Basic Education, Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, k 12

Motivating Your Employees To Embrace eLearning

Cohort Learning, Gamification, And Development

In the world of eLearning today, we have access to all the bells and whistles. From cutting-edge platforms like enterprise Learning Management Systems (LMSa) to fancy Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs), and advanced features like gamification, 3D animation, and AI-powered eLearning authoring tools, the industry has truly evolved. However, despite all the modern tech at our disposal, there’s one constant challenge. The challenge of employee motivation has persisted since the advent of corporate eLearning. And one important question still remains: how do we inspire and motivate employees to embrace and leverage the eLearning experiences we provide?

There’s no simple formula to answer this question. However, based on my experience, I have identified three key areas that undeniably push the motivation dial: cohort-based Learning, gamification, and dedicated efforts toward employee development. I strongly believe that investing time in these areas will increase employee Learning engagement and motivation.

3 Key Areas To Focus On For Motivating Your Employees

Cohort-Based Learning

Collaborative education is valuable for any organization. It is practiced by some of the biggest Learning and Development (L&D) departments in the corporate world. In my experience as a Learning and Development manager, I’ve had the opportunity to roll out this type of Learning. In doing so I’ve been able to witness the contagious energy and buzz around it many times.

And let’s be real, it totally makes sense. Learning is inherently social. Through feedback, accountability, and teamwork, employees engage better in a collaborative setting. This engagement fuels motivation, for the group, but also the individual employee. Immediate feedback and group discussion make the Learning process more dynamic and responsive to individual needs.

Additionally, the opportunity to professionally network with colleagues provides another motivation boost. In a cohort-Learning environment, employees have the ability to collaborate with colleagues outside of their normal team, and/or with colleagues up and down the corporate ladder.

In the eLearning world, numerous possibilities exist for the implementation of cohort-based Learning. Almost every LMS has an Instructor-Led Training (ILT) feature. Learning and Development departments can leverage ILT to create a blended Learning program that is collaborative, whether it be asynchronous eLearning, cohort ILT Learning, or group reflection.

For those who want to go a step further, there are training companies that offer cohort-based education and Learning Platforms in 2024: Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons” href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>educational platforms. At my last company, we used one such to facilitate cohort-based education in DEI, empathy, and leadership development. The result? Highly engaged and motivated employees who eagerly participated in optional Learning sessions. While cohort-Learning can be expensive to design, implement, or outsource, I strongly recommend you give it a thought. If you decide to go this route, whether it be internally or outsourced, I strongly recommend you utilize this ROI calculator to guide you.


Gamification is a hot topic in the eLearning world, and today most corporate LMS vendors provide some sort of structural gamification feature. Think of badges, points, leaderboards: all gamification features that provide your employees gratification for their Learning achievements.

Implementing structural gamification becomes easy when you have access to a corporate LMS, making it a cost-effective strategy to boost learner motivation. Take your sales department as an example, characterized by its competitive nature, high energy, and social environment. Structural gamification provides the motivation boost for these employees while they learn sales-related content.

Content gamification is a different form of gamification: it integrates gaming elements directly into the Learning materials. Unlike structural gamification, which involves the corporate LMS, content gamification focuses on content within a specific course. How does content gamification relate to employee motivation? Games are fun! They boost energy. Games are engaging. And it’s important to recognize that employees want motivating and relatable Learning experiences, especially the younger staff who are already accustomed to gaming.

Instructional Designers and eLearning developers can gamify their Learning content using most well-known authoring tools. These tools allow designers to unleash their creativity and develop various games, for example a crossword puzzle, jeopardy, or hangman. eLearning heroes posted a weekly challenge focused on content gamification, and some of the responses were absolute gold.

If you have the Instructional Design staff, I highly recommend diving into content gamification. Begin with simple builds, many of which are eLearning heroes, and then increase their complexity. As for Learning #102″ href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>structural gamification, which I also highly recommend, all you need is an LMS and someone who knows how to administer it.

Enable Opportunities For Development

We often lump Learning and Development together when describing the broader educational process, especially in the corporate space. But let’s face it, there is a very big difference when it comes to Learning versus development. Emphasizing development should be a key priority when it comes to motivating your employees.

Unlike Learning, which is accountable to the organization, development is accountable to the employee. The employee needs to be motivated, and presented various development opportunities that are individualized. It is important to foster a culture of Learning and motivate employees to work on their development. This combination presents one of the biggest workplace perks, which is so important with today’s talent shortage.

To invest in employee development, create eLearning that aligns with employee development. Instead of just company-required coursework (compliance, anti-harassment, company procedures, and policies), conduct a thorough Learning needs analysis and ask the employees about what they want to learn. It is so important to gather buy-in from employees.

After you understand more about what the individual employee wants, integrate it into the design and development of eLearning. If time and money are a constraint, most LMSs offer ready-made coursework. After the initial Learning needs assessment, it is quite easy and cost-effective to curate content from any LMS’s content library. Both approaches ensure you are crafting Learning experiences tailored to employee preferences, enhancing motivation as they actively participate and decide on their development journey.


Motivating employees for eLearning involves embracing key strategies. Cohort-based Learning emphasizes collaboration and social interaction, which motivates employees to learn. Gamification, through both structural LMSs and content design, proves cost effective in boosting learner motivation and engagement. Additionally, prioritizing employee development, which is very different from employee Learning, requires aligning eLearning with individual preferences and fostering a culture of continuous Learning. By embracing these strategies, organizations can create engaging Learning experiences that address the challenge of motivating employees.

Editor’s Note: Check out our directory to find, choose, and compare eLearning Industry’s Top Employee Engagement Software.

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