Changing behaviors is hard — even if the behavior is just getting people to take training! We can’t rely on our employees to be compelled to enter our platforms just because we tell them that it’s “suggested” or “required” training. Our employees are busy, so why should they use their precious time on what we assign to them?
The thing is, the most relevant and effective training content in the world will only be effective if people consume it. Getting learners onto your platforms and into your content is an essential first step before any change can take place, and it’s time we all put more emphasis on changing that behavior.
From our efforts over the years working with clients launching Grovo, or specific learning programs within Grovo, we have some suggestions for how to raise completion rates (completion rates of assigned content by customers on Grovo are ~92% and climbing). Here’s what we’ve found:
One-time announcements aren’t enough
Instead of one automatic email notification that goes out with a new assignment, the most effective launches make use of multiple instances of When learners are informed or reminded about the training, How they are informed or reminded, and Who the message comes from.
The first mistake we make is relying on the one-time assignment notification to do everything. Instead:
- Start the hype before the launch, like previews for a movie. Get people excited that it’s coming, and aware of the date when the training will “drop”
- Make an extra big deal on the day of the launch (see How and Who, below)
- Follow up. Remind folks who haven’t completed the training both as the due date approaches, and increasingly if the training is overdue
The second mistake we make is relying on one avenue to promote our training – and often that’s email, which is full of spam and other things we’re conditioned to ignore.
- Use physical advertisements. We’ve had customers hang posters throughout their building, or stick fliers on the backs of doors or desks
- Mention it in-person. If it’s important, give it airtime. Make sure people hear about it
- Use other electronic media. Put a splash on the homepage of your intranet or send around related stats on Slack
- And if you’re sending email, make sure it packs a punch. Craft your titles, use some design, and make sure the content includes the value-prop for the content – why should your learners want to take this?
The third mistake we make is relying on HR or L&D to be the mouthpiece (or worse still, just relying on the automatic notifications from the learning platform) when important initiatives should be championed by people throughout the organization.
- Get your leadership to communicate the importance of the initiative to the success of the company
- Get managers involved. This is especially important for follow-up and accountability, since managers have direct and authoritative relationships with every employee. If they’re communicating how important it is, and enforcing that it gets done, your completion rates will go up
- Provide avenues for peers to encourage each other. Why do they think this training is relevant or important? What are they hoping to get out of it?
Let’s look at a launch in action
Here’s an example launch campaign arranged by timeline (When) for a topic that is near and dear to many of our hearts right now: Sexual Harassment Prevention.
- Who: L&D How: physical
- L&D posts fliers on bathroom stall doors with stats about how sexual harassment affects workers, announcing that training is coming that will help everyone contribute to a more inclusive and safe environment
- Who: CEO How: in-person
- CEO addresses need for inclusion training and action at company all-hands, emploring everyone to engage once the training is launched
- Who: Managers How: in-person
- Managers reiterate the need for this training in their team meetings, and the impact they’re hoping it will have on their environment
- Who: L&D How: email
- Sexual Harassment Prevention assignment email goes out via the platform or HR
- Who: HR How: other electronic medium
- Assignment splash page is added to intranet
- Who: Managers How: email
- Managers send follow-up email to their teams reinforcing the importance of completing the assignment on time
- Who: L&D, Leadership, and Peers How: other electronic medium
- L&D creates a Slack channel or discussion forum for learners to post the most impactful moments or takeaways as they complete the training (managers and leadership actively encourage participation)
- Who: L&D How: email
- Email reminders are sent to learners who have not yet completed the training, and to those learners’ managers via the platform or HR
- Who: Managers How: in-person
- Managers follow-up with individuals who have not completed the training by the due date
Get started on your next launch
Many of us work for resource-strapped teams and can’t make all of this happen, and it’s not always easy to motivate leadership and managers to support training initiatives. But take a look at what you’re doing now and see if you can add even one additional When, How, or Who. See what kind of impact that will have on your completion rates.
And if you’re interested in using your new launching skills on the Sexual Harassment Prevention content we mentioned above, take a look through ten of our new lessons, which we’ve made available to everyone for free. It’s a great opportunity to launch an engaging training initiative that can have a valuable impact throughout your organization.