Upskilling is vital for companies to empower their workforce for the future. Read this blog to learn the four ways L&D can motivate their teams to upskill.

 You’ve put in the time, effort and resources in creating an effective upskilling program for your employees. Great! But your job as a learning leader should go beyond that.

Now that you have the tools and strategy in place, it’s time to be committed to motivating employees to learn. After all, training is only as good as its adoption rate, and yours might fall flat if you don’t start driving engagement.

With an engaged workforce reaping a multitude of benefits, from higher productivity and lower turnover to satisfied customers, there’s no question that it’s now top of mind for L&D moving forward. LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report even reveals that around 35% of L&D professionals are looking for newer ways to increase learner engagement.

Since L&D can help bring back the sense of satisfaction employees have in their improved ability to perform the tasks in the new environment, how exactly can they grapple with this challenge?

Here are four ways how HR teams can help employees upskill:

1. Connect personal goals with company goals

When personal goals don’t support overall company goals, employees might narrow the scope of their focus to simply completing their daily tasks without feeling like part of the operations of the larger business.

By helping them realize just how important their roles are in the great scheme of things and how training fits into that, the more they’ll be motivated to take charge of their own career advancement opportunities.

The key is to let them know that their individual goals are aligned with larger company objectives. Because with training, you always want to go back to the questions “What do you want to accomplish through your upskilling initiative, and how can employee training get you there?”

While team managers have the direct responsibility of keeping their teams in check when it comes to learning, your role as an L&D is just as crucial to help learners see the bigger picture — that the training they’re given now is a vital part of the company’s growth moving forward.

So ask employees what they need to improve, analyze performance objectives, and give them the training they need to get better at their jobs, and contribute to the organization.

2. Make training relevant for each learner

Another great way to motivate employees to participate in training is by making courses practical and relevant to their jobs and daily tasks. This way, training can support not only their personal goals but also the company’s overall goals.

If the business goal is to work with international teams better, then equip employees with proficient language skills. If your company is undergoing digital transformation, then help them become digitally fluent through training.

More than that, upskilling can become even more relevant and personalized by serving different learning styles, preferences and paces. Because, truth be told, not everyone learns the same way.

Some prefer following a rigid training path while others prefer having the freedom to explore different courses on their own. Some learn best when consuming microlearning videos or audio lectures while others prefer taking quizzes and activities.

With the digital learning technology we have now, hyper-personalizing learning for each employee is completely possible as you have a world of content formats at your fingertips. Videos, articles, activities, and other content types make eLearning engaging for everyone. 

Speaking of learning technology, let’s get onto our next point.

3. Provide accessible training through technology

Learning technology has long played a big role in keeping employees engaged in their career development programs. Employees are able to learn anytime, anywhere, and from any device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or desktop.

Simply put, it makes learning easily accessible. And for busy adult learners that are always on-the-go, having training on-hand is just the flexibility they need to stay on top of their personal growth whenever their energy levels and focus are maximized for retention.

Moreover, with online training, employees can register directly on the company’s LMS/LXP, and everything is a breeze from there. You can now enhance wider learning by delivering microlearning and adaptive learning content to all of your employees around the world.

When training is compatible across the technologies the organization and its employees use, the more engaging training becomes. That’s why L&D teams everywhere are scrambling to make technology a vital part of their efforts.


4. Incentivize your upskilling program

Another great way to elevate the impact of your upskilling initiatives is to recognize employees for their learning achievements. And digital badging has proved to be a sure-fire solution to engage learners who are acquiring new skills.

Badging basically represents the successful completion of a course on a specific skill, knowledge, or capability. In other words, once a learner successfully learns a new skill, they’ll be instantly recognized for their achievement.

Who won’t be motivated to learn by that, right?

Jonathan Finkelstein, founder and CEO of Credly, even shares that badging promotes learning “by mapping a clear pathway for employees to understand where they have been and where they are headed on their lifelong learning journey. As individuals notice that their opportunities increase with each earned badge, they are motivated to learn more.” 

As you incentivize employees to do well in the training, this ensures they feel informed, included and valued in the framework within which they’re working. Plus, it allows them to develop their careers by achieving mastery in the skills most needed in their job role and industry.

Now, that’s a training win for both the organization and the individual!

Bottom Line

As the job market continuously changes over time, L&D is always on the lookout for new ways to motivate and engage employees in their learning journey. 

Empower your employees to learn by putting these key learning motivation elements in place. Once you do, you’ll be surprised at how much learners are maximizing their upskilling courses!

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