What’s in a name? How might the name of your learning resources affect engagement?

Naming Training Programs - L and D Generous

Does the name of your capability development initiatives impact on engagement?

I was recently thinking about the unavoidable fact that some people resist any initiative labelled ‘training’ or ‘learning’…indeed, some people seem to be actively anti anything to do with training/learning.

We can debate the possible reasons for this (e.g. terrible experiences in school, thinking they know it all already, not seeing capability development as a priority, people who ‘don’t like being told what to do’, etc) but the harsh reality is that there will always be some people (sometimes many people) who just react negatively to anything with the words ‘training’ or ‘learning’ (or similar) in them.

Now, there’s a lot we can do to overcome such objections (a well developed, relevant, and well delivered suite of learning initiatives will often win most people over for example) but I wonder if something as simple as a name change might help in some circumstances?

By way of example, take a Learning Management System. I wonder if members of the workforce would more positively engage/use such a resource if it were, instead, simply called a ‘Knowledge Base’ and was presented (quite correctly) as somewhere staff can find out how to do, what they need to do, when they need to do it (a kind of company YouTube/Wikipedia if you like)?

This may seem too simplistic, and that may be the case but, as Shakespeare once wrote, “What’s in a name?”.

I would be very interested in your thoughts/comments, especially if you’ve implemented such an idea and can share the results.

Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope it was of interest. Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share.

Cheers,

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Sam

About the Author:

I’m a self-confessed Learning & Development tragic. In my work-life, I’m a an Industry Engagement Manager for the University of Queensland’s Business School, meaning I work with clients to design, develop and implement ‘end-to-end’ blended capability development solutions.

If you’re interested in having a chat about how UQ Executive Education can help transform your organisation via our tailored executive development solutions, our public short courses, our Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership, or the full MBA, please feel free to email me on sam.russell@uq.edu.au.

I’m also a keynote speaker on topics including (but not limited to) ‘Creating the workplace culture you want to work in’‘The future of organisation learning’‘Simple strategies for maximising transfer of learning to behaviour’, and ‘Speaking C-Suitese, not L&Dese, to win L&D budget approval’. If you’d like to engage me to speak at one of your events, feel free to contact me on the email address above

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