Quick Ways To Beat The Boredom And Liven Up Your Mandatory Online Training

The human psyche is an interesting thing. When you tell someone they can’t do something, they feel a surprisingly strong urge to do it. The reverse is also true, so mandatory courses gain very little traction. While you can enforce the course itself, it will be painful for everyone involved. Plus, they’ll do it in a coerced manner, just to get it over with. Which means they’ll retain very little knowledge. That makes it a waste of everybody’s time. How can you make the course more enjoyable for trainees? Here are some quick ways to beat the boredom and liven up your mandatory online training.

1. Short And Sweet Is The Secret To Success

The words ‘mandatory lessons’ elicit groans in the average office space. It makes them think of all the work on their desks, and how they have to meet their deadlines regardless. They go for their sessions half-heartedly, so their work is adversely affected, and their course work is too. Given this knowledge, make the course as short as humanly possible without diluting it. 5-minute courses are great, but if there are 500 of them, it will still tire trainees. So, break that month-long mandatory online training course into easily digestible modules and activities that center on specific topics. For example, your comprehensive health and safety training becomes a series of 10 quick activities that require minimal reading.

2. Highly Interactive

Boredom leads to passivity, but it can also arise from passivity. Think of a trainee who doesn’t want to be studying in the first place. If they’re then exposed to large chunks of text or droning audio lectures, they’re likely to tune out. While they may remain logged in until the end of the session, they won’t actually have learned anything. The metrics may show the course was completed, but there’s unlikely to be knowledge transfer. By prompting trainees to be actively involved, they sit up and pay more attention. It could be something as basic as using their mouse to scroll or turning a page. It nudges them out of passivity. A great way to get them actively involved in compliance training is to host live events. They can ask questions, interact with peers, and engage with instructors/managers in a more social setting.

3. Opt-In Opt-Out

While the course itself is mandatory, you can still give your trainees a level of choice. Let them decide whether they want to learn via text, audio, or video. At certain points in the course, present information in multiple formats so they can pick one. Introduce ‘elective units’ they can do for extra credit. For instance, a compliance course is mandatory, yes. But it can have optional units based on departments. Everyone has to take safety classes. But they can opt-out of – say – vehicular security if they’re not directly in charge of company cars. Or they can opt-out of machine maintenance if they don’t work in the assembly line.

4. Gamify

Even the least competitive among us enjoy a little one-up-man-ship. We like to win and to know we’re the best at something. Incorporating this into your training course can make it far less boring. The trick is to vary the levels of gamification. Some trainees are driven by high scores, so you can co-opt training sessions built around earning points. Others prefer to compete against themselves, so they can do individual, timed exercise, pitting themselves against their own personal best. Still, others want bragging rights, so in-course badges will feed this need. Put in a healthy mix of gaming techniques and the course will spice right up.

5. Let Them Drive

The second a course is declared a must-do, it’s taken out of employees’ hands. They don’t have a choice in the matter. So, if you want their say, ask for it before the course begins, or before it’s even designed. Ask them what they’d like to learn, how you can make training better. Find out what their training interests are. That way, you can create a course they’ll be excited about. In which case, even if it wasn’t mandatory, they’d do it anyway. Work from the basis that if they must do this thing, they may as well have fun in the process. Then incorporate bits and bobs that make it so.

6. Add Interesting Stories And Anecdotes

Storytelling and personal anecdotes help employees relate to the content and emotionally invest. They aren’t just having to memorize a step-by-step walkthrough that leads to cognitive overload. Instead, a story shows them how the main character performed the same task and offers tips to improve compliance. Plus, they absorb the information more rapidly and effectively thanks to emotional connectivity. The characters and plot resonate with them on a personal level, which helps them assign meaning and remember the takeaways.

Voluntary activities make us feel good about ourselves. Forced ones evoke resentment, even if that mandatory action is good for us. Case in point: medicine. We all hate it because (it tastes bad and) we have to take it. Thus, when there are training units that are essential for your organization, look for ways to make it less boring. Cut it down to the shortest possible duration and include lots of interactive elements. Build in a level of choice, even if it’s just the background color or voice-over accent. Put them in charge by asking what they’d like in the course. Apply gaming techniques (like badges) to make it more fun. Blend knowledge transfer with entertainment for a better overall result.

Are you in the market for a new LMS for mandatory online training? Peruse our free online directory to find the ideal system for your compliance training course. You can even search by features, spec support, and pricing model to speed up the selection process.

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