June 6, 2022

Top 11 Ways To Improve Learner Engagement

What if you could make every employee a lifelong learner?

What if you could foster a vibrant learning culture?  

If you’re a Learning and Development (L&D) professional, we know what keeps you up at night – how do I get employees to engage with training material and learn? 

Yes, learner engagement is one of the most pressing L&D challenges. Disengaged employees cost their organizations the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary

Employees are your organization’s biggest asset. So, an investment in learning and engagement is the most important one you’ll make.

Why is Learner Engagement Important?

If there's one thing that makes a training program effective, it's engagement. Engaged employees enjoy training and are motivated to excel in their roles. A successful training program motivationally and behaviorally engages employees by capturing their attention.

You could have the most advanced learning systems in place and still be grappling with low engagement levels. Presenting educational, relevant, and helpful material to learners is no easy feat.  According to a study, 31% of respondents agreed that getting employees engaged in remote training was a top challenge.

Employees, too, want to work for companies that invest in learning and professional growth. A staggering 40% of employees leave the organization in just a year if they receive poor training.

This article brings you the top 11 ways of maximizing learner engagement. Use these strategies to promote successful learning outcomes for your employees.

  1. Understand Your Learner’s Needs

The starting point of learner engagement is understanding learners' needs and their ties to your organization’s larger goals.

Start thinking about ‘engagement’ as early as the data-gathering stage of the training phase. Know where your learners come from and who they are. Choose the best formats and platforms for delivering material – recorded sessions, text-heavy modules, videos, etc.

Don't forget to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are your program's learning aims and objectives?
  • What does it have to do with the employee’s job? 
  • How much effort is involved on the learner’s part??

When you’re in tune with your learners’ needs, you’re well on your way to delivering incredible learning outcomes. 

  1. Get Creative with Content

Give your learners confusing, dull content and lose their attention in the blink of an eye. 

Deliver your training content in diverse formats to boost engagement - documents, spreadsheets, slides, infographics, audio, and video. Nothing fares better than visual learning tools when it comes to grabbing attention. Research suggests that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than reading training material. To deliver effective training, take it a notch up by adding interactive elements like quizzes along an individual’s learning path.

  1. Use Engaging Videos 

In the world of L&D, video is far from new. In fact, videos make one of the most popular ways of delivering training content to employees.

It’s no secret that video allows an interactive learning experience compared to text. Thanks to social media platforms, it’s also a medium we (sometimes excessively) engage in – think YouTube and Insta reels.

The difficulty lies in creating appealing content that engages the learner. While the video is an effective medium to impart learning, it isn’t a replacement for inadequate planning.

Before publishing your first training video, know how you’ll use it to offer your learners knowledge. A storyboard is an excellent tool you can use to plan this out.

When visualizing your script with a storyboard, answer a few questions –

  • What is the objective of the videos?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What are the topics you want to cover?
  • What types of video will you use – instructor-led, slides, speaker-led, computer recordings, or Zoom recordings?

It’s essential that learners can navigate a video with ease, especially if it runs for several minutes or hours. 

Imagine reading a book. When you want to jump to a specific chapter, you go to the index to locate it.

Now, imagine if learners could navigate a video in the same way. Wouldn’t their learning experience be incredibly different from one where they must sit through an hour-long video? 

Learners must be able to find the information they’re looking for. Use a tool to ‘chapter’ your videos, and you’ll see learner engagement improving drastically. 

  1. Deliver Short Modules

Learners today expect short, crisp modules. An excellent way to get creative with your material is to use elements of microlearning. Break your material down into bite-sized, easily digestible content that spans a few minutes.

Tip: Break down longer videos into short 5-minute ones that employees can consume on the go. Incentivize employees to complete these by adding gamification and interactive elements. 

  1. Gamify 

Did you know that learners forget 70% of what they learn in a session in just 24 hours?

Gamification has helped L&D departments boost learner engagement by using tried-and-tested gaming elements. Incorporating game elements into your training is a sure-shot way to have learners enjoy and retain content. 

The beauty of game design principles lies in how they affect human behavior. Use gamified elements based on real-life work scenarios to help your employees understand the demands of their roles.

For instance, a company can use VR to deliver its code of conduct training by simulating an environment that tests an employee’s decision-making abilities.

Here is what gamification can look like for your training program: 

  • Leaderboards for training completion
  • Interactive quizzes 
  • Rewards and badges
  • Interactive trivia games with different groups competing against one another
  1. Personalize Content

According to a LinkedIn report, over three-quarters of learners prefer personalized learning based on their career goals and skills gaps. Deliver the right content in the right way and at the right time to improve learner engagement.

Especially in the wake of the pandemic, employees are looking at hyper-personalized learning experiences that account for their needs and goals. 

Make way for greater personalization in your training modules by allowing for alternate learning paths that focus on an employee’s role. Learners will enjoy a course that impacts daily performance at work.

  1. Offer Rewards and Badges

What begins as a clever tactic to win a game can lead to behavioral change for learners. There is wisdom in some good old friendly rivalry, after all.

Reward the types of training behaviors that lead to successful learning outcomes. Physical prizes such as team meals, overnight experience seminars, and gift cards can be beautiful motivators in addition to recognition.

The more positive experiences you can create for employees, the more their engagement levels climb. 

  1. Include Social Elements

As employees learn in remote setups post-COVID, including social elements in their training becomes essential. 

L&D professionals have found value in involving internal influencers to promote learning. Think senior executives, managers, and learners’ peers. Your leadership team is critical in fostering a learning culture.

According to a LinkedIn study, 56% of learners would focus on learning if their bosses recommended courses for upskilling.

Another way to include social elements is to leverage peer-recommended learning. Encourage early program participants to share their experiences of applying conceptual learning in the work environment. Feature testimonies from learners with answers to questions like:

  • How did the program assist them in their current position?
  • What are the program's top three advantages?
  • How were they able to put what they learned in the program to use?

Tip: Use posters, short videos, or email campaigns starring your senior executives.

  1. Use Analytics

The L&D professional’s job doesn’t end with delivering training, and you need data to assess how employee performance has changed after training completion. 

You also need to dive deep into learner engagement data. It means asking questions like:

  • How are employees interacting with training material?
  • Are they skipping videos or watching them from start to finish?
  • Are they able to quickly navigate to the sections they want to view?
  • What are the course completion rates?
  • What do engagement metrics - hot topics, drop-off rates, and revisit points – look like?
  • How can we use these metrics to deliver relevantly and targeted learning content?

To evaluate how learning affects overall engagement and retention, look beyond course completion rates and post-learning surveys. You also need to understand qualitative data if employees found the training valuable and relevant to their job.

  1. Spot Skills Gaps

L&D professionals make sure the workforce stays up to date with the latest trends. You need to access and address skill gaps, so their performance aligns with the organization’s broader goals.

Understand the skills your learners currently have and what skills they need to know to meet the company’s goals.

  1. Implement feedback 

Employees that feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to do their best work on the job. Yes, collecting learner feedback on training content and delivery is a must. But it’s equally important to implement the feedback.

The good news is that employees are happy to provide feedback when it helps them improve their own learning experience.


You know the drill. Select a training concept, plan ahead, and train your team. 

To help learners get the most out of your video content, turn to VideoKen. Turn training videos into simple and engaging learning material.

VideoKen is an AI-based Video Interactivity Solution that transforms learning videos into interactive and immersive experiences. The result – is empowered employees armed with skills that help them perform their best.

Related blog: Top 6 Methods to Skyrocket Employee Engagement Using Gamification


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Vishnu Raned | Co-founder & CEO

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