Skip to content

← Back to Blog

Engaging Disengaged Learners

Engaging disengaged learners is a challenge. When learners become disconnected, the impact is not only felt by individuals but resonates throughout the entire organization. Let's explore the transformative prowess of microlearning, a beacon that has the potential to reignite your team's fervor for learning.

27 Aug 2019 by Ariel Jehwo-Malcolm

In 2018, 53% of employees in the US were found to be unengaged at work, with another 13% being actively disengaged.
Only 34% of employees in the US were found to be engaged.

State of the American Workplace Report - Gallup

Sources of learner disengagement

Disengagement often stems from a variety of factors, such as lack of relevance, uninspiring content, or overwhelming information. Recognizing these challenges is the first step toward implementing targeted solutions. Moreover, disengaged learners are not necessarily unmotivated to learn, but are either:

  • Under-qualified: These learners are possibly hiding learning difficulties they may be experiencing. Under-qualified learners are likely feeling an intense amount of stress while learning without extra guidance and support.
  • Over-qualified: These learners are likely disengaged because they're bored and don’t feel as though they are being challenged.
  • Disconnected: These learners may generally be feeling disconnected from their co-workers, or organization as a whole. There could be external factors that also contribute to the employee’s feeling of being disconnected.

Disengaged learners can have a direct and negative impact on your company. Disengaged employees usually care less about their jobs, leading to increased turnover, increased absenteeism and an increased chance of safety incidents.

Not only do disengaged learners cost your organization money, but it can decrease the overall morale of the organization. This now puts the small percentage of your actively engaged learners at risk of decreased productivity. As a result, they could also eventually become disengaged employees.

The effects of disengagement don't stop there—it trickles down to your customer base. There's a clear correlation between excellent customer service and brand loyalty. An engaged employee will be enthusiastic and take pride in their work, which creates bonds with customers. However, customers can sense (and respond) to unhappy or disengaged employees.

So How Do I Reach My Disengaged Learners?

...the million-dollar question!

Whilst there isn’t a single answer, there are methods of best practices to ensure the most favorable outcome for your learners.

A highly engaged workforce can lead to a 21% increase in profit

The Right Culture: Not Just About Employee Satisfaction Report - Gallup

Firstly, ensuring the learner is the focus when designing, creating and implementing your training program is crucial for engagement. The training program should be clearly structured using methods that suit the learner’s preferences.

For example, you may have a millennial workforce that enjoys learning via their mobile devices. It may be ideal for your organization to use a mobile-optimized Learning Management System (LMS), or to deliver training where your learners live—like via social media.

Actively participating in training can be difficult as most learners are generally trying to balance work, study, and personal life. When an organization offers flexible approaches to learning, it improves their team’s ability to participate, resulting in a higher engagement rate.

Flexibility should reduce any real or perceived barriers that your learners may have. For example, by providing online training programs, your learners will be able to complete learning at a pace and time that suits them. This removes barriers like childcare costs, transport availability, and cost. It also shows your learners that you value their personal responsibilities as much as their professional ones.

The power of microlearning

Microlearning emerges as a game-changer in the quest to engage disengaged learners. This innovative approach involves delivering content in short, focused bursts, making it easily digestible and adaptable to diverse learning styles. Here's why microlearning is a key player in increasing engagement:

  1. Bite-sized content: Microlearning breaks down complex topics into bite-sized modules, catering to learners' shorter attention spans. This ensures that information is easily absorbed, reducing cognitive overload and enhancing retention.
  2. On-the-go Learning: Disengaged learners often struggle with traditional learning formats. Microlearning, with its brief and accessible format, allows individuals to learn on-the-go. Whether during a coffee break or commuting, learners can effortlessly consume valuable snippets of information.
  3. Relevance and personalization: Microlearning enables educators to deliver content that directly addresses the specific needs and interests of learners. By tailoring information to individual requirements, it becomes more relevant, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
  4. Immediate application: Traditional learning methods often face challenges in bridging the gap between theory and application. Microlearning, on the other hand, emphasizes practical application. Learners can quickly apply newly acquired knowledge, reinforcing their understanding and boosting engagement.

Pro Tip: Turn your documents and outdated presentations into fun bite-sized learning with the power of microlearning!

Implementing microlearning strategies

Having acknowledged the effectiveness of microlearning for engaging disengaged learners, let's now explore the practical strategies to make the most out of this approach. Successfully implementing a microlearning initiative goes beyond merely creating short content snippets; it demands careful planning and execution. The goal is to ensure that learners are not just absorbing information but actively participating and applying the knowledge they gain.

  1. Create interactive modules: Developing microlearning modules that encourage active participation is crucial for capturing the attention of disengaged learners. To achieve this, it's essential to incorporate various interactive elements, such as quizzes, simulations, and real-world scenarios. These components not only make the learning experience more enjoyable but also enhance knowledge retention and application. To streamline the process of creating interactive microlearning modules, consider leveraging an authoring tool like Coassemble.
  2. Diversify content formats: Leverage multimedia elements such as videos, infographics, and interactive assessments to cater to diverse learning preferences. This variety enhances the overall learning experience and prevents monotony.
  3. Progress tracking and rewards: Implement a system for tracking learners' progress through microlearning modules. Recognize and reward achievements, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning.

Engaging the disengaged

The journey to engage disengaged learners is a crucial endeavor for any educational or professional setting. Microlearning emerges as a powerful strategy in this pursuit, offering a dynamic and tailored approach that resonates with learners. By breaking down complex information into digestible, bite-sized modules, microlearning not only captivates but actively involves disengaged learners, fostering a culture of continuous curiosity and professional development.

Build an engaging course for FREE!

Try Coassemble and transform your online training today.

No credit card required.

You might also like

Recruitment Process Improvement Plan

A poorly designed or executed recruitment process plan can have several negative implications for an organization, from poor quality hires to higher costs due to wasted resources. If you're looking to improve your business' recruitment and selection processes, check out our tips on how it's best done.

What Does LMS Mean For Training Online In 2022?

New to the online training world and unsure what does LMS mean? In this guide, you'll learn everything there is to know about Learning Management Systems and how you can get the most out of them.

Online Courses for Employee Training

Create online courses for employee training. Transform your business now by learning how to create online courses for employee training in 2023. You'll learn how to create engaging content for employees by using our online course creation tips.