Three ways to motivate learners

by Brett Henebery16 May 2017
It’s no secret that jaded learners can have a negative impact on productivity, and this is an issue that all organisations seek to avoid by rolling out initiatives to boost motivation and happiness in the workplace.

But let’s face it – some learners are incredibly hard to motivate.

According to one L&D professional, there’s plenty that organisations can do to engage these learners and help them perform better when they’re ‘back on the job’.

Mark McPherson is a speaker, trainer and coach specialising in helping CEOs, managers, business owners, consultants and their staff get the best behaviour, communication and performance from people

McPherson spoke at the Learning & Development Masterclass held in Sydney last year, presenting on how to help reluctant learners become enthusiastic.

Below, he points out three effective solutions to help organisations do this.

1. Make programs easy to access.

McPherson said that above all else, an organisation’s programs need to easy to access.

“They need to be convenient and in formats different learners like. Learners need to be given time to 'attend' the training and to practice,” he explained.

“The material must be easy to use and follow. There should be clear pathways and opportunities for achievement - and clear recognition of achievement.”

2. Make programs enjoyable.

McPherson said that while it may sound simple, it needs to be said. For people to learn, they need to enjoy participating in the program and need to enjoy learning the material.

“To make it enjoyable for the reluctant learner, we need to make a special effort,” McPherson said.
“It doesn’t mean we need to cater to everyone’s whims or make our programs a ‘laugh a minute’. It just means we need to make sure our reluctant learners continue to ‘get something out of it’.”

3. Make programs meaningful.

“Most of us want to know why we’re being asked to learn something,” McPherson said.

“We want to see some meaning in the learning and a clear purpose. And this is especially the case for reluctant learners.”

“It means we need to tell them – without them having to ask - the answers to questions like: Why am I being asked to learn this stuff?; How will I use what I learn? and even What happens if I don't 'pass’?”

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