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[Learning & Development]

Activating Staff Engagement in Professional Development & Training

How to Gain Employee Engagement in Professional Development & Staff Training

A common question Corporate Members ask before they sign up to Life Ladder's personal & professional development platform is: “If we invest in this learning and development strategy, how do you ensure staff engage with the Life Ladder Personal and Professional Development Platform?”  

We have heard many clients say they have previously invested in e-learning or talent development solutions only to learn staff were not actually completing the courses. 

Many business leaders ask us “how do you get people to change their habits and make learning a priority?” 

This is a very real challenge and one we fully empathise with.  

When we first founded Life Ladder and trialled our platform, we found that business priorities are always important and can therefore limit time for employees to take part in learning, even when the leaders wanted the staff to make time for it. 

We know it can be painful and frustrating to invest in training for staff when the team don’t make use of it and aren’t benefitting, so following our trial phase we did intense work learning and pivoting to refine how we work alongside our Corporate Members to engage staff. 

We are not going to say we have a solution which guarantees your staff will engage (humans are humans after all), this is a 2-way street, which we will elaborate on later in the article. However, we have built a comprehensive and robust methodology to set our corporate members and their staff up for success. 

Supporting staff engagement in development: 

A development journey in bite-size, relevant chunks

Our learning content is published in bite size chunks on a daily basis, aligning with the proven principles of neuroscience and the benefits of microlearning theory. 

According to information from a survey on Learning and Development professionals, a jaw dropping 94% said that they prefer microlearning to traditional time-consuming eLearning courses because their learners prefer it (Boyette, 2012) 

Life Ladder develops staff by sending alerts when the daily bite-size content is published, making it part of the inbox and in the forefront of awareness on a daily basis.  

The micro-learning nature of our content means the learning gets incorporated in their daily life, with only 15-20 minutes learning and development each day... and sometimes as little as 60 seconds! The cycle of content uses learning theory, repetition and patterning to increase uptake and engagement but also increasing the probability of it being seen as ‘relevant’ and more likely to filter into long term memory. 

This develops healthy learning habits, inspiring an on-going growth mindset and eliminates the barriers associated with finding several hours to complete typical online training courses. 

Buy-in during on-boarding  

To create ease for business leaders when implementing Life Ladder, we provide thorough on-boarding support including: 

  • A dedicated Client Success Manager for your business
  • Easy implementation (no coding required!)
  • 90-day plan with checkpoints and milestones to ensure intention has turned into action with your staff members over that 90 days.
  • Assisting with internal communications for the launch
  • Daily & Monthly Member Alerts from Life Ladder (content, live sessions and key dates)
  • On-boarding workshops for team leaders and staff to explain the benefits including:
    • The ‘what, why and how’ of Life Ladder  
    • How to get started and what to expect
    • Guide on the benefits for staff and recommendations for communication 
  • Online Client Hub including:
    • Toolkits for leaders e.g. Great coaching questions and ways to utilise Life Ladder content and topics in teams.
    • On-boarding videos and tools for managers and staff members who join your business after the initial on-boarding workshop.
    • Updates on forthcoming topics and key dates for Live Sessions and Ask Us Anything.
  • Engagement Reviews with your Quarterly Reports.

Many businesses have their own change management or communication strategies and are happy to implement themselves, however many businesses like more practical assistance with gaining buy-in and implementation and deliver an optional workshop in addition to the launch workshop offered by standard corporate membership. 

Life Ladder's Unique 7-Step SCS (Subconscious Catalyst System) 

‘Habits’ is one of our 7 steps within our Subconscious Catalyst System, the unique Life Ladder methodology based on fundamental principles of neuroscience, psychology and coaching.  

We know that habits are important for achieving anything, so we have created Life Ladder to continually upgrade habitual thinking and behaviours week-in, week-out, so staff can shift their approach to learning from fixed mindset to growth mindset. 

The Life Ladder journey through the Subconscious Catalyst System means the team will always be working on habits and becoming more aware of their patterns of behaviour, and that awareness is crucial for change.  

Daily reminders when content is published means personal and professional development is continually being ‘observed’ and the information we see cannot be unseen, it is in our awareness. This means every day, it will be in the forefront of awareness, enabling the mind to recognise it as relevant and wanted, as what we see or hear repeatedly determines how much attention or importance we give to information. 

Quarterly Reporting 

We will review engagement internally on a monthly basis, reviewing the number of positive steps forward for every staff member which reflects the amount of content they have engaged with, as well as the number of goals set and achieved. 

Every quarter we work with our Corporate clients to highlight trends in data and provide consultative recommendations for maximising return on investment. 

As our Founder comes from a HR and Talent Development background herself, she created Life Ladder with a clear understanding of the people and talent development challenges businesses face and can empathise with the frustrations, therefore our dedicated Consultants work with our members every quarter providing expert strategic guidance on how to elevate the team to the next level. 

Relevance, Repetition and Recognition

As humans we engage with those things we deem personally or socially meaningful.  Sadly, many employees do not engage with traditional training because personal relevance is low and the patterns of learning don't support engagement and application of learning with traditional training methods resulting in almost 70% of learning lost within 24 hours of leaving the training room (Ebbinghaus).  Here's how we implement the 3 Rs at Life Ladder:

  • Relevance - Life Ladder's development topics are based on direct experience of professional development needs in business backed up by research by the Chartered Management Institute in 2022 outlining the key soft skills businesses need.  This relevance means they have a 'What's In It For Me?' factor and are important for any individual serious about their career...plus Life Ladder's learning journey is designed to benefit individuals both at work and in their personal lives.
  • Repetition - Ebbinghaus' research shows that repetition and application is key for engaging learning and embedding long-term retention of learning. Life Ladder's e-learning journey combines micro-learning, micro coaching and learning theory with repetition to make learning actual, real and relevant as all coaching questions reflect back on the individual's own experience.
  • Recognition - One reason why many people fail to develop with coaching or self-development is a lack of tracking, recognition of progress and celebrating every single step they take on that change journey.  Life Ladder is designed to help members set goals and track progress as well as the Positive Steps in learning and change.  Plus, they can celebrate and share knowledge in the Community and with Buddies.

An important part of the mix: your leaders

Engagement isn’t only about what we do at Life Ladder, the managers and leaders are instrumental to keeping learning front of mind and setting the example. 

Leaders can take simple steps to enjoy and sustain a profound impact in the business, such as: 

  • Kicking off meetings with one key takeaway from Life Ladder content this week. 
  • Getting Mentors and Accountability Buddies in place to keep the team spirit alive and create the influence from consensus. 
  • Reward and celebrate those who are particularly demonstrating engagement and progress. 
  • Lead by example and share learnings from the top. 
  • Add questions to 121s, coaching meetings and appraisals which our on-boarding team provide recommendations for. 
  • Speak about it every day so it becomes part of the company language. 
  • Add visual reminders to staff rooms or intranet. 

There are many possibilities which we explore when we on-board new corporate members. 

Our values are important to us and are at the heart of all we do, you can review our values and how they align with your business here. 

These are just some of the many ways we ensure staff engage with the Life Ladder Personal and Professional Development Platform. You can see what our clients and their staff say here


Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash