Learning – What’s in It for Me?

what's in your training program for your learnersDespite all the focus on the learner experience over the last few years, most companies failed to answer the most basic question from their learners:

What’s in it for me?”

Given the volatility and uncertainty of the pandemic era, organizations are scrambling to upskill and reskill their workforces to meet the future’s evolving demands, yet learners still want to know how they will benefit. Though on its face, the question may seem arrogant, even argumentative, it’s really a cry for help.

Corporate learning has unfortunately gotten to a place where the L&D function has taken a “we know what’s best for you” stance. Companies put together well-thought-out and designed programs, but simply making them available to learners without providing the how and why behind them is insufficient. The existence of the programs is no evidence of their effectiveness. It doesn’t work that way.

This is why companies struggle with learner engagement and adoption. And while many apply strategies like gamification, strong UX design and more to get and keep learners’ attention, all the best design practices in the world won’t engage learners if they aren’t connected to the learning in the first place. They must know what’s in it for them.

This starts by having learners involved in the process and incorporating their feedback into the overall learning strategy. It also requires knowing a program’s expected outcomes. Seems simple enough, but few companies build their learning programs based on specific, defined metrics. This leads to a bit of a hit-or-miss design/delivery approach — and a disastrous measurement process. Throughout it all, the learner may be unsure why they are engaging in the learning in the first place.

If we want to upskill and reskill the workforce in an agile, sustainable way, we must include the learner in the process. Find out how and when they prefer to learn and take it into consideration. Let people know what outcomes are expected of them, their teams, and the organization as a result of the learning programs. Give them an overview of how the program will be rolled out and manage expectations throughout. Taking this approach builds learner engagement before anyone has even clicked a link.

This is also the first step to personalizing learning at scale. It doesn’t have to be personalized down to the learner’s DNA, but answering the “what’s in it for me?” question provides the connection and contextual foundation for more impactful, engaging learning.

Download this eBook for a deeper dive into personalizing learning at scale.