You want to make your training engaging… but why? Common sense tells us that engaging training is more likely to be successful. Blogs like this one share examples of award-winning training all the time, and it’s what people talk about at learning conferences as well. But sometimes us learning professionals do all the talking.
What do learners want?
If you found your way to the training field through a sales or marketing background, you probably already know what a buyer persona is. Here’s Hubspot’s definition:
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
But what about your target learners? Have you ever a created a persona for them? Do you know what motivates them, or what types of learning solutions will motivate them most? You might have assumptions or hunches, but don’t take that at face value. Here’s our definition of a learner persona, based off of Hubspot’s buyer persona description:
A semi-fictionalized representation of your target learners. You base them on research you do plus data that exist. They help you create a training experience that aligns with the realities and preferences of your learners.
So how do you create a Learner Persona? You might consider information like this:
- Ethnic group
- Years’ experience in role
- Years’ experience with your company
- Household income (estimate a range)
- College background
- LinkedIn presence
- Marital status / family status
Demographic information helps paint the picture, but you still need to dig deeper. Here are some other questions to ask when creating your learner persona:
- What’s a typical day like?
- What makes the role challenging?
- What values drive and motivate the employee?
- What gaming experiences are typical? (If you are designing a game. Otherwise, change this to “training” or “learning.”)
- What device experiences are typical?
- If the learners are sales reps, what does a sales call really look like?
- Is every call the same? How do they vary?
- How should training be designed to optimize this transfer into the learners’ world?
It takes time and research just to get accurate demographic information, and asking those deeper questions about the target learner can be daunting. We’ll be leading a group through the exercise this week at the LTEN Annual Conference during our “Sales Enablement and Beyond” session, and we will give a shorter version of the session on June 22nd as a Lessons on Learning Webinar.
Learner Persona Worksheet
Want to create your own learner personas? Our worksheet lets you check to see what questions you are currently asking about learners, see a sample learner persona and create a persona of your own.