Custom Content, Uniquely Suited to Internal Training
You’ve identified your training objectives, prioritized the long list of your organization’s learning needs, and figured out who should be trained on what. You probably even have a team prepping training sessions on various topics for specific audiences. But you may be missing a key component of internal training: content strategy.
That’s right- content strategy isn’t just for marketers anymore.
These days, it’s crucial to bring your internal training up to the speed of modern world- and that means out with the old (like a classroom full of folks facing a slide presentation) and in with the new: unique training content, crafted to meet your learning and development requirements while also offering employee engagement, maximum retention, and maybe even entertainment.
Here are 3 strategic ways to punch up your training content strategy.
1. Tell a Story
Who hasn’t been tasked with reading a hefty employee handbook or sitting through a dense keynote on policy changes? Rules and regulations are integral to training. But these rules and regulations don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re part of your organization’s story. Why not make your training feel that way?
Begin with a common thread, like your company values or your department’s mission statement, and weave a story out of that thread. Maybe you champion the company value of loyalty- you could develop a series of interviews highlighting your most loyal customers, telling their story while teaching your team how to master the sales techniques, customer service procedures, or products that keep them coming back to you.
Data can also tell a compelling story– you can create data-rich infographics to train on valuable metrics and results; infographics are not only easy on the eyes, they’re easier to remember in moments that will matter most down the road.
2. Make it Interactive
Choose-your-own-adventure modules and employee surveys are one way to infuse your learning and development with interaction.
Another tactic on the rise is gamification- turning training into a game is a fantastic way to transform a dry and boring experience into one that’s exciting and even rewarding. As companies face the urgent challenge of digital transformation, gamification is becoming less of a gimmick and more of a tool– with positive reinforcement and goal orientation built in, it’s a win-win for employees and trainers alike.
For the ultimate in interactivity, both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are making waves in the learning and development space. Whether you’re looking to simulate product demos or on-the-job scenarios, or give employees a way to explore other locations, VR and AR is an innovative way to offer immersive training minus costly travel or extraneous personnel.
3. Update the Tried and True
Traditional training methods still have their place in a content-centric world. But can you think of ways to shake up how you’ve leveraged these methods in the past? Long the gold standard of internal training, instructor-led courses could boost engagement and retention by enhancing their presentations.
Try adding an on-site or remote illustrator- real-time drawing in the form of graphic facilitation, sketch noting, or illustrated breakout sessions can help meet learners where they are (given that 80% of the information we take in is absorbed visually) along with adding a refreshingly unexpected creative element to foster open minds and inventive thinking.
Bonus- the images recorded in these training sessions can live beyond the classroom, serving a dual purpose by becoming standalone content as a flyer, visual aid, or graphic training manual.
Video is another timeworn go-to in the training sphere, and it’s popular for a reason: employees love it, and studies show it’s a highly effective tool. Experiment with using video in multiple ways, especially when it comes to trends particularly suited to video, like microlearning- short (3-5 minute) nuggets that are tightly focused and highly informative.
To maximize your unique content, keep learning yourself- get to know your audiences by encouraging feedback, honing in on learning styles and personas, and continually updating your training goals.
While you’re at it, keep checking in on what’s trending in the world of internal training, learning and development, and consider ways you can recycle your content or explore methods of “evergreening” the content to ensure your strategy gets better with age.