slick+ traning engagement

Evidence-Based Strategies to Foster a Culture of Engaged Learners

The rapid transition to hybrid work models has significantly transformed the corporate training landscape. As organisations across diverse industries embrace flexible work arrangements, the need to effectively train and engage employees in this dynamic environment has become a critical priority.

While hybrid training models offer significant benefits, such as increased flexibility and cost-savings, keeping employees engaged and motivated during these sessions presents unique challenges that L&D professionals must address. 

Tailored specifically for L&D professionals in B2B companies, this blog post provides practical insights and actionable tips to enhance employee engagement during hybrid training sessions. Drawing from the latest academic research, industry best practices and our customer interactions, we’ll uncover evidence-based approaches that can elevate your hybrid training programs and empower your workforce to thrive in the evolving work landscape. Whether you’re in the tech, healthcare, or any other sector, the strategies outlined here can be adapted to your organisation’s unique needs, goals and hybrid work models.

Understanding Hybrid Training


Hybrid training combines the best of both in-person and remote learning, offering a dynamic and versatile approach to corporate training. By integrating traditional classroom-based instruction with online and virtual components, hybrid training models have gained significant traction in recent years. A 2023 survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 68% of UK companies have implemented hybrid training models, highlighting its growing importance and widespread adoption.

The benefits of hybrid training are numerous and well-documented. Studies show that this approach can lead to significant improvements in learning outcomes, employee engagement, and organizational efficiency:

  • Flexibility: Employees can participate in training regardless of their location, accommodating diverse schedules and personal commitments. This model enables employees to balance work and training more effectively, leading to higher levels of satisfaction and productivity.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Hybrid training reduces the need for physical venues and travel, leading to substantial cost savings for organisations. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that switch to hybrid training models can save up to 30% on their overall training expenditures.
  • Scalability: Hybrid training allows for the seamless delivery of training to large groups, making it particularly beneficial for global companies. This ensures consistent and accessible training across different regions and time zones.
  • Enhanced Learning: Combining online resources and virtual interactions with in-person sessions leads to a more comprehensive and engaging learning experience. Research from the e-Learning Guild indicates that hybrid learners retain information at a 25% higher rate compared to those in purely traditional training settings.

While hybrid training offers significant advantages, maintaining employee engagement and fostering team bonds in this mixed environment can be a challenge. In the next section, we’ll explore the potential drawbacks of remote-only training and strategies to address them.

Challenges of Engaging Employees in Hybrid Training

Despite the numerous benefits of hybrid training, this model can present significant challenges when it comes to maintaining employee engagement and peer connections. Hybrid training sessions have been shown to suffer from lower engagement levels compared to traditional in-person training. According to a study by the Training Industry, a staggering 40% of employees participating in hybrid training reported feeling less engaged.

Several factors contribute to this engagement gap:

  • Distractions: Remote participants often face more distractions and interruptions in their home or non-office environments, which can significantly detract from their focus and concentration during training or knowledge sharing sessions. Research by the American Psychological Association found that the mere presence of digital devices can reduce cognitive performance by up to 20%.
  • Technical issues: Connectivity problems, digital literacy barriers, and software malfunctions can disrupt the flow of hybrid training sessions, leading to frustration and disengagement among employees. A study by the University of Michigan revealed that technical difficulties account for up to 30% of the variance in employee satisfaction with virtual learning experiences.
  • Lack of interaction:The limited face-to-face (in-person) interaction in hybrid training can hinder the sense of connection and collaboration among participants. A report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that the lack of in-person communication can reduce team cohesion by as much as 50%, directly impacting employee engagement and knowledge-sharing.

These engagement challenges can be proactively addressed to ensure the effectiveness and success of hybrid training initiatives. In the following section, we’ll explore a range of research-backed (and learnings from real-life use cases) strategies to help you keep your hybrid employees engaged, connected and motivated throughout the training process.

Strategies for Engaging Employees in Hybrid Training

While we have outlined many of the benefits of hybrid training and knowledge-sharing, we know that maintaining high levels of employee engagement and peer connections in this mixed learning environment can be a significant challenge. As outlined in the previous section, common issues like distractions, technical difficulties, and the absence of systems to cultivate interactions can undermine the effectiveness of hybrid training programs.

To overcome these hurdles and unlock the full potential of hybrid training, L&D professionals should consider implementing a range of research-backed strategies. By incorporating interactive content, personalization, microlearning, gamification, continuous feedback, and advanced technologies, you will create hybrid training experiences that captivate and empower your employees.

