The original version of the article written by GuyKat’s Ru can be found on LinkedIn here.

Why do people do what they do? It’s because they have needs and wants. A need is a basic goal such as keeping yourself nourished. A want is a particular form of consumption used to satisfy that need. In Learning & Development, the ‘need is to stay on top of the game, while the ‘want is the type of learning selected to satisfy that need. All professionals have the ‘need’, but it can be difficult to find a form of ‘consumption‘ that motivates a person’s desire to satisfy the ‘need’. So it is our job to create the ‘want‘. 

Luckily, we have two types of motivation to help us out with that:

Extrinsic motivation is reward-driven behaviour. It’s a type of operant conditioning. Put simply, this means driving the best behaviour by using rewards. A great example of this is being paid to do your job. You may enjoy hiking or watching your favourite TV show, but you are still motivated to go and do your job because you’re extrinsically motivated by the ability to spend money. However, it does not necessarily have to be a tangible reward. It can also be done through abstract rewards, such as praise and recognition.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is when internal forces like personal growth, or a desire to succeed stimulate you to finish a task. Intrinsic motivation is also about activities that are challenging, interesting, and internally rewarding without the expectation of any tangible reward.

All ambitious professionals have the need to stay on top of their game. They know they have a need to keep up. Consequently, professionals want short, engaging and rewarding experiences to satisfy those needs, as they are busy with their day-to-day responsibilities.

Understanding the theory of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation gives us insight into ways we can create a sense of ‘want’ for our training. This knowledge helps us build a learning culture.

So, what are the key 5 things you can do to enhance your learning culture?

1. Make sure you employ people with a passion for learning.

It all starts with the right people. Don’t be blinded by technical skills, mindset matters equally. It’s important to get a clear sense of how the candidate can grow in the role and if they’re willing to invest in themselves and the company by continuous improvement. Robert Half’s research highlighted the importance of training both when onboarding new employees and after which supported the fact that more successful hires are the ones who are interested in learning and upskilling.

2. Create a reward scheme.

Extrinsic motivation factors create a need for recognition and reward. Why don’t you create a reward scheme? Start with listing the accomplishments you think are worth a reward. Tie goals with rewards. This will not only extrinsically motivate your learners to complete training but will also strengthen your company culture. This doesn’t have to be physical rewards for completing training (though it could be). You could have ‘leaderboards’ or virtual badges where the intangible reward is kudos. In many working environments, the power of kudos shouldn’t be underestimated.

GuyKat tip: To put this insight into action, the Docebo gamification app features a Reward Marketplace, that you can read about here.

3. Grasp that content is as important as the platform.

For intrinsic motivation factors, it all comes down to eLearning content you are working with. Many professionals still think that the learning platform is the key element in corporate learning. According to Fleming’s styles of learning, 5 key ways to memorise information are visual, aural, reading, kinesthetic and mixtures. Good eLearning has all of these combined, which ultimately results in the best possible solution to satisfy the ‘need’, which we talked about earlier. It’s indisputable that the look and feel, flow and execution of the platform is key for the success of Learning and Development. However, not all the efforts should be focused on only that. eLearning content plays a vital role in your learning strategy. Even if your platform is the best out there, poor content won’t help you deliver expected training results. Both parts, content and platform, are important and you can’t do one successfully without the other. However, ‘content is king’.

Related content: Tailoring your learning content to your audience.

4. Find an agency that knows good eLearning.

Most people reading this will have experienced terrible eLearning. Hopefully, most have also experienced at least some good eLearning. The former demotivates, the latter enthuses. We want to enthuse. The challenge for us all is, therefore, to consistently deliver the good. All training needs to be tailored to the specific needs of the audience. Luckily, if you partner with an agency that knows how to do it – you won’t have to worry about any of that.

5. Be an ambassador yourself.

If you are the Head of Learning or Account Executive who’s passionate about learning – communicate that with others. Nothing compares to human communication. Speak upon how much you love learning, why you think it’s important for you and the company and others will follow. Become an ambassador for those who need a little bit of a push and you’ll see how quickly the motivation grows.