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Use Your Own Content to Train Employees

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Training is tough for any business, but for quickly growing enterprises, it can seem like a step backward rather than toward measurable growth. However, according to IBM, 84 percent of employees at top-performing companies receive training. At low-performing companies, that number falls to 16 percent. Clearly, a good training program is important to a company’s continued success; but creating one might seem like a daunting challenge. However, many companies overlook a wealth of resources about their industry and institutional knowledge: the content employees create. Put someone in charge of turning this content into actionable training materials. Choose a team member who knows the company’s content well and someone who can identify blind spots in the current training methods. Also, understand that blog posts alone do not a comprehensive training strategy make. Everyone learns differently, so create different types of content and use different delivery systems to give employees the best opportunity to interact with information when and how they choose.

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Not only do companies have a tendency to overlook internal talent as it relates to training, but such slights reflect a type of "familiarity breeds contempt" mentality. Further, this might also speak to the chorus of complaints coming from training and human resources professionals about being under-valued. I also think failing to see internal staff as capable of training robs the organization of a great opportunity for increased engagement and robs the employee of a development opportunity.
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I agree that companies often overlook their own internal resources. It is valuable to use existing and frequent concerns as case studies for courses. This is a great way to solicit new ideas and potential solutions from participants. We must place the same emphasis on instructional design as we do training delivery.
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There are pros and cons to re-purposing training content. First, if the training did not work well in the classroom, some decision-makers will suggest putting it on the Internet, or make it microlearning by "chopping it up" into smaller segments (that's not micro learning), but often times don't accept that the training may require simple to extensive revisions/updating when going from delivery mode to another. We put too much emphasis on the "delivery" of training, and ignoring the content.
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