Understanding User Adoption in Corporate Training
User adoption in corporate training describes the uptake from employees and how willing they are to use and engage with the training content and tools that have been made available to them. The initial goal of launching a new corporate training or employee development program is to generate interest from the workforce and encourage individuals to enroll or enter a training plan. Achieving high user adoption rates is the ideal outcome of generating interest. This means more employees are likely to complete the training and benefit the organization by improving individual performance and increasing productivity.
To achieve high user adoption rates, the corporate training program needs to have a user-centric focus. This involves carrying out research to identify the needs and preferences of employees, designing programs that are tailored to individual learning styles and job responsibilities, and allocating time dedicated to training so employees don’t struggle to balance their day-to-day duties. It’s important that employees feel supported throughout their training, feel confident in giving feedback, and have the space to practice their new skills or knowledge. Finally, employers need to be willing to adapt training programs where they aren’t effective or engaging, this ensures employees feel heard and that their needs are being considered.
Techniques to Drive User Adoption
To overcome low adoption rates, organizations need to build a user adoption strategy that communicates why employees should want training and what benefits they will gain by completing the training.
Communicate the Training Needs
Understanding and communicating why training is needed is the first step to driving adoption. A training needs assessment is used to identify the skill and knowledge gaps within a department or across the organization. The training needs analysis also helps to identify learning styles, determine the training method, and outline what success looks like when the training is completed. Once this analysis is complete, it’s easier to communicate to the prospective learners where they have gaps in their abilities, and what training will be able to do for them. The organization then uses the data collected from the training needs assessment to offer tailored training solutions to each individual depending on their preferred learning style. This helps employees to feel more engaged in training and to motivate training completion.
For example, needs are assessed across specific soft skills including communication, product knowledge, and collaboration, and on the ability to use the internal CRM software. Soft skills rate okay across the organization, but CRM ability is low, so this is prioritized. All the employees that have a low score for their CRM ability state they respond best to an e-learning structure. The training program is then designed so that it incorporates the online learning resources offered by the CRM provider. Before launching, the organization informs their employees of the upcoming training, the format that will be used, and how it will benefit - by speeding up productivity, giving individuals more confidence in their platform use, and making the platform work more efficiently for the organization’s needs. Once launched, employee progress is then tracked daily to ensure everyone is getting the most out of the training and the program can be adjusted where required.
Allocate Time for Training
Employees have busy days, they have their own duties to carry out as well as any collaborative tasks they are working on, and general admin. Expecting employees to simply find time for training can cause user adoption rates to decline as other tasks are prioritized over the opportunity for training. To ensure that employees get the most out of the training available to them, paid time should be allocated on their daily, weekly, or monthly calendar to ensure they have ample time to learn. This can be communicated as the ‘number of training hours’ allowed within the specific time period, e.g. 20 minutes a day, 2 hours a week, 10 hours a month, and allows employees some flexibility in when they focus on training. Managers or training leaders should check in with employees regularly to make sure they are using their allocated time to train or clear any blockers that are causing employees to miss their training time.
Design a Rewards Program
Communicating benefits is one method of driving user adoption. Showing benefits is often more effective as it helps employees envision themselves achieving these benefits and what opportunities are created. A rewards program for employee development programs is a great way to boost engagement in training and motivate employees to complete their training plan. Rewards can take many forms, physical certificates used to be the go-to common reward but many organizations are now turning to digital credentials.
Digital credentials make it easier to track and monitor ongoing achievement and eliminate the material and printing cost of paper certificates. Hosted on a dedicated page, digital credentials have plenty of space to describe the program including the assessment criteria and add skill tags to show what the recipient has demonstrated during their training. Digital credentials include digital certificates and digital badges which are used to represent completion in different ways depending on the impact of training. For example, digital badges are often used to reward the completion of individual modules within a course. While a digital certificate is awarded at the end of the program to represent the entire course.
Ongoing Support and Follow-Up
Finally, ongoing support and follow-up is an effective method of maintaining high user adoption. The more that managers check in with their employees as they undertake training, the better the employee will feel about their progress. This creates an opportunity for the manager to pass along any complaints, difficulties, or disengagement with the program and work towards adapting the training. It also allows managers to understand what is causing roadblocks in assessing training and remove these blocks where possible. Ongoing support and follow-up is important for building trust with employees and will encourage them to provide honest feedback that may be the difference between successful or unsuccessful training. This process also helps organizations to identify any gaps in the user adoption strategy, which can then be resolved prior to the next training program launch.
Employees that have opportunities to learn or pursue development are able to perform their job duties better. But employers need to do more than simply launch a training program for it to be successful. They need to communicate to their employees why training is important and what benefits they will gain through completing the training program. They need to provide regular support and follow-ups to ensure employees are engaged with their training and aren’t facing blockers preventing them from learning. They should allocate dedicated time for training so that employees don’t feel additional stress trying to balance work and learning. Finally, they should consider a rewards program that boosts motivation towards training and offers a tangible reward that employees can add to their development portfolio.
Want to see how digital credentials are used to reward, engage, and motivate employees in learning? Book a platform demo today. Or download our free Digital Credentials Buyer’s Guide to learn more about the benefits and use cases of digital credentials.