about job satisfaction.
“People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That’s the new talent contract.”
– Pamela Stroko, talent management expert
A Watson Wyatt study of 115 companies suggested that a company with highly engaged employees achieves a financial performance four times greater than companies with poor engagement (Watson Wyatt, 2009).
Likewise, further studies into employee engagement shows that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organisation than the disengaged4. They are also 78% more motivated to recommend their companies’ products and services and are less likely to take sick days: 2.69 per year compared to 6.19.
With all the statistics displaying the importance of Employee Engagement it is hard to ignore the fact highly engaged staff are vital to every organisation’s success.
But what does this all mean for online training?
Employee engagement plays a huge role in training, it is estimated that 23% of employees leave their jobs due to a lack of development opportunities and 58% of people in work feel ‘trapped’ in their current role due to lack of qualification and skills. Training and engagement go hand in hand and companies that use online learning technology achieve 18% boost in employee engagement. It is clear, ensuring you choose the right online training course is imperative to drive business success.
How to choose an effective online training course?
There are many online training platforms/courses on the market but they are all very different in styles, therefore there are elements employees must look for to ensure the courses have all the fundamentals necessary to meet their employee’s engagement needs. Here are 8 must have tips of what to look for in online training that will improve engagement.
- Incorporate real life scenarios into your course – Real life scenarios are a great way to reinforce your learning objectives and engage learners through a more memorable experience. It offers an insight into reality, as learners are able to experience how the decisions they choose affect the outcome, and apply their skills directly in real life. Learning platforms such as Academy925.com, an eLearning platform which provides employment training to employees in the workplace, does this by using real life scenarios, in which the player is required to respond to a range of ‘near-life’ work based situations.
- Use gamification/ game based learning – What is it? Gamification is the process of applying gaming designs and concepts to learning or training scenarios in order to make them more engaging and entertaining for the learner. How does it work? The basic principle of Gamification is that it provides employees with badges, points and meaningful rewards which successfully builds up the player’s motivation.Here is an example of gamification in action, a company called FreeRice18 created a game where each time you answered a question correctly, they donate 10 grains of rice to people for free, which are paid for by the sponsors of the site. The aim of the game is to educate people and help to end world hunger.
So…why is Gamification important to employee engagement? According to industry experts, using interactive learning games can increase long- term retention by up to 10 times the current retention levels. Gamification improves overall learning experience, it is engaging, entertaining and learners are more likely to stick to it. Still not convinced? Research shows that learners recall just 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear and 90% if they do the job themselves. There is a need for game based learning, with 80% of learners admitting that their productivity would increase if their University/ organisation was more game-like. Gamification might just be the key to bridging the gap between learning and engagement.
- Make it Visual – 40% of people respond to visual information better than plain text and are 60,000 times faster to process visual data than text, so using good visual design is vital. Ensure there a wide range of elements such as quizzes, surveys, animation, written content, and interactive videos as this can help to engage your learner more effectively. Long text and unappealing visual designs are likely to disengage employees. Be sure to choose a platform that is simple yet creative, as this can make a massive difference to how employees process and retain information.
- Offer Flexibility – It is estimated up to two thirds of UK adults now own a smartphone; that is 66% of the UKs population. People are now using their phones and tablets to access the internet: replacing their laptops to carry out daily task. Ensuring that you choose a course that is available on multiple platforms is vital so that employees are able to complete course at a pace, time and location which best suit their needs.
- Provide feedback – Providing comprehensible and effective feedback is vital in enabling the learner to get the most out of their course. Many courses have done this successfully, for example Mission Ready, developed by Digital Training Solutions and RedR UK as an online training platform for aid workers, uses a feedback tool as part of its courses. The platform tracks and monitors the player’s decisions, which enables the learner to better understand their choices. Choosing a course that has an automatic monitoring tool is an easier way of keeping track of your learner’s journey and provide constructive feedback.
- Offer bitesize learning – Ensure that the training course you choose provides short yet substantial content as it will make it easier for learners to absorb information. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute study on the Attention span statistics, our average attention span in 2015 was measured at 8.25 seconds, which is less than a goldfish (9seconds).Bitesize learning is simpler, quicker and faster. It enables the learner to learn at their own pace and it can be done on the go. It also caters to a wide range of learning styles so ensuring that the content is bitesize is key to engaging your workforce.
- Interactive video – Interactive video offers a more immersive first person experience. Early research has shown that it has a 70%- 90% completion rate and can achieve up to 150% effective engagement. It is an emerging area and has opened numerous ways, as with Academy925, that trainees can engage in decision based scenarios direct from their computer or mobile device.
- Customisation – Would you give a cat dog food? Ensuring that the course you choose is tailored to your learners needs is very important. Every sector is different in how they operate so working with a professional in the field to customise your course is key to engaging employees and getting the most out of your eLearning course.
Digital Training Solutions works with organisations to digitise role-play based training and create engaging learning content. If you would like to learn more about our revolutionary Near-Life technology, please Contact Us.