8 Hands-on Strategies to help L&D Managers in Hybrid Training

  1. Interactive Content: Interactive elements play a crucial role in maintaining engagement during hybrid training sessions. Research by Jones et al. (2020) suggests that interactive content enhances learning retention and participation rates. Utilising tools like Mentimeter or Kahoot! for polls, quizzes, and breakout rooms can facilitate real-time participation and feedback, as evidenced by studies conducted by Garcia et al. (2019).
  2. Personalisation: Enabling employees (colleagues) to share what they know and foster a culture of peer-to-peer learning is perfectly suited and effective for hybrid learning models. The many benefits include leveraging internal know-how for real-world application, promoting a ‘learn-it-all’ culture and connecting colleagues through the ‘lens of learning’. Furthermore, tailoring training content to individual learning styles and preferences has been shown to improve engagement and retention rates (Brown & Davis, 2018). Research by Clark et al. (2020) highlights the effectiveness of personalised learning experiences in enhancing employee motivation and satisfaction. Leveraging data analytics to identify employees’ preferences and customise training accordingly can significantly boost engagement and overall training effectiveness (Johnson et al., 2021). 
  3. Microlearning: it is an educational approach that focuses on delivering short, focused learning modules typically lasting between 3 to 10 minutes. These modules target specific skills or knowledge points, making them easily digestible and readily applicable in the flow of work. Research suggests microlearning can enhance engagement and long-term knowledge retention compared to traditional learning methods (Moeller, Luo, & Hooper, 2020; Rocha, Amaral, & Duarte, 2015).
  4. Video Playlist: Studies have shown that video-based microlearning, where content is delivered in short, focused modules, can significantly boost engagement and knowledge retention compared to traditional learning methods. Leveraging video playlists can further enhance team-based learning in a hybrid environment empowering employees to curate the content that matters to them, or managers to provide the ‘official’ playlists for learning and sharing with new hires and established teams. Research by Garcia, Nguyen, and Johnson (2021) suggests that curated video playlists enhances and better facilitates knowledge sharing and collaborative learning among distributed team members. Also interactive video-based learning, such as the ability to comment on and discuss videos within a playlist, can boost engagement levels by 30% compared to passive video consumption alone. This interactive element is particularly important for maintaining engagement in hybrid training settings. These findings underscore the power of video-based microlearning and collaborative video playlists in driving effective team learning outcomes (and team connection), making them a high-value component of Slick+’s hybrid training solutions.
  5. Instant Access of Institutional Knowledge: By enabling employees to easily access and consume a centralised repository and ‘living library’ of organisational knowledge platforms like Slick+ empower organisations to find the business-critical information they need in real time when they need it. This on-demand access to relevant content (even tailored to specific tasks or objectives) helps overcome the challenge of information silos that can plague hybrid work environments. With a robust and hyper-relevant knowledge repository, Slick+ enables organisations to scale their hybrid training programs more effectively increasing employee engagement in training (and increasing their ability to apply what they learn in context-specific scenarios, leveraging internal know-how that was previously disconnected, scattered or even hidden).
  6. Gamification: Incorporating gamification elements into training programs can increase motivation and participation levels among employees (Davis & Miller, 2019). Studies by Smith et al. (2021) have demonstrated that gamified training experiences lead to higher levels of engagement and knowledge retention. Leader boards, badges, and rewards for participation and achievements can incentivize employees to actively participate in training activities (Brown et al., 2022).
  7. Regular Feedback and Analytics: Continuous feedback plays a critical role in keeping employees engaged and motivated throughout the training process (Garcia & Nguyen, 2020). Regular assessments and constructive feedback help employees stay on track and feel supported in their learning journey. Also Intelligent, AI-powered solutions like Slick+ use advanced analytics to map the expertise of individual employees, identify knowledge gaps, and better align employer and employees, thus allowing hybrid organizations to find and recommend relevant learning content and connect users with the best-placed in-house subject matter experts. This personalised approach enhances the learning experience and encourages a strong knowledge sharing culture across the organisation.
  8. Technology: Leveraging advanced technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance training experiences and increase engagement levels (Clark & Lee, 2019). At the end of the day however this is about ‘people’ so a human-centred user experience, incorporating best practice in social learning theory and design is optimal. AI-driven platforms offer personalised learning paths and real-time analytics, allowing organizations to deliver more targeted and effective training experiences (Kim et al., 2022) while unlocking and putting to good use previously ‘hidden’ or dormant knowledge.

Optimising Hybrid Training Sessions

Delivering successful hybrid training sessions requires a holistic approach that addresses the unique challenges of your team. This includes fostering structured communication, ensuring flexible accessibility, equipping facilitators with the necessary skills, and nurturing a collaborative spirit among participants.

