Workforce training is an integral part of a supportive workplace. According to LinkedIn, an enormous 93% of employees are more likely to stay at a company that offers sufficient development opportunities.
With retention statistics like that, it’s clear that learning and development are key, but knowing how to keep adult students engaged is another matter. Whether you opt for in-person training or online courses, read on for our top tips when it comes to adult learning.
Great learning requires active participation, and for that, you need to set attainable and realistic goals for adult learners.
Marking out learning objectives is ideally done in collaboration with your employee. Part of the learning experience is knowing to implement clear goals. It also means that they get an idea of your expectations while you get an idea of how feasible those expectations are.
Plus, you can explore how best they learn. Many people subscribe to the 70-20-10 learning theory, in which 70% of learning is hands-on, 20% is based on mentorship, and just 10% is traditional classroom learning. However, people like learning in different ways, so discuss how best to teach your employees, and you’ll find them much more likely to meet the set goals.
Online learning can be beneficial here, as it often allows learners to work at their own pace.
Aligning the learning process with clear goals can help to increase motivation to learn. They mark milestones and can be noted and potentially rewarded accordingly. At the very least, your employee can bring them up at their next annual review.
It’s essential in adult education that you treat learners like adults. If you talk down to people and demand they learn the skills you want them to learn, likely, they won’t be very inclined to put much effort in.
However, if you discuss their ideal outcomes and let them decide which direction the learning should take, you’re likely to increase engagement tenfold.
You’re more likely to see active problem-solving, as well as dedication to eLearning when letting people use self-direction.
People have different learning styles and existing skill sets. Some might prefer role-playing, especially for situational learning like management roles. Others might learn best with a well put together Powerpoint discussing the subject matter.
Student engagement is key to a productive development strategy, so anything you can do to encourage it is worth a try.
Remember wondering in maths class how exactly learning quadratic equations would help in the real world? Just as with younger students, adult learners want to know how corporate training applies to real-life situations.
Keep your training hyper-relevant to the role and position of the employees you’re targeting. It’s no use sending people for unnecessary training: not only might their disengagement put them off any form of learning, but you might also find that they start to seek alternative employment.
They’ll start to feel that their career goals aren’t aligned with your company goals, which is a recipe for disillusionment and dissatisfaction.
It’s vital to demonstrate the value of any training you embark on.
Any corporate training aims to make it easier for employees to do their jobs well, and they will also benefit from this.
Set out clearly how the training will help them to become more efficient or progress to a higher level of working, and you’ll likely see an uptick in engagement and uptake.
Take feedback on board
Ultimately, learning activities are supposed to be of benefit to both employer and employee. New knowledge can be gained in many ways, so listen to people’s immediate feedback to find the suitable method for them.
People will start to discover what learning environment is best for them – whether that’s eLearning courses or learning from somebody else’s life experiences.
By aligning the training with your employees’ goals, you’ll encourage growth and progression. A great way to do this? Answer any questions they may have, and promote an open and honest discussion of what is and isn’t working.
Learning opportunities are a crucial part of workplace satisfaction and have to be approached carefully. Remember that everyone learns differently. Some might enjoy a learning community or group discussion, while others would benefit more from mentoring and exposure to real-world experience.
So whether you’re looking for training on management or social media, bear these tips in mind and implement the best L&D strategy your company has ever seen.