Instructional design Workplace training

11 minute read

10 Proven Learner Engagement Strategies

Sonia Rebecca Menezes

Sonia Rebecca Menezes

To celebrate our tenth anniversary, we’ve compiled a series of "Top 10" resources that represent the heart and soul of what we do. We hope they continue to serve you well in your next chapter. Here's to the next ten years of growth, learning, and continuous self-improvement!

As an educator or trainer, one of the biggest challenges in the process of continuous education is keeping your learners engaged throughout the process. It's not uncommon for learners to lose focus or motivation, especially when faced with a long list of required training courses. Over the last 10 years at GoSkills, we've discovered that there are many ways to keep your learners interested and enthusiastic about their learning journey.

The power of engagement

When learners are engaged, they are more likely to retain information, apply what they have learned, and actually achieve their learning goals. On the other hand, disengaged learners are less likely to retain important knowledge, and may even stop participating in the experience altogether.

Here are a few statistics that highlight the importance of engaging learners:

  • A Gallup poll found that only 34% of U.S. workers are engaged at work. When workers are not engaged, they are less productive and less likely to stay with the company.
  • The 2023 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report states that the number one way organizations are working to improve retention is by “providing learning opportunities.”
  • The eLearning Industry reports that e-learning programs with gamification elements have completion rates up to 80% higher than traditional e-learning programs.

As GoSkills marks its tenth anniversary, we’re exploring the top ten ways to keep learners engaged, from instructional design to successful training and development tactics. Let’s dive in!

GoSkills gamification dashboard
GoSkills gamification dashboard

1. Create teams for different levels of experience

Creating teams based on levels of experience when training can bring numerous benefits. First and foremost, this training method allows for tailored training programs that cater to the specific needs of each group. Novices can benefit from more comprehensive training that covers the basics and foundational skills, while experienced team members can focus on more advanced techniques and complex scenarios. This can lead to more efficient use of time and resources as the training is tailored to the specific skill level of each group.

Additionally, it can create a supportive environment where team members can learn from each other and share their knowledge and experience. This can also boost morale and confidence, leading to higher engagement and productivity.


2. Assign courses to teams or learners

Another effective way to keep learners engaged is by assigning courses to teams or individual learners. By assigning specific courses, learners are more likely to take ownership of their learning journey and feel a sense of responsibility to complete the courses on time.  It can also provide personalized learning opportunities that are tailored to their specific needs and interests. This way,  you can keep learners motivated by allowing them to progress at their own pace and receive feedback that's relevant to their unique learning goals.

Assigning courses provides a structured approach to learning that helps all necessary topics are covered and that everyone is on the same page.

3. Assign due dates

Setting deadlines for your learners can bring several benefits to a company or organization. Firstly, it creates a sense of urgency and accountability among employees to complete the training within a specific timeframe, which helps to ensure that the training is taken seriously and not neglected. Additionally, deadlines can help to create a more organized and structured approach to training, allowing employers to plan and allocate resources more effectively.

Setting deadlines can also help to ensure that employees receive the training they need in a timely manner, which can improve their job performance and productivity. Finally, deadlines can help to provide a clear expectation for when the training should be completed, which can reduce ambiguity and confusion among employees.

4. Set automatic reminders

Reminders can be in the form of emails, push notifications, or even SMS messages. With this simple engagement strategy, learners are more likely to remember to complete their assigned courses and stay motivated in the learning process.

Automatic notifications act as a gentle nudge to remind learners of their upcoming assignments and due dates, which helps them stay on track and avoid falling behind. This personalized approach ensures that learners are receiving timely and relevant reminders that keep them motivated and engaged in their learning. Moreover, learners are less likely to forget about their assignments and can plan their schedules accordingly, knowing that they have a reminder system in place to keep them on track.

