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Motivating Your Employees to Learn Online: 4 Phases

Motivated and enthusiastic trainees stimulate both their own and their colleagues’ development. The same goes for online training as for live training; people talk about it during work and discuss each other’s progress. However, acceptance and motivation is not a switch you can just flick. Lead your employees through the four phases of motivation: from active rejection to active participation!

motivatie football huddle s

In educational design, answering the ‘Why’ and ‘WIIFM’ (What’s In It For Me) of the participant are seen as the way to switch ‘on’ motivation, e-learning expert Srividya Kumar argues. A convincing argument that is linked to participant’s self-interest is supposed to motivate them to keep paying attention during the program and to apply the acquired skills in practice. In reality however, motivation is a gradual succession of phases, through which a participant can move during the training program. Our task is to lead them to the final stage: active participation.

Phase 1: Active rejection

An employee in the active rejection phase does not agree with the training program and is therefore not motivated. Say you want to train your team to address each other more often and to give better feedback. This employee will say “I don’t really have time for a training program and I don’t need to improve my feedback. It really isn’t that hard.” In this case, online training’s independency of place and time can help to convince them it doesn’t need to take a whole day to train. It should also help to present the training program as a way to get everyone on the same skill level, where more experienced employees can actually serve as an example for their less experienced colleagues. They can offer a fresh look in their turn. A skill scan before the training program is an alternative. At this moment, the employee might realize they aren’t as skillful as they thought they were. This leads rejecting participants to phase 2.

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