How can you stimulate online learning in your organisation?

Renate de Jonge

The involvement of employees in online learning will always remain a challenge. Involved users remember what they’ve learned and that’s what you want to achieve. Of course you ensure that your training offer stays appealing, approachable and relevant. Beside these requirements there are various strategies supervisors can apply to stimulate their team to use the online learning possibilities the organisation offers. We discuss those in this blog. 

Unravelling the point of resistance

It sounds awesome, right? Being allowed to learn and develop by your employer using a user-friendly LMS or LXP. Not every employee experiences it this way at first. It’s important that a supervisor and the organisation recognise and understand the possible resistance against online learning. E-learning can be seen as a stress factor by employees, regardless how good the training is set up. Their work days are already packed and adding a training can be experienced as too much.

Did you know that almost 40% of the people cope with a fear of failure? A few of them will panic by the thought of being ‘obliged’ to learn again and take tests. 


It’s important that the supervisors take this into account. This can be done in a rather simple manner. We offer 5 strategies you can apply directly.

1. Have a good start

The first impression is always very defining. This is no different when announcing a new e-learning. There’s a big chance you invite your employees to start a new module or training per e-mail. Make good use of this contact! Don’t only specify the basic ‘who, what and where’, but mainly talk about the ‘why’. Describe why it’s important for the employee to follow this e-learning and list why they’ll profit from it themselves. Your language use should of course fit the company culture, but try to communicate as casual as possible with your employees. Use colloquial language and add an appealing activating image. You’re actually promoting the training in this phase 😉 and you shouldn’t do that with a boring mail.

2. The best trainings

When you create your own e-learning for the organisation you logically ensure that the content is appealing and interactive and completely focused on your company. Are you looking for an already existing online training or module, ensure that you choose the best version. The most important reason for users to quit an e-learning is because the training is boring or outdated. Being up-to-date and relevant are thus requirements. Ensure that the users know during the training why they are spending time on this.


Your e-learning is of course mobile responsive, so users can start whenever and wherever they want. This way you remove the barrier to learn on moments when the employees are too busy.
In the recent years microlearning have gained more attention, which isn’t surprising. Microlearnings offer employees the possibility to gain the information and training they need and when they need it, in short bite-sized modules. They can immediately use it in their daily job.

3. Connect goals to the e-learning

We already mentioned it: the ‘why’ of an online training is the most important factor for activating employees. Ensure that your employees know very specifically how the e-learning ties in with various goals; both their own personal goals and the goals of the organisation.

Perhaps there are trainings all employees must follow, for example about the company policy. This can be part of your onboardings process. You must convince the employee to follow optional trainings, such as soft skills-training, by focussing on what they’ll gain from it. When an employee sees how a training helps by achieving personal performance goals they will feel less resistance. Offer room for your employees to follow trainings that suit their personal interests or competences besides the obligatory ones. By ‘allowing’ this the learner will more easily get into the learning flow and will start having fun while doing so.

4. Use gamification to test knowledge

Some people experienced the day they graduated as a big day: No learning anymore, ever! More important: no tests with the corresponding fear to fail. The reality is of course different. In our constantly changing work environment you can’t escape training yourself regularly. As an organisation you don’t need to test the gained knowledge constantly, at least not in the traditional way with open questions or multiple choice. You can use gamification features such as approachable short quizzes or levels which you reach after managing certain content. They provide a clear image of the knowledge level of your employees.

5. Rewards and acknowledgements

The intrinsic motivation, the earlier mentioned ‘why’, is the most important factor. Besides, there are ways to acknowledge and reward the effort of your employees, for extra motivation.

You can reward an employee for example with points they can collect. Or you decide upon a competition element and keep a scoreboard with the scores of the whole team. Downloading a certificate at the end of an e-learning can already motivate extra. A compliment of the supervisor also works great. Ideally followed up by a short conversation about how they experienced the training and how the learned content can be applied. This way you make the effort of the employee visible and they’ll feel acknowledged.

In short, there are many ways to stimulate employees to use the offered e-learning facilities. The bottom line is the ‘why’. By formulating the goals of the organisation and the employee clearly, and by offering clearance and transparency, you ensure that the employees want to invest in growth by learning online and they’ll even have fun doing so.