Take a Holistic Approach to Learner Engagement

Engagement. It’s a word we use a lot, admittedly probably too much. We stress and stress the importance of building engaging training content. And, while it might seem like we’re belaboring the point, the importance of learner engagement is unquestionable.

You know an organization with engaged employees when you see it — their people shine, they excel in crafting great experiences. Things just function smoothly. So, what are these businesses doing differently than others, and how can you work towards that?

As a learner moves through your training system, think about how a learner will use lessons learned after their training. Try asking yourself: Does the course provide actionable information, something the learner can use in their day-to-day work?

Recently, Wisetail client L&M Supply implemented sales challenges within its Wisetail LMS. Every month, up to four items are posted to its LMS, The Lodge, and it’s up to each store to choose how to market each product. From there, sales numbers are recorded and updated regularly in the Lodge, so individual stores can see how they stack up against others.

The L&M Supply "Item of the Month" page features the sales numbers for each respective L&M Supply store. Learner Engagement.

L&M Supply challenges it’s employees to compete and interact with other stores via sales challenges in their LMS.

The results?


Monthly sales for one item increased by 5700% compared to the previous year and learner engagement soared. (The Lodge has one of the highest engagement rates of any Wisetail client). The sales challenge isn’t just a one-way street with management dictating what to do, either. Employees comment on the challenge modules, offer suggestions for what items might work well in the future, and upload pictures of their displays.

This brings us to another question you should ask yourself: how does information flow throughout my organization? Rather than only passing information from the top down, by way of training content, consider the ways you can give voice to employees and empower them to connect with each other and with leadership.

Halo Burger utilizes Wisetail's NOW@ Feature to connect learners to leadership. Learner Engagement.

Halo Burger utilizes a NOW@ to connect employees with their CEO.

Employees today want to connect with leadership and ensure their ideas/opinions are heard. Connection to leadership demonstrates the value leaders place in their employees, allows them to communicate their vision to the organization, and gives everyone a voice to produce a shared understanding.

Wisetail client Halo Burger built a NOW@ specifically to connect employees to its founder, Chance Richie. Employees can speak directly with Chance to discuss anything from new menu suggestions to the long-term vision for the company.

Delivering useful content and providing a chance to connect with leadership are key components in encouraging engagement. But employees also need opportunities for growth. Employees are much more likely to invest emotionally — to engage — in the company when they feel like the company is invested in them. After all, if employees don’t see future opportunities for themselves at your organization, what’s keeping them around?

Lazy Dog built a page dedicated to personal growth for it's employees. Learner Engagement.

Lazy Dog Cafe keeps learners engaged by providing clearly outlined career paths.

Another Wisetail Client, Lazy Dog Cafe, created an entire program dedicated to continued growth for its employees. This program, myGPS (or Guide to Personal Success) lays out all of the information an employee needs to know regarding various positions and the development paths to get there. From a SCORM module illustrating the different paths one can take to week-by-week training programs, an employee can see exactly what’s expected of them and what their future could look like. To top it all off, they validate these paths with videos of real employee success stories.

A truly engaged workforce requires a holistic view of the employee experience. Time and time again, companies with engaged employees outperform their counterparts by a significant margin. Further, employee engagement does more than boost productivity. Organizations often report reduced turnover, less absenteeism, and a general increase in workplace satisfaction. It’s no surprise then that these benefits are then passed on to consumers. Foresee, a customer-service analytics firm, issued two surveys, one to employees and the other to customers of two dozen global retail businesses to determine satisfaction and engagement. The results? Employee engagement had a direct, positive effect on customer satisfaction for these brands.