Every organization needs to produce employee training that only they have the knowledge to create. This means you can’t find it on the Internet, you can’t license it from a third party, and you can’t ask someone outside your organization to do it for you. Someone inside your company has to do it.
What falls into this category? Strategy, products, processes, best practices, and everything else that is proprietary to only your business. If you are running a call center and need to train staff on the best way to handle a certain transaction, your team will have the knowledge on the particulars. If you are training sales people on new insights to win deals, your top performer will know how to do it. And if you are training employees on your culture, it has to come from you.
It is getting harder and harder for training managers or central training teams to build all of the training requested by all the different departments. The solution is to enlist as many internal experts, managers, and leaders as possible in your organization to help. And here are some tips to help you do this effectively.
Standardize training requirements
Start by using a tool or template that helps you define a basic set of questions that need to be answered before you start building the content. This can often include questions around performance goals, desired behavior changes, known constraints, audience, an identified list of subject matter experts (SMEs), and basic project data like due date and project sponsor. You don’t necessarily need to launch a full-blown ADDIE process, but you should make sure you do the right upfront analysis, to get everyone involved aligned around the right requirements.
Use good collaboration tools
Regardless of whether you use Word templates, Google Docs, or a tool like Synapse, you need to make sure everyone who can contribute has access to easy to use collaboration tools. Synapse includes great tools to allow you to request content from anyone in your company, with mentions and comments tied to each lesson or topic. If you don’t have modern collaboration tools, do yourself a favor and get one. Slack or Microsoft Teams are also great. Email just doesn’t work when you are trying to manage the volume and speed of many simultaneous training requests.
Find existing content
While there are many eLearning authoring tools in the market, before you build something new, search for existing content both inside and outside your organization. You will be surprised how much existing company content is “good enough” to guide employees to the right knowledge. Remember that if you find content on the Internet, you need to make sure there are no copyright restrictions. Creative Commons is an excellent source to right royalty free content that you can use. And any tool you use should easily connect with your company’s cloud storage systems (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.) to pull content that can be repurposed for training which many of your users already have access to.
Assemble whenever possible
Instead of asking an already resource constrained group of training specialists to build new content for your training program, try to assemble the content you can find a sequence that can be easily digested. Most training can be built with a combination of video, basic text and existing resources like PDFs and links to articles. Remember, while creating highly interactive eLearning with the common eLearning authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate is good (especially for instructional designers and specialized L&D folk), it is not necessary for 80% of typical training needs that can be supported by your internal subject matter experts or content contributors. And do yourself a favor, skip the PowerPoint slides (except as supplemental resources) - we live in a digital economy. With the majority of content consumed on mobile devices, no one wants to view a PowerPoint on their phone.
Incredibly easy to use
If you are going to get everyone in the organization to help build training content, you need a tool that is ridiculously easy to use. It can’t have a big learning curve since your people are busy and want to do things efficiently and effectively. It has to be familiar and easy to learn. You need to be able to manage training requirements, collaboration, finding content and assembly in a cohesive way.
Building custom online training doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.Make sure you find the right tool for the job and tap into the intellectual capital of your organization. The ROI pays big dividends.
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