Engaging and motivating each learner


Engaging and motivating each learner

Engaging and motivating each learner

Following our last article on the need for training to create value, we would now like to present another of the seven key principles that need to be implemented in order to optimize your training performance.

Learner motivation in corporate training is a tricky subject, especially where digital training is concerned. If the latter is not carried out properly, learners can be confused by the absence of a face-to-face trainer to stimulate them; they might be unaware of the potential benefits of the training; or they might get bored, feel that they’re wasting their time, be scared away by difficulties, etc.

This can result in very low participation and completion rates, which means that companies fail to get a return on their investment and, even more importantly, fail to meet the objectives that training is supposed to help them to achieve.  

In response to this, John Keller’s A.R.C.S. model (1983) suggests four steps toward sparking and maintaining learner motivation and engagement.



You can hold people’s attention in two ways: via stimulation based on surprise and/or via stimulation based on questions. There are several effective methods for achieving this, including active participation, varied formats, humor, unusual turns of phrase, storytelling, or problem solving.


This involves reassuring learners by using familiar points of reference, for example by showing them that they will be using already acquired skills, highlighting the important present and future benefits of training, connecting training to their needs, etc.


It’s important to reassure learners about their chances of success (especially by clearly setting out objectives and assessment criteria) and about their progress throughout the training program (by indicating the steps they have completed and by providing regular feedback), so that they fully understand the training and assessment process.


Training must bring satisfaction by responding to extrinsic motivations (recognition, certificates, etc.) and intrinsic motivations (a feeling of success, enjoyment, personal fulfillment, etc.) Satisfaction can also arise from gamification (badges, likes, etc.), which makes training more fun and thus more effective.

By ensuring that learners are motivated to follow their digital training, organizations can be sure that most of them acquire the skills they need in the fastest and most constructive way possible. Training, if it meets its aims, can also create a virtuous circle as described by Edward Lawler. Training must be a motivating factor that triggers staff engagement, enhances corporate performance, and helps to ensure talent retention.

See all 7 training principles in our special publication.

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