Tweaks to Your Training Request Process That Will Increase Learner Engagement

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You’ve worked so hard to build a training intake system. But apart from delivering you more requests, is it making your learners more engaged?

We’ve written extensively before about the need to streamline the training request process. Not only does a well-planned, automated system reduce paperwork and headaches, but it also increases learner engagement, helping to create a culture of learning that so many organizations seek to cultivate.

Let’s have a look at some ways that L&D leaders can lean on the training intake systems they’ve spent so much time developing in order to increase learner engagement.

The requester—and learner —are more committed.

A training intake system that includes a detailed training request form can lead to better outcomes for everyone.

Asking the right questions up front on the form instead of waiting to find out essential information later on will ensure you have instant oversight into the request’s strategic value to the organization. 

These questions might include:

  • What specific situation, challenge, or need is prompting this request?
  • Type of training required
  • Desired business outcome from training
  • What skills or competencies will be learned?
  • Preferred format for training
  • Approximately how many learners will take this training?
  • Does this training already exist in any format?
  • What do you expect learners to be able to do after this training?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of this training?
  • Do you have documents or other resources that can be used as content for this training?

Some might feel that the sheer number and depth of the questions will alienate requesters. Employees may feel forced to spend too much time on the request, and perhaps might abandon the mission altogether.

However, this level of depth is necessary, for two reasons:

  1. It engages learners by making them think long and hard about the training they’re requesting. If they’re committed to learning, then they’ll answer as many questions as necessary on the form.
  2. It engages the L&D team, by giving them a headstart in building the course. It decreases risk and speeds up the Analysis phase of instructional design.

Casual requests made via a sticky note or instant message can’t possibly accomplish this.

It serves as internal advertising for the L&D team.

When word gets out about the new or revamped training intake system, curiosity will spike.

Better yet, when word gets out that a particularly popular course originated as the brainchild of one particular employee, you can leverage this success to your advantage.

Create internal content pieces that essentially serve as a Case Study or Success Story about how one employee’s training request led to X number of employees receiving training with Y% success rate (any data or metrics will make your story even more appealing.)

In fact, you can include some of this in the introduction to the course itself. In the About this Course, explain how the learning experience was sourced, selected, and developed.

The whole idea is to remove employee doubts that training is only something that happens top-down—when management requests it. While this is certainly true of some types of training, particularly that related to compliance or internal processes, you can demonstrate how other training originates from the bottom up, for everyone’s benefit.

This is sure to bring much engagement, if not excitement, to the courses developed internally.

The training intake system itself will create empowerment.

When employees realize that an internal system was built for the sole purpose of evaluating requests to learn, they will begin to see—and seek— its value.

Sure, curiosity will spike at the beginning, but as word spreads about the system, and as employees take training that originated as a single employee’s brainchild, they will feel empowered.

Even when you need to decline requests, make sure that you have a system in place that guides employees to external resources. This demonstrates that you’ve thought of everything.

Add a #RequestThatTraining hashtag to your internal social and communications channels to spark internal conversations. Of course, be sure to populate these chats with links to the training intake system you’ve worked so hard to build.

Employees will feel that someone hears their voice and wants them to succeed. This ultimately boosts morale and productivity.

Want to learn more about managing training intake? Check out this free ebook!

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