While we've blogged before about the need to leverage internal talent as subject matter experts (SMEs) to create courses, we always feel the need to reiterate the importance of establishing this internal best practice.
Indeed, there may be times when you will need to hire outside talent to assist in the development of learning materials -- such expertise may not yet exist in your organization. However, failing to harness the knowledge already available within is not only inefficient but also inconsistent with today's need to create cultures of learning.
Every employee, regardless of status or seniority, can contribute to others' learning.
If managers are not seeking L&D's guidance in creating courses, and you're not sure what training programs are actually needed, consider capturing new ideas from your employees directly via an internal crowdsourcing program. In this manner, you can create a training request intake process with digital training request forms that give you a much stronger idea of training needs from departments and employees throughout the company.
The next step would be a training needs analysis, which can quickly tell you whether training is the right solution to meet the needs of the employees and the business. The Chapman Alliance Research Study states that it takes 40 to 140 hours of labor to develop 1 hour of training content and an average cost of $10,000. Without a needs analysis, it can be difficult to align your stakeholders to ensure that the training material is worth the investment before starting the training development process.
By first asking your workforce for their input on what training should be delivered, and then performing a quick needs analysis, it will be easier to get everyone to collaborate and contribute to building quality content much faster. As such, a needs analysis saves you both time and money.
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Admittedly, off-the-shelf (OTS) courses are cheaper and faster to deliver to learners. But as knowledge becomes a company's secret weapon – and the need for employees to acquire that specialized or company-specific knowledge – OTS courses simply cannot deliver.
Employees are savvier these days; they can sense when a 'one-size-fits-all' course is put in front of them, rather than a purpose-built, role-specific experience is delivered.
Ultimately, your organization should establish and nurture a culture of learning, in which knowledge is part of the company's DNA. By embracing newer ideologies like a Learning Design Systems (LDS), anyone can crowdsource training ideas, perform a needs analysis, and design training content – rapidly and at scale – that satisfies both your learners and your instructional design team.