You may have already rolled out your training intake system, but is anyone using it?
The lack of adoption of your new system is only one sign that it’s not working and is most likely due to awareness. Managers and business partners—those who are in a position to make a request—simply haven’t heard of it yet.
Now is the time to put your marketing hat on. According to 2019 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn Learning, talent developers spend only 15% of their time marketing learning programs to increase engagement. The report indicates that capturing the attention of the modern employee requires more outreach and higher-impact marketing programs.
LinkedIn’s suggestion: Spend more time promoting training intake and your other learning programs in order to increase engagement.
Let’s have a look at some ways you can do this. The goal of course is to improve outcomes and ROI.
1. Promote on your Intranet.
This is the low-hanging fruit, a no-brainer. Find any and all ways to promote the training intake system via internal, digital communication methods.
Your company might have a corporate intranet or an internal “news” section—exploit these not only with descriptions and a link to the training intake system but also with graphics, images, and videos. Yes, an “explainer” video or animation would be perfect for this.
You might have to contact your company’s internal webmaster or corporate communications team in order to share and publish this content. That’s perfectly fine—just make sure that it’s “out of the box” for them—that they don’t need to do any special editing or coding in order to get your content on these internal sites.
2. Use good ol’ email.
As another method of spreading the word internally, don’t discount email. It’s still powerful because it appears in an app that every employee uses every day.
Data shows that email marketing still successfully reaches employees. Why not use it to promote the training intake system?
“Consider increasing the volume—and creativity—of these communications to increase engagement with learning programs,” suggest the authors of the 2019 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn.
This may time some A/B testing to get the subject line and body length just right. According to Michael DesRochers, founder of PoliteMail and as described in Forbes, email performs best under 500 words, and ideally under 200 words, but, at any length, keeping paragraphs short.
In fact, 61% of employees discover learning programs via email marketing.
3. Leverage managers and influencers.
As we’ve long advocated here, learning leaders and talent developers need to join forces and build bridges with those internally who can help them spread the good word.
This is especially important for the success of the training intake system because in many organizations, most employees cannot submit training requests directly. Oftentimes, it’s only business partners and managers who are permitted to submit training requests on behalf of other employees.
However, this is a benefit. With fewer people given the ability to use the system, there are fewer people that you need to directly market to.
Indeed, leveraging managers is an area of opportunity. Talent developers will benefit from continuing to lean on managers to promote learning because 75% of employees say they would take a course their manager assigned, according to the same LinkedIn Learning report.
4. Increase “completes.”
Marketers know that discovery is only one part of the marketing puzzle: engagement and adoption are often more important, delivering exponential value.
If a customer fully utilizes a product, including all features, and the customer is satisfied, that customer will continue to purchase or communicate the benefits in some way—a win for marketers.
It can be the same with your training intake system. To increase engagement and adoption, truly study your training intake system and see if you can make it more meaningful and user-friendly.
- Perform A/B tests with different visuals and graphics.
- Re-work the skip-logic and conditional questions to reduce frustrations with completing the form.
- Avoid instructional design jargon; use language your managers and business partners would understand.
- Provide a feedback mechanism for those who complete the form, whether immediately after or later, via email or another communication channel.
5. Encourage word-of-mouth.
Further on leveraging managers to promote the training intake system, employees who were able to receive and benefit from the learning they requested through their business partners can become your army of influencers.
While this group might not be the original audience to whom you promote the training intake system, find a way to encourage these employees to get other employees excited so that they, in turn, will ask their managers and business partners to request training on their behalf.
6. Promote on the public Internet.
Yes, you should promote your training intake system on the Internet and social media.
Here’s why this makes sense. First off, you are most likely connected to work colleagues on social networks like LinkedIn, so discussions or mentions of a project that you worked so hard to launch will hopefully be found by fellow employees at your company.
How to do it? Do not share a link but instead, a graphic or image of a blurred out webpage or a screenshot of a Zoom meeting of your team—all with permissions, of course. Explain how you and your team successfully launched the training intake system, perhaps giving public thanks to team members with whom you are connected on a social network.
The idea of course is not to self-congratulate but rather to spread the word about your training intake system.
To a larger extent, you are also communicating the message that you are working at an organization committed to a culture of learning. It’s rare for companies to share their internal strategies publicly, but with the right message, it will work wonders.
Want to learn more about what training intake processes can do for your learning organization? Check out this free ebook:
Training Intake to the Rescue! How to Make L&D the Superheroes of Your Organization