6 highly effective interactive learning activities for your L&D
A team is the lifeline of any organisation. Their collective efforts dictate overall culture, reputation, talent and even revenue. Their success is your success.
Upholding this success isn’t easy, employees need to be engaged, motivated, confident and happy. A huge component of this success comes from their learning and development (L&D).
We know that inadequate L&D is a huge reason why employees tend to jump ship. Why? Because L&D investment gives employees a sense of value, purpose and direction. In fact, employees intent to stay increases by 52% (1).
We also know that social and interactive learning is one of the best ways to engage employees. In fact, a 2018 study found that there has been a 53.4% increase of companies adopting game-based learning in their L&D program (2).
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to interactive learning, its benefits and how you can implement it into your workplace L&D program.
What is Interactive Learning?
Interactive learning is all about engagement. Employees who can engage with learning material are able to flex their problem-solving skills in real time. It helps the important takeaways to stick, it motivates, and it fosters an environment where mistakes can be made without the real-life consequences.
Group activities, gamifications or interactive quizzes are just a few ways you can implement interactive learning into your organisation. Really, anything that motivates your teams, encourages them to be present and in turn, prompts them to invest in their own development and training.
Incorporating more interaction and immersion into learning strategies has been found to help:
- Improve ability to retain new information
- Instill and naturally build confidence to complete tasks
- Cater for different learning styles
- Help overall performance and engagement
In fact, a 2020 study found that interactive strategies such as microlearning not only helped employees better perform in the task, but also increased their engagement by 50% (3).
What are the Benefits of Interactive Learning in the Workplace?
If you’re familiar with Liz Wiseman, then you know how leaders interact with their employees drastically changes the employee’s ability to perform, also known as the multiplier effect. Her research unveiled a concept explaining a leaders ability to either multiply or diminish an employee’s overall potential through their leadership style.
The same thing happens when we learn - different styles create different results. While audio lectures and one-way learning strategies result in an approximate 5% retention rate, immersive strategies like active learning, discussion and interactive learning can bump up this rate to at least 50% or higher (4).
In her book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Wiseman states that “when leaders teach, they invest in their people’s ability to solve and avoid problems in the future.” The better we learn, the better we can grow.
So, we’ve gathered 5 need-to-know benefits of interactive learning in the workplace:
It Facilitates Employee Creativity
Employee creativity is connected to better workplace culture, higher employee retention rates and improved overall problem-solving. It’s often the prerequisite of rhetorical skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence while encouraging a more participative work environment.
So when there’s no creative ‘give’ (especially in compulsory training sessions), the learning often feels confined. When you’re learning from leaders and employees who have their own workload, back-to-back meetings and deadlines, it can be hard to make the most of it.
Interactive learning allows employees to flex a different set of skills, utilising a play element and relying on creativity to retain information. Employees are able to navigate the task on their own within an immersive, visually engaging environment to trigger creativity in a way that conventional training doesn’t.
So, when e-learning modules, simulations and gamification learning activities immerse teams, there’s better retention and motivation. Meanwhile, leaders save valuable resources, in turn filtering through into valuable talent and even more revenue. In fact, a 2011 study found that companies who invested in technology-based training were able to provide more frequent training, resulting in 26% higher revenue generated per employee (5).
It Builds Learning Retention
Retention, retention, retention. The better we retain information, the confident we feel and the better we can mentor and train fellow employees and new starters.
When an employee receives instant feedback on a task, they are more likely to retain the information on what they’ve just learned in a way that one-way training can’t offer. Better yet, it also allows employees to make a mistake in a controlled environment and understand where they went wrong for next time. In other words, employees can respond, learn and assess their performance in real time - allowing leaders to better understand employee progress.
Interactive learning also allows leaders to implement L&D strategies that accommodate employee learning styles within an immersive learning space. This results in a better understanding in the material, better recall and the ability to comprehend a task at hand more creatively.
