Drive Engagement

By on Sep 5, 2023 in Technology

One of the most popular classes at this week’s Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference – and past events – focuses on mastering the art of creating and delivering transformative training programs. Taught by Yardi Aspire team members Patty Evans, industry principal, and Michael Joiner, senior manager for client service and content, the class demonstrates how to use software to create experiential learning exercises that stick with employees long after the training is completed.

The attraction of ‘experiential learning’

This concept can be summarized as “learning by doing.” It encompasses such interactive experiences as games, point-based rewards, focus group discussions and group projects.

“By engaging students in hands-on experiences, application, and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge to real-world situations, including those that impact property management success,” Evans says.

Effective experiential learning assignments include simulated software skills practice sessions, video demonstration assignments, chat-based role play, scenario-based group problem-solving, and stretch exercises that challenge employees to identify and solve a real-world issue facing the organization. A study by PwC showed that employees who participate in scenario-based simulations retain 75% more information than those in traditional training methods.

Additional research by LinkedIn found that 68% of employees prefer to learn through collaborative and social methods, highlighting the value of peer interaction.

“By aligning with the way adults learn, experiential learning maximizes knowledge retention and skill development,” Joiner says.

Linking motivation and engagement

Before thinking about engagement, consider some of the principal causes of learner disengagement from a curriculum:

How does that relate to engagement? Motivation, which manifests as the sense of satisfaction or reward gained from accomplishment, is the driving force that prompts a learner to take action, while engagement is the observable behavior produced by the motivation. In employee training, one of the most effective ways to create engagement is to give learners what the want most – autonomy.

Proper understanding of motivation and engagement helps avoid the principal causes of learner disengagement from a curriculum: its lack of relevance or obsolescence; monotonous, static content; absence of interaction; lack of challenge. Motivation also takes into account adult learning which differs from teaching children in its emphasis on enabling hands-on experience over delivering instruction. “Adult learners want to be self-directed, understand the relevance, learn by doing and take ownership of their own development,” Joiner notes.

The personal touch

Personalized learning encompasses a learning journey tailored based on the learner’s needs, interests, performance and career path. Companies that leverage technology can maximize learning impact by streamlining and simplifying the learning process with automation that curate a personalized view of the training catalog, site resources, announcements and learning content.

Personalized courses put employees in the drivers’ seat of their learning experience with freedom to select their journey and utilize preferred learning methods that can include simulated software practice, scenario-based application exercises, video tutorials, reflection assignments mentorship, and chat-based support.

Yardi Aspire allows organizations to control what a learner can see and do in the site, further streamlining the learning experience. And with a one-time setup, Aspire dynamically adjusts the training assignment allocation based on the learner’s role, hire date, location, department, imported KPIs and prior assignment completion. “This highly personalized approach to training is effective and efficient,” Evans says.

According to Brandon Hall Group, which provides data and insights to learning organizations, companies that use personalized learning experience a 50% increase in engagement levels.

The social angle

As with many other endeavors, training often works best in collaborative environments. This can include collaborative discussion groups, peer support and recommendations, friendly competitions, panel discussions and workshops.

Engaging property management teams in role-playing such scenarios as negotiating a lease with a resident or tenant helps develop active listening, empathy, the ability to balance negotiation with property policies, flexibility and identifying alternative solutions. These and other everyday simulations provide a risk-free environment for leaders to experiment, make mistakes and learn from their experience encompass community conflicts. “This social learning approach fosters peer-to-peer learning and allows participants to tap into a collective pool of knowledge,” Evans says.

Learn about the variety of tools available from Yardi Aspire that help organizations use training to increase skill proficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction.