With business operations constantly evolving, it is important that your employees maintain the skills and competencies critical to their respective fields. And this is particularly important when it comes to highly regulated industries like manufacturing and finance that depend on compliance training. Knowledge is power and having the power to operate industry-specific systems, products, or effectively follow operational best practices means money in your pocket. That is where developing certification courses can be of huge benefit to organizations and individual employees alike.
Certification courses are often required to work in specific fields. The problem, however, is that compliance training content can be dull and monotonous in high technicality roles. Solving the “boring” factor of certification training while still engaging your employees to learn the material is a tricky balance to strike, but not impossible.
Custom eLearning design and digital learning methods can be helpful in making info-dense subject matter more engaging. The more engaging you make the information you need your employees to learn, the more likely they will be able to retain it and use it going forward.
Gamification: One of the most effective ways to engage employees in their online certification training is to add competitive gamification elements. Incorporating game-like mechanics (e.g., leaderboards, and badging) into your training makes it fun and adds some challenge. But complex simulations and serious games also provide learners realistic learning experiences that resemble their highly technical compliance operations.
When used correctly gamification can give your company an edge by increasing employee motivation to complete their certifications. Anecdotally, employees that feel motivated to continue their industry education through your compliance training initiative are more likely to stay with your company, help increase revenue, and raise the efficiency and quality of the products and services you offer. Gamification is also particularly great for today’s workforce that consists of around 46% of Millennials who respond particularly well to those learning methods.
Buy-in: Using training methods that stimulate competition while taking mundane topics and making them fun is one way to ensure employee buy-in. However, being clear and concise about what you are doing and why are important components to getting everyone on the same page too. Make sure your employees understand what outcomes you are hoping to achieve through your eLearning certification courses. The more context they have as to the “why” of the training, the more likely they are to buy-in and learn the material, rather than viewing it as a pointless game, or presentation.
Theories and Perspectives
William Khan’s theory of employee engagement describes criteria for employees to harness their “full self” in the workplace:
- Meaningfulness of the work (or training).
- Feelings of safety that they can fully express themselves and give feedback without negative consequences.
- Feeling they can be mentally and physically available to harness their full potential.
What we can learn from Khan’s theory is that employee engagement depends on individual human factors like feelings of motivation, safety, and security. In that sense, you have to consider your learning culture as a whole, rather than individual compliance training initiatives. Does your leadership promote open communication? As your employees go through their compliance certification training, enable constant feedback around their experiences.
When these three criteria a met within your certification training your employees will be more likely to take ownership of their learning experience and, in turn, go the extra mile.