It Increases Engagement
Learning employees are engaged employees. It’s one of the most effective ways for employees to feel valued and satisfied with their role. So, if what we learn is engaging, we feel more motivated to learn more. This is why learning by play is crucial. If it’s immersive then we can better understand the material and we end up emotionally investing in the activity.
The ‘chore’-like element is gone and replaced by play - especially when we use gamification. Employees are more present, they feel challenged and it encourages a growth mindset. We not only want to complete the task, but we want to do a good job.
It Motivates Employees
Attention is one thing, but capturing motivation is a different league altogether - especially if it’s a task that an employee needs to do rather than wants to do.
When employees are able to actively interact with learning technologies, it makes it more appealing to attempt. Again, this goes back to fostering a creative mindset, facilitates engagement and encourages employees to try harder to complete the task successfully.
It’s Low Risk
Interactive learning creates a safe place for employees to learn from their mistakes during their development. Whether it’s through gamification, simulations of e-learning modules, employees are able to learn what went wrong and how to improve.
When it comes time for employees to practice these skills on the job, they have more confidence in their ability and are less likely to make a consequential mistake.
6 Highly Effective Interactive Learning Activities
Solid L&D is both crucial and challenging in any organisation. What we do know is that the way we learn has huge effects on not only individual performance and growth, but that of the company.
Here are 6 highly effective interactive learning activities you can incorporate into your L&D program:
Simply put, gamification is the use of game elements within a non-game context to educate and engage users. Progress points, achievement badges and leaderboards are some examples in which users (or employees) can learn a new task without having to combat boredom or lack of motivation.
As an activity, gamification makes learning fun because it boosts both interest and engagement within the work environment. In fact, gamification can increase engagement in the workplace by 60% and elevates productivity by 50% (6).
Gamification can be as simple as on-the-spot rewards like certificates to acknowledge progress or achievements, point-based trivia or goal-tracking progress bars and company competitions.
When employees discuss ideas and learning, their retention rates jump. Employees can learn directly from others and their experiences or discuss training tasks or processes as well as any expertise that may benefit others.
Discussion boards on workplace servers on within e-learning platforms can promote instant feedback to and from peers while giving leaders the opportunity to step in and share their own insights.
Virtual Training Simulations
It doesn’t get more interactive than utilising virtual simulations. Virtual activities or even step-by-step demos can increase confidence and helps teams to better understand the equipment and tools to master the task at hand. It's a gamechanger.
Virtual training sessions provide employees with the opportunity to experiment, test how processes work and learn from any mistakes in a safe, controlled environment. Employees get first-hand experience understanding different processes to gain a deep understanding of the task rather than just watching someone else do it or read through a document.
There’s nothing more unappealing that a long-winded training module. A microlearning strategy essentially breaks up lessons into smaller “bite-size” segments. It only focusses on key messaging so employees are better able to grasp the information they need to retain.
Microlearning courses only take a few minutes to complete. It takes less time, employees are more present during the course and employees are much more likely to grasp the takeaway.
Mentoring is one of the most effective learning strategies for employees. In fact, research shows that 67% of business notice a rise in productivity as a result of implementing a mentoring program (7). Employees who receive mentoring not only have access to useful, informative feedback but also have ongoing support and encouragement in their overall career.
New employees also are better able to absorb the workplace culture while mentors can observe, provide real-time feedback and track performance until the employee can gain autonomy. This can also help build retention and engage the employee in the task at hand.
Invest in Your Teams with Our Leadership Pass
High performing teams need inspiring leadership to guide, invest and engage them through L&D - it’s critical for upskilling, talent retention and overall job satisfaction. While interactive learning is just one way to boost your L&D strategy, our Leadership Pass gives you access to the best minds and brilliant ideas with weekly live, interactive, virtual masterclasses. Our speakers and authors include Jim Collins, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M.R. Covey, Whitney Johnson and more.
Invest in your teams with live interaction, social learning and networking opportunities to help boost your employee's growth and L&D.
- 2021 Global Employee Engagement Benchmark study