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Engaging the Modern Learner: Lessons from Peloton's Playbook

The joke goes, “How do you know when someone owns a Peloton? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”

Yeah, I’ll freely admit it. I’m not shy when it comes to talking about Peloton. And here I am bringing it into my professional realm to talk about it even more. But hang with me for a minute. While it’s true that I will look for any excuse to chat about my favorite workouts and instructors, there really are quite a few valuable lessons learning and development (L&D) professionals can pick up from Peloton.

In the digital age, where attention is fragmented and engagement is gold, L&D professionals face the challenge of capturing and maintaining learner interest. Peloton, a company that revolutionized home fitness, provides a blueprint for success that can be adapted to the L&D field. Here's how professionals can harness Peloton's strategies to elevate their learning solutions.


A Supportive Community

Community is at the heart of Peloton's model. It’s often said that you can find a Peloton group for anything. Cancer survivors, nurses, working moms, and even wine and craft beer drinkers unite in social media groups through their love of Peloton. (I might be in one of those aforementioned groups. 😉) The opportunity to share stories, workout live together, and connect virtually from across the world makes fitness fun – and more impactful.

When designing training solutions, it’s important to remember the power and positive effect the social aspects of learning can have on participants. When learners can share experiences, challenges, and successes with their peers, it reinforces learning in a meaningful way. Specifically, cohort-based learning gives learners the chance to engage, work together, and derive significant knowledge from one another through discussions and interactions.


Competitive Spirit

On more than one occasion, I’ve taken a Peloton class I otherwise might not have chosen just because it offered a pretty cool badge to add to my collection. And the yearly challenge to rack up badges for the total number of workout minutes continues to keep me motivated month-by-month. Badges for important milestones – like your 1000th cycling ride or 500th strength workout – are always a motivator, especially for collecting during a live workout where you might just get a shout out from your favorite instructor. And finally, you’ve never seen my competitive side come out more than when I think there’s someone trying to pass me on the leaderboard during a cycling class.

Gamification is a powerful tool in keeping people invested and interested – it’s no different with learners. By introducing elements like points, badges, and leaderboards, we can make learning more fun while driving some friendly competition.


Variety is the Spice of Life

I imagine a lot of people may still think of Peloton as just a spin bike, but part of Peloton’s staying power has been the variety they offer members. There’s cycling, strength, yoga, meditation, bootcamps, running, and more. I’m never at a loss for variety which means I’m never bored with all the options I have for healthy movement.

Just as Peloton offers a range of workouts to suit different preferences, L&D professionals should provide diversity in content, as well as delivery of that content. This caters to various interests and learning objectives, allowing learners more ownership over their learning journey, which can lead to a more invested and self-directed learning experience.


Engaging and Motivating Trainers

Peloton instructors are known for their larger-than-life personalities and the ability to motivate. I definitely have my favorite instructors that I return to again and again because I know they will motivate me to work hard; but even better, I will have fun and enjoy that time.

For L&D professionals, this emphasizes the importance of having the right facilitator deliver the content. Whether in-person, virtually, or in a video, having someone with the right energy to communicate with learners can make a big difference in how it is received.


For Peloton members, the community and programs that make up the Peloton experience keep them engaged and excited about getting stronger and healthier. I mean, here I am talking all about my personal experience in a blog post for you.

Ultimately, L&D professionals want our learners to feel the same way about their journey – engaged, empowered, and motivated about learning. We want them to be so excited about their learning journey that they can’t quit talking about their experience. Tapping into some of these innovative strategies can help elevate the experience for your learners.


Do you want to find out how you can bring the Peloton spirit to your L&D programs? Reach out to an Ardent expert today.

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