It may sound obvious, but an emphasis on individual engagement is crucial for the success of any group including classrooms, company teams, conferences, startups and more. But as anyone can tell you, building engagement is easier said than done, especially with so many distractions compete for our attention.

Below you will find a number of tools and tips for heightening engagement in any group. Feel free to explore your options and don’t be afraid to mix and match techniques. Every situation is different and only you can put the special touches necessary to take things the extra mile. So, without further ado…

Break Out Your Inner Gamer

Believe it or not, video games are breaking into our business and classrooms and are transforming the way we work. Gamification is a fresh new trend that combines technology and friendly competition to drive better group engagement.

Let’s say, for example, you are running a company brainstorm but no one seems eager to participate. How do you get everyone excited enough to generate some ideas? Turn it into a game! Open a forum where participants can share their suggestions and earn points. Reward your top participants with gift cards, additional budget or other perks.

Surveyed Says…

Call and answer has always been a mainstay for presenters, because it is a simple and effective way to make sure the audience members are listening. But today’s digital age calls for a high-tech tune up of this age-old technique.

Survey and polling software makes it easy to ask questions and gather information quickly; not to mention, it’s much more accurate than counting raised hands. While most surveys collect multiple choice responses, some polling software even allows for open-ended questions and live discussions.

This can be especially useful for large-scale compliance training. Audience members can share their questions with the presenter via custom URL, mobile phone or social media instead of having to raise their hand and yell their questions out loud. You can even quiz your audience during the compliance training session to see who is listening.

Learning in the Electronic Age

E-Learning is another hot trend to boost group engagement. Encourage coworkers and classmates to tackle new subject matter and learn together in a digital environment. Talk to your teams about the skills they would like to hone. There is a whole world of eLearning software available online able to cover any number of topics.

Many remote workplaces struggle to engage coworkers and team members spread across the country. E-Learning software offers an opportunity to break down the office walls and connect with other in a more collaborative environment. This just goes to show that today’s technology can eliminate yesterday’s restrictions.

New Ways to Work Together

Collaborative software is anything that allows groups to work together in real time. Notable examples include Slack and Google Drive. Tools like this are popular since they allow users to tackle or discuss a project simultaneously, making it easier to come up with ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively. Email can’t do that!

If you are working on a class project, it can be frustrating saving and sending each new iteration; plus, this inevitably leads to version-control issues and major headaches. It’s no wonder why many students ignore their duties and generally push the whole project off on one or two members.

Luckily, collaboration tools can re-engage students and track which members added or edited certain portions of a project for more effective grading. This makes things easier, not only for the students, but also for the instructors.

Tools of the Trade

As you can see, technology can aid group in engagement by connecting coworkers, motivating students and making it easier to work together. Why not give one of these techniques a shot during your next compliance training or brainstorm?