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Learning Lessons from Lockdown: Make learning personal: how to re-engage employees

Make learning personal: How to re-engage employees

We’re getting back to work after two years of disruption and dislocation. In the third installment of our ‘Learning lessons from lockdown’ blog series, we discuss how we make learning personal and re-engage our employees.


Responding to new expectations

During the pandemic, we’ve all had time to think and make changes to our lives. Many of us have adjusted our expectations of life and work.

As employees’ expectations shift, organizations will have to respond. Before the pandemic surveys repeatedly reported high levels of disengagement among employees. After a prolonged spell of remote working, those levels are likely to have risen.

We need an L&D strategy to get people to reinvest and recover their sense of place. And a way of meeting new expectations, such as having more of a say in the way they want to work and taking control of their careers and development.


Personalize to re-engage

Re-engagement begins with actively listening to people’s concerns. The enforced isolation confirmed that one size no longer accommodates all. We need to start personalizing the working and learning experience.  


5 key benefits of personalized learning

  1. Developing at your own pace: We’re all somewhere on a learning continuum but not necessarily in the same place. Personalization recognizes that we have different needs depending on where we are and what we’ve experienced. Personalized learning programs allow people to develop at their own pace in their own time.
  2. Empowering people: Making learning personal enables people to take control of their development. It gives them to chance to build a learning path that helps them reach targets and goals they’ve identified. It allows them to take ownership of their career development and what matters to them. Choosing what you learn, how you learn it, and where and when makes it more relevant and stimulates engagement.
  3. Increasing motivation: Having greater control over the direction and pace of your own development promotes self-motivation. Learners drive themselves more effectively when they have a vested interest in the outcome, especially one they’ve chosen for themselves. Self-motivated learners are more engaged in their learning and, consequently, in their work.  
  4. Improving performance: Personalized learning allows employees to invest in themselves. This renewed sense of purpose is reflected in their performance. Self-motivated employees place a stake in their work. There’s no better driver of performance than self-belief and self-reward.
  5. Active re-engagement: Providing the means for individuals to assume control and responsibility for their learning represents a commitment to their development. It’s more effective, in terms of costs and resources than group-based actions or management drives. Rather than compelling them, you encourage, recognize, and reward them for their own efforts. Self-motivation empowered by personalization stimulates active re-engagement rather than passive compliance and is more effective for it. 


5 ways to personalize learning

  1. Create learning pathways: Individual paths facilitate true personalization of learning. They can be built to suit individuals’ learning needs and goals. Paths reflect where learners currently are and where they want to get to. Milestones can be placed upon the path and assessment activities included testing completion and attainment of learning goals. Rewards, including digital badges and certification, recognize achievement and can be included in the individual’s record or portfolio.
  2. Improve access to learning resources: Make learning resources available across platforms and devices so that they can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Independent learners are used to accessing information as and when they need it. They expect the same with work training. Improved access allows learning to move from organized group training into the workflow.
  3. Increase the supply of learning assets: Improved access requires increased accessibility.  Personalization relies on information provided in a variety of formats from online courses to chunks of microlearning. Training materials need to be adaptable and customizable. Use a smart learning platform, like an LMS, to curate and deploy learning materials. Build resources by encouraging employees themselves to create and recommend learning assets.
  4. Encourage collaboration: An important aspect of employee re-engagement is the extent to which they can collaborate with others. Personalization shouldn’t mean isolation. Highly motivated employees can lead others by example. Encourage them to share their knowledge and expertise and facilitate one-to-one and mentoring programs.
  5. Facilitate social learning: One thing we’ve all missed during Covid is socialization. Being social encourages the effective exchange of information and the building of trust, respect, and engagement. Social learning, enabled by an LMS or LXP, not only encourages people to share ideas but to make their own learning assets to allow the spread of knowledge to the widest possible audience.


Personalized learning offers employees the chance to choose their own direction and makes them more invested and engaged in their work. It’s the perfect strategy to re-engage people as we emerge from the Covid crisis.


To find out more on how you can help your organization move forward to the post-pandemic era, get in touch now.

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