It is incredibly disheartening to put all of your creative efforts into a piece of learning design for it to be largely ignored by your target audience. You’ve identified the organisational need, followed a robust design process and come up with a killer approach – so why won’t people engage with it? The answer is often that internal marketing and communication about the project has been in-effectual, or even non-existent. Here are our top tips to stop this happening to you.
People won’t use something that they don’t even know is there. Find out where your target audience hang out and focus your communications there. For example, this could be posters near the coffee machine/water cooler or using social networks and of course talk to your Comms Team to put an announcement on the Intranet too.
Help your learners to understand what’s in it for them. Depending on your subject matter and audience, you could introduce a fun or a competitive element or even incentivise it too.
Like Marketing, you need to align your elearning to a wider organisational initiative or strategic objective. Any training that is being undertaken should be in line with company strategy anyway, but it can help raise awareness and encourage participation by piggy-backing onto something that is already high-profile within the organisation.
Find yourself some advocates or as I call them eLearning Champions in each of your companies teams. Imagine what a difference it will make to take-up if you have someone who is visible, influential and popular within their team telling everyone else how great your new learning is. The flip side is to find ways of communicating with your detractors. For example, if you know one of your stakeholders has issues with your approach, don’t just ignore them and hope they’ll go away. Take time to listen to them and work through their objections. If you do it right, they could become an advocate too!
Another good idea I have done before is run a pilot group. Although end-users will have been involved in your design process, this will give you the chance to gain more feedback from the users themselves and to create a bit of excitement around your eLearning. Their feedback will help you to hone your offering before rolling it out and can then you could use them as champions to help spread the word.
Don’t just communicate about the project when it is launched but share progress throughout the build. Be open about the challenges you have faced in creating the learning intervention and celebrate any successes with the wider organisational community. The aim is to have your audience feel like they have taken a journey with you, that they are active participants and that everyone can share in the glory when it all goes right.