5. Share your top learners or top teams with your learners each month/quarter

Recognizing top learners or top teams is a great way to motivate learners to encourage learner engagement. By sharing this information with the entire group, learners will be motivated to work harder and keep up with their peers, while fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

When learners see that their hard work and achievements are being acknowledged and celebrated, it can create a sense of pride and motivation to continue learning and improving. Recognition can act as a powerful incentive for learners to take their training seriously, ultimately encouraging them to prioritize their learning goals.

By creating a healthy level of competition and a supportive learning environment, organizations can promote continuous learning and development among their employees, leading to better overall performance and results.

6. Use GoSkills gamification features to provide incentives and rewards

GoSkills gamification is a powerful tool for employee learning and development, providing a wide range of benefits that can help to improve engagement, motivation, and retention. You can use our gamification features by:

  • setting time-tracking goals.
  • rewarding GoSkills coins for reaching certain learning goals.
  • rewarding learners for reaching certain status tiers.
  • tailoring your own personalized reward system depending on learning status.

By using game-like features such as coins and custom incentives (like gift cards or other fun rewards relevant to your learners), GoSkills gamification can create a more interactive and engaging learning experience for employees. This can lead to increased motivation and a greater sense of achievement as employees progress through the learning program. Additionally, the competitive aspect of gamification can help to drive engagement and encourage employees to strive for higher levels of performance. Finally, the real-time feedback provided by gamification can help employees to identify areas where they need improvement, allowing them to focus their learning efforts and improve their overall performance.

7. Create an interactive custom course

By incorporating interactive elements into your custom employee development courses (like quizzes, polls, and videos), learners are more likely to stay engaged and interested in the material. Additionally, custom courses can be tailored to the specific needs and interests of your learners, which can help make the learning process more relevant and engaging.

Custom courses can also be designed to incorporate real-world scenarios, case studies, and examples that are relevant to the learner's industry or profession. This can help learners see the practical applications of what they are learning and feel more invested in the learning process. By providing learners with a more personalized and relevant learning experience, trainers and educators can help them stay engaged and motivated throughout the learning journey.

8. Create a daily streak challenge

Setting a daily streak challenge can be a highly effective way to encourage and maintain consistent learning habits. When you commit to learning something new every day and track your progress, you create a sense of accountability and motivation to stay on track. This daily practice helps to reinforce new information and build upon previous knowledge, leading to more effective learning outcomes. Additionally, the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting a daily goal can boost confidence and create positive momentum, making it easier to continue with the learning process. By setting a daily streak challenge, you can make learning a more manageable and rewarding experience, ultimately leading to greater success in your chosen field or area of interest.

9. Make learning fun with friendly competition

We've already touched on how important gamification is to keeping learners engaged but incorporating an organized, friendly competition into your learning culture in an intentional way can truly provide incredible results.

Here’s a fun case study: O'Brien Fine Foods teamed up with GoSkills to give their employees a learning experience that was fun and effective! They used the platform's gamification and microlearning features to create a competition called "The Battle of the Brains." Teams competed to complete as many GoSkills courses as they could, and the results speak for themselves. Not only did employees smash the record for course completion, but they also started sharing their fave courses with their coworkers!

10. Make training part of employees' career development goals

As the workforce continues to evolve and technology advances at a rapid pace, it's becoming increasingly important for employers to invest in creating an employee development plan for their team members. Not only does regular training help to keep employees up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices, but it also promotes a culture of learning and growth within the organization.

By prioritizing ongoing training, employers can help their employees develop new skills, increase job satisfaction, and ultimately contribute to the overall success of the company. In a competitive job market, offering opportunities for growth and development can also be a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent. So if you're an employer looking to create a thriving, dynamic workplace, don't overlook the importance of ongoing training and development as part of your overall strategy.

Wrapping it up

Don't miss out on the opportunity to revolutionize your learning and development program with GoSkills! With our comprehensive library of courses, engaging learning experiences, and innovative tools, you can help your learners achieve their full potential. Whether you're looking to improve retention rates, increase completion rates, or simply make learning more fun and enjoyable, GoSkills has something for everyone!

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Sonia Rebecca Menezes

Sonia Rebecca Menezes

Content writer at GoSkills