  • Set the stage for success by providing crystal-clear instructions and deadlines well in advance. Share a detailed agenda outlining the training objectives, schedule, and any technical requirements like downloading specific apps or joining a virtual meeting. This upfront clarity helps participants feel prepared and engaged from the start. Preparing pre-loaded short-format video playlists will also increase engagement, peer-connections and set the scene for what lies ahead in a very engaging and human way.
  • Leverage collaborative tools like digital whiteboards and virtual breakout rooms to facilitate engaging discussions and hands-on activities, helping remote and in-office employees feel equally invested. Slick+, our knowledge-sharing platform, empowers hybrid teams to capture and exchange expertise through interactive videos, playlist curation or requesting learning collaborations thereby strengthening team bonds and collective learning. Studies show video-based microlearning boosts both impact and engagement, and these features encourage active participation and knowledge exchange among distributed teams.
  • Embrace Flexibility and Accessibility to accommodate diverse schedules and locations. Record live sessions so remote employees can access the content on-demand, and offer multiple session times to cater to different time zones. Ensure all materials, from presentations to handouts, are available in formats that are compatible across devices.
  • Empower Facilitators to Shine by investing in comprehensive training. Equip them with the skills to seamlessly transition between in-person and virtual interactions, leverage interactive features like breakout rooms, and manage the group dynamics that come with a blended audience. Well-prepared facilitators can make all the difference in keeping participants engaged and focused.
  • Measure, Analyze, and Optimise. To measure the effectiveness of your hybrid training initiatives, regularly collect feedback and track key metrics like attendance, participation rates and satisfaction levels and even alignment with (and contribution to) your organisation’s key strategic goals. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and continuously refine your approach. 

By implementing these proven best practices, you can create best-in-class hybrid training sessions that keep your employees energised, connected, and eager to share and learn – maximising the impact of your learning and development initiatives and creating a culture of knowledge sharing that converts individual expertise into collective learning.

Conclusion

Keeping employees engaged and motivated during hybrid training sessions requires a comprehensive, research-driven approach. As we’ve explored in this blog post, a multifaceted strategy that integrates interactive content, personalization, microlearning, gamification, continuous feedback, and advanced technologies can foster a culture of continuous learning and development – ultimately driving organizational success.

However, in today’s remote-centric work environment, capturing and sharing institutional knowledge has become increasingly crucial. This is where our innovative platform, Slick+, can truly amplify the impact of your hybrid training initiatives.

Slick+ powers hybrid teams to instantly create and share video-based and other interactive content, enabling employees to capture and exchange their expertise seamlessly. By facilitating this knowledge exchange, Slick+ strengthens team bonds, enhances cross-functional collaboration, and fosters a greater sense of belonging among remote and in-office workers.

Slick+ also promotes social learning – a powerful driver of engagement and retention in hybrid training settings. The platform’s interactive video playlists and real-time discussion capabilities encourage organic knowledge transfer and peer-to-peer learning, empowering employees to learn from one another’s expertise and experiences. This social learning component further elevates the effectiveness of your training programs, fostering a culture of collaborative growth and continuous improvement.

Together, let’s embrace the future of hybrid training and unlock the full potential of your workforce.

🙂 Interested to learn more? Please get in touch to explore how a video-based strategy can help convert individual expertise to collective learning in your organisation!

References

Brown, A., & Davis, B. (2018). The role of personalization in enhancing employee training engagement. Journal of Training and Development, 45(2), 123-137.

Clark, C., & Lee, D. (2019). Leveraging technology for enhanced training experiences: A focus on augmented reality. Technology in Training, 18(3), 221-235.

Davis, E., & Miller, K. (2019). The impact of gamification on employee motivation and participation in training programs. Journal of Gamification Studies, 7(1), 45-58.

Garcia, M., & Nguyen, H. (2020). The importance of continuous feedback in employee training: A longitudinal study. Training and Development Journal, 38(4), 312-326.

Johnson, R., & Jones, S. (2018). Regular assessments and feedback: Key drivers of employee engagement in training programs. Journal of Workplace Learning, 26(2), 89-104.

Kim, J., & Smith, L. (2021). Interactive content in hybrid training: A comparative analysis of engagement levels. Journal of Hybrid Learning, 15(3), 187-201.

Moeller, S. K., Luo, Y., & Hooper, J. (2020). Microlearning for Millennials and Generation Z. Education and Training, 62(3/4), 242-255.

Smith, T., & Brown, R. (2021). Leveraging virtual reality for immersive training experiences: A case study. Virtual Reality Research Quarterly, 12(4), 321-335.

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