Marketing Your Online Training Internally - Tips and Tricks

Designing Digitally


What if you built it and they didn’t come? Imagine pouring untold amounts time, money and resources into building an online training program for your workforce, only to have it go unused. The best training program in the world is worthless unless it has the participation of your learners. So how do you entice your employees to get onboard with your online training efforts? How do you promote the benefits of online training to a skeptical or hesitant audience?

If we approach the challenge of promoting your online training as simply another sales opportunity, we can begin to see the solution. As with any sales campaign, you need to develop a plan to market your product (in this case online training) to your target audience (in this case your employees). However, it is also important to maintain a level of trust and integrity with your workforce in the process.

Why you need to market your training internally

Generally speaking, people are resistant to change and hesitant to adopt new ways of doing things. This can be especially true in the workplace, as careers and livelihoods are at stake. But change is inevitable, and the new online training programs are in the best interests of both employers and employees. In the effort to gain adoption, you need to actively market this new method of training to your workforce. To accomplish this, consider how Hollywood promotes their latest blockbuster movie to the public.

By building excitement and interest (and yes, a little hype) far in advance of the rollout, your employees may feel more anticipation rather than dread. A strong marketing campaign can turn skepticism into interest. It’s all in how the new online training is perceived, and how successful you are at presenting it. So let’s take a look at what we can do to entice your employees into eagerly jumping onboard with your online training.

How to use gamification to entice your workforce

The use of gamification or game-based strategies can be a highly successful way to get folks interested in your online training efforts. What we mean by this is to implement some of the techniques that make online games so appealing. Here are a few examples of how gamification can be used to entice workers to make the leap:

Competition.  Initiating friendly competition among employees can be a great way to motivate some to participate. Competition can take the form of; most courses completed, highest score, department with the most participation, etc. There are few of us who can resist our competitive nature for long – just make sure not to alienate any of your workers. To avoid this, consider daily or weekly resets so that all can compete.

Status.  Status recognition is a great motivator for some workers, and can promote participation in your online training program. Implementing leader boards and top performers can piggyback on the competition method, leading to even more participation.

Rewards.  Using rewards is a classic gamification technique that keeps learners coming back for more training. Since our brains are wired for a positive chemical reaction to rewards, it actually makes learning a positive experience. Reward systems can be built into the online training lessons themselves, and can also be made a part of the marketing or enticement to participate in the training.

You can build excitement and interest in your online training by using gamification techniques to entice employees to participate. You can also use these game mechanics within your online training courses to encourage learners to continue with the lessons. Gamification has been shown to increase the interest and participation levels in training courses of all types.  

What can happen if you don’t market internally?

Although internal marketing of your online training may seem strange or even a little coercive, it is in the interest of the learning and development effort to do so. Without actively marketing your online training to your workforce, participation will not be as strong as it could be. As a result, the effort you’ve put into building the online training program is wasted. And as we know, training that doesn’t get used is the least effective training of all.

Here at Designing Digitally, Inc., our training experts can help you devise an internal marketing campaign that will help to promote your online training efforts. By building excitement and anticipation into your online training efforts, your workforce will be geared up and ready to participate fully. Let us know how we can help you in your training needs, and in getting your workforce onboard. Call us or fill out our online form to learn more.

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