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Make it Relevant!

Here’s the deal: It’s time for some tough love. Now before you go clicking the little x at the top of this window hear me out:  I’m about to give you some insight on something and it’s totally free. This is not some magic mumbo jumbo that I’ve learned in my years of eLearning development. It’s what I’ve learned as an employee – down in the trenches.

OK, Ready? Here it goes:

I, as one of your valued and trusted employees, have never learned a thing from one of your “required” training modules. You gave me pages and pages of policies and I didn’t read them. In fact, they made me tireder than taking an Ambien on an empty stomach. They were written by some technical writer or some lawyer, and I just didn’t care. I mean seriously…what’s in this for me? No one bothered to tell me how I was involved in any of this. I do my job well. Why do I have to waste my very (and I mean very) busy day on this? How is this relevant to what I do each day? Hint: It’s not!

Come on, we’ve done the dance where you send me to an “important” learning module, I have to check a box and say I read and understood everything, and then you get to go to some higher-ups and say “See, we completed the training! 100% compliant.” But If I don’t know where I fit into  this giant machine of a company, what’s the point? How is this relevant?

ARE you compliant? Do you really believe that your employees REALLY know THEIR responsibilities when it comes to HIPAA requirements? Do you really think they care about information security? Sexual harassment? Social media policies? Do you have policies that are vital to your business and failure to follow those policies to the letter could cost your organization beau coups dollars? The answer is yes…you do. But you’ve got that paper that says they checked the box and read and understood everything! Yeah, well sorry to break it to you…probably not.

Are you one of these organizations? I understand. It’s okay, there’s a lot of you! We’ll get through this.

Here are three simple ways to make your content relevant and stop the eye rolling and zoning out that is definitely going on behind the scenes.

  • Use a scenario (heard that before?). Let them see a new employee fresh on the job and have that employee ask questions about the policies from more experienced employees. Show them why these policies are important and give examples of how any employee might experience these situations in ways that make sense in the real world.
  • Use real-world examples (the bad ones). Find some real-world examples of employees who DIDN’T follow policies. What were the costs to the company? To the employee? Stock price plummet? (big bosses like that one)
  • Try and make it fun for goodness sake. Come up with an off-the-wall idea. Make it a game. Give out prizes for the best score. Something that shows the content is important and employees are the ones on the front lines who have to be aware and follow the important policies. Just because this is part of their job does not mean they can’t have fun doing it. I know, mind blown!

You can tell your people the information you’re giving them is important until you’re blue in the face.  But unless you make it relevant, they probably don’t care and that’s not helping anyone.

Want to see a really cool example of all this in action?

 

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