Online Learning, employee engagement, LMS system

Is Online Learning the Secret to Employee Engagement?

by Simon Cooper

In 2021, Gallup reported that just 34% of the full- and part-time employees in the U.S., totalling 57,022, reported feeling engaged at work, per SHRM.1 Sixteen percent admitted to being actively disengaged. “...2021 is the first time in a decade that engagement dropped year-over-year,” Gallup stated.2

Clearly, employee engagement is in a bad place. If left where it is, companies will suffer. 

When employees are engaged, incredible things happen. An article by OfficeVibe3 cited benefits of employee engagement, such as:

  • Better team performance
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Higher employee retention rates
  • Less worker absenteeism
  • Less workplace stress
  • Lower risk of burnout

“When employees are truly engaged, teams go from being good to being great,” the article stated. “Challenges turn into opportunities, outcomes turn into achievements, and people give it their all.”

Most people understand that it’s important for companies to engage their employees, but they don’t necessarily know why. The Harvard Business Review4 explained,

“Employee engagement has become a top business priority for senior executives. In this rapid-cycle economy, business leaders know that having a high-performing workforce is essential for growth and survival. They recognize that a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.” 

Although some organizations are prioritizing employee engagement, many are not. Current employee engagement statistics, such as those cited earlier, help prove this. The consequences of poor engagement can and do seriously impact companies negatively. 

What Are the Symptoms of Employee Disengagement? 

The symptoms of low employee engagement can be devastating to a business or corporation. These symptoms include but are not limited to:

1) Decreased productivity – When employees are disengaged with their jobs, they are not as innovative and energetic as they have the capacity to be. This results in low productivity and an unhealthy bottom line.

2) Stunted company growth – A company cannot effectively grow without engaged employees. Disengaged employees will either eventually leave or remain unproductive, and the company’s growth will be stunted.

3) Increased turnover – Increased turnover is the most obvious and predictable symptom of poor employee engagement. It can also be the most budget-wrecking. It costs a lot to lose an employee. The blog article The Real Cost of Losing an Employee5 said, “Some studies…predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that's $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses.”

To mitigate employee disengagement and reward employees who are engaged, organizational leaders should know the signs of engagement (or lack thereof) in workers.

Signs an Employee is Engaged (or Disengaged)

COVID-19 has had an impact on employee engagement. One way the pandemic has damaged worker engagement across all sectors is by increasing employees’ stress levels. But what exactly does a disengaged employee look like, versus an engaged employee?

Forbes contributor Susan Adams wrote that when employees are engaged at work, “they feel a sense of passion for their work, a deep connection to their employer, and they spend their days driving innovation and moving their company forward.”6 

Just imagine the organizational benefits companies would experience if most employees were engaged with their jobs.

A disengaged employee looks much different. “...disengaged employees are ‘not poised to put in extra effort for success,’” the article 5 Surprising Signs of a Disengaged Employee7 stated. “They don’t like going to work most days. They’re unlikely to recommend the products of, or employment with, their employer.” Some signs of employee disengagement the article mentioned include: 

  • No initiative to perform well
  • Taking excessive breaks
  • Lack of excitement over wins
  • Lack of knowledge-sharing with coworkers

It’s important that company leaders get good at spotting disengaged workers. This way, they can address employees directly to elicit feedback on what they need to become more engaged. It’s also helpful to spot engaged employees so that they can be acknowledged or rewarded. But what can fix low levels of engagement? One solution is online learning.

Cure Employee Disengagement with Online Learning 

There is a definite link between online learning and employee engagement. Implementing online learning using an LMS system can solve long-standing employee engagement issues. One reason for this is that online learning gives organizations the opportunity to deliver the training employees want and need. The second is that it makes corporate training more interesting. 

Employees want more training - online learning provides it  

Did you know that many employees want more training? According to HR Dive,8 “Workers rank professional development and training opportunities highly among their list of criteria for evaluating prospective employers, but comparatively few say their employers are helping to improve their skills, according to the results of a Jan. 20 online survey by The Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association.”

Online learning allows organizations to create and deliver relevant training that provides the skills employees need to succeed at work, which can boost engagement. And it makes it easy for administrators to train their entire workforce, even if it is dispersed, and give employees the L&D opportunities they want. 

Online training is engaging and improves the employee experience

Some employees regard corporate training as boring. The training they’ve received in the past may not have met their unique learning needs or been relevant to their job roles. Since training is a large part of the employee experience and contributes, for better or worse, to the state of engagement, it’s crucial that employees enjoy it. This will only happen if training is delivered in a format that captures a learner’s attention and fits into their busy lifestyle, which is exactly what online learning does. 

Online learning is on-demand, available at all times to learners. All they need is a device and internet access to participate in training, either at the point of need or during off-hours. This makes it easy for a dispersed workforce to stay on the same page regarding training. It also lets learners pick when they learn, the pace at which they learn, how often they repeat courses, and more. 

An article by eLearning Industry pointed out that aspects of online learning, like gamification, social features, discussion groups, and mobile learning tools, make training fun.9 The article stated, “The right learning platform can give businesses a one-stop-shop for delivering training, boosting performance, and generating a culture that empowers everyone.” 

In many cases, the right learning platform for delivering online corporate training is an LMS system.

An LMS System Increases Employee Engagement by Improving Training and Connecting Workers 

Employees want more training, and they want it to be fun, flexible, and relevant to their job roles. With specific LMS features, TOPYX LMS system makes delivering this type of training easier than ever for organizations, enabling them to deliver, track, and report on online learning:

  • Certifications - Easily manage your Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and other certificates, and use embedded e-signature to capture learners’ verification for compliance and auditing.
  • Mobile learning - Provide on-the-go access to training and empower learners to train anywhere, anytime, on any device. 
  • Unlimited groups - Organize learners and content in any number of ways, and quickly make changes when needed. 
  • Gamification - Keep employees engaged and promote healthy competition with badges, awards, rewards, and more.

Additionally, LMS system social learning features, such as blended learning, chats, communities, and activity feeds, allow learners to interact with their peers or administrators. This can promote knowledge-sharing and further improve employee engagement in a dispersed, post-COVID workplace.   

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There is an employee engagement crisis in the United States. Company leaders with an eye on the future should take steps to engage employees. One of the best steps your organization can take is to make online learning readily available to all of your employees. An LMS system like TOPYX Quick Start is the perfect, cost-effective choice for delivering online corporate training. 

With in-depth learning features and pre-built content to support remote workers and develop skills, TOPYX Quick Start LMS system includes everything you need to get started with a learning and development program for up to 500 learners. Best of all, it’s available through a flat-rate pricing model.

Give TOPYX Quick Start a try for yourself by requesting a free LMS demo


1, 2. SHRM.

  1. OfficeVibe.
  2. Harvard Business Review.
  3. People Keep Blog.
  4. Forbes.
  5. 15Five.
  6. HR Dive.
  7. eLearning Industry.

Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper

CEO at TOPYX | Unlimited Users. Unlimited Growth.