Learning & Development

Keeping Learners Engaged During Live Training Sessions

Did you know that around $160 billion is wasted annually on ineffective training inside the workplace? In fact, studies show that only about 10% of workplace training is effective. And this is primarily the case because training sessions aren’t very engaging.


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As a trainer or L&D professional, you’re probably already aware of the tell-tale signs that a live training session isn’t very engaging or productive. Employees are constantly looking at their phones or laptops, or they’re yawning or staring blankly at the wall, etc.
If you want to keep your learners engaged during your live training sessions, here are some things that you can do.

Offer an Environment Favorable to Learning

If you want your learners to be engaged, host your training sessions in well-lit rooms with plenty of daylight. Make sure that there isn’t a bunch of clutter or papers around to distract them.
Also ensure that learning spaces are open, inclusive, and conducive to discussions and collaboration amongst learners. If you offer food, make sure that it’s healthy food that promotes healthy brain activity and energy (e.g., fruit, greens, nuts) and not greasy pizza or fast food that can slow people down and make them lethargic. 

Minimize Distractions

To ensure that you have your learners’ full attention, have them turn off their mobile devices and put them away. Make sure that they don’t have anything in front of them that is irrelevant to the learning materials that you’re covering or that they’re discussing.
Also, make sure that you conduct your training sessions in areas that aren’t noisy or in wall-to-wall glass rooms that are exposed to everyday workplace goings-on and distractions. Otherwise, they will become disengaged with what they’re supposed to be learning.

Encourage Mindfulness

Before you begin each training session, or segment of a training session, allow your learners to clear their minds so that they are better able to focus on what they’re about to learn.
For example, implement a minute or two of silence where learners focus on their breathing and nothing else. Also, encourage learners to take walks outside or discuss what they’re learning during breaks, instead of checking their work e-mail and to-do lists.
Such mindfulness practices will keep learners from becoming distracted with everyday work responsibilities while they’re in a training session, which will help them be more engaged with what they’re learning.

Focus on Context and Relevance

To ensure that your learners remain engaged during live training sessions, make sure that what they’re learning is relevant to their everyday work lives or broader career objectives. If possible, incorporate hands-on and interactive activities that further provide context to what they’re learning, so that they can better understand its relevance and importance.
To keep your learners engaged during your live training sessions, be sure to follow the tips mentioned here.

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