There was a time, not too long ago, when it was enough for learning and development teams and the Human Resource leaders to design and implement training programs and track the progress of the trainees. However, times have changed, and the modern corporate landscape’s demands have risen to new heights. Now, it is almost essential for corporate trainers to be able to perform engaging content creation as it is one of the main components of e-learning.
E-Learning has emerged as one of the most effective ways of corporate training, and only good content creators can hope to master the art of designing effective e-learning courses and pieces. In today’s business world, corporate trainers need to be content creators so that they can embellish their e-training material with effectiveness and engagement. Let us look at how they can do so:
Define Your Audience
The educational and training content you create has to actively and consciously target the individuals it is created for. This means that the content creators have to evaluate and analyze the goals, objectives, and needs of the learners. The audience in a corporate set-up is, of course, the employees of the business, so you have to know them before initiating content creation for them. There are a number of factors on which the strategy of your content should base on. They include:
- The gaps and difficulties they experience or can potentially experience in their respective pieces of training.
- The expectations and wishes they hold towards the learning and development program.
- Their weaknesses and strengths and the skills and knowledge that the business demands of them.
- The prevailing or developing skills gaps within the organization and their reasons and causes.
- The expectations and demands of the direct managers of employees pertaining to learning goals and objectives and skill development.
- The job responsibilities, needs, and best practices of the different and respective departments and teams within the organization.
These are some of the factors that you should ponder over before crafting and devising your content strategy, as it will not only help you enhance the effectiveness of your training content but meet the demands and expectations of the employees as well. It will also help you to know them and understand their needs better.
Let us say you find during your research about the skill gaps prevailing within the workspace that poor communication is the top factor impacting your sales department. You look for its causes and find lack of language skills to be the culprit. You can put a language training course on the top of your list and start gathering resources and designing content for it.
Select Communication Avenues
Along with content creation skills, you should have good communication skills as well. You need to extract the preferences of your audience out of them. Once you have determined the objectives, you need to choose the communication avenue which is likely to be most effective. It could be a newsletter, Facebook group, company blog, or Linked-in. Anywhere where they are most active or expected to offer you their attention.
A high-performance culture is yielded through efficient communication, and it is vital to accomplish the business goals of an organization. The best avenue to reach your learners is where they are at the most. One direct and simple way to know that is to ask them through conducting a survey. You can ask the employees about the communication platforms they are active at most of the time they usually use it in. A survey can provide you with additional details as well, such as how much time your audience spends on a platform or the main purpose they use it for, etc.
Determine the Content Types
When it comes to e-learning, you get an extensive and wide range of the types of content you can create for your learners. However, it is not streamlined which the most effective type or types of content are. You have to know which are the types that your learners prefer or would be most effective for their training. The different types of e-learning content include:
- Slide-based courses
- Training Videos
- Dialogue simulations
- Interactive videos
- VR and AR sims
When you offer your learners the type of content they prefer, they are more likely to offer you enhanced engagement in return. It will make them more interested in learning as well. However, each type of content has its own specific and unique demands for skills that you will need to take on in order to ace it. You can always take the help of professionals as well, though.
For instance, if you determine that the most suitable and effective type of content for a specific set of learners would be microlearning videos (short bursts of videos), you will have to learn a robust set of skills, such as:
Production skills: These pertain to managing the workflow of the creation and production of videos and properly using various equipment and tools related to it.
Editorial skills: These are associated with editing the content of the video through software with a smooth flow and making it easier to follow and understand. These also require you to have an eye for on-screen and shooting technicalities.
“Edutorial” skills: These are related to the alignment and making a strong connection of the training video content with the goals of the business and objectives and learning needs of the employees through instructional design.
It is true that a training solutions provider can equip your training program with videos about your desired topics, but they cannot add the insights and familiarity of context in the content that can make the employees relate to and understand the content in a better manner. If you are able to design and execute content that is exclusive to your company, it will cater to a wider audience (you will be able to share it across different teams and departments) and will be much more effective. An exclusive content helps generate a learning environment within the organization that is conducive, and that enables learners to re-skill and up-skill with more ease and confidence.
Make Sure to Foster Two-Way Communication
Learner engagement is crucial, not only in marketing but learning and development as well. The content you create has to trigger employees to engage with you in order to be optimally beneficial. Following are some ways and techniques by which you can achieve open communication with your audience as well as other stakeholders within the organization:
- You should create an email that all learners and trainees have the address to with the options to be able to send emails anonymously as well as with their credentials.
- Do not shy away from asking for feedback. Go about nourishing a feedback culture in the workspace through continuous and constant feedback requests.
- All the comments, questions, concerns, feedback, or suggestions that are related to learning and development should be addressed by key persons.
- There should be a comments section (in addition to the email) regardless of which communication avenue you are using. The comments should not go unread or unresponsive, even if it means assigning one or more moderators to manage them.
The availability of the comments section allows for the trainees to share their spontaneous thoughts with you. All the feedback you receive through any channel of communication should be analyzed and evaluated for further improvements and modifications to the e-learning corporate training content. Your learners are the truest reflection of your content creation abilities and skills, and they can help you improve like no one else. So consider their feedback as an opportunity to enhance your capabilities and take any criticism positively.
Schedule Your Content
Obtaining the level of trust and confidence from the employees can be a difficult task for many businesses. In the content sphere, you can attain the level of trust you are looking for from your learners through meeting their expectations and maintaining consistency. The key to being able to create and perpetuate consistency is scheduling. You can employ it in the following areas:
- Content creation
- Content posting and publishing
- Content promotion
- Performance of quality and accuracy checks
- Updating, modification, and editing of information as and when the need arises
- Response to the questions, comments, queries, concerns, and feedback of learners and stakeholders and application of engagement tactics
The need as corporate trainers is to incorporate scheduling of these checkpoints within your overall content creation strategy. Nurturing consistency keeps your learners anticipating and looking forward to things, enhancing their levels of interest in training. Another important point is to include frequent audits and up-grad-a-tion in your scheduling so that the information on your content never goes obsolete. Also, engaging with your trainees right where their points of need lie are significantly more effective than random or general engagement.
Collaborate With Different Stakeholders
Keep an eye out for individuals, whether they are among the learning groups or not, who have skills or knowledge that you can use and collaborate with them. Always be open to teamwork and seek assistance in your endeavors. Ask internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to help you with content creation on topics that are technical. Get your marketing people to support your efforts towards the creation of courses that are related to effective commuting, etc. Always be on the lookout for resources to make your content creation process more efficient and content more effective.
This will not only enhance the quality of your training and development content but improve your social learning as well. It is also a great way to equip your content with a fresh perspective and generate new ideas.
The business objectives and resource constraints are the only two things that you should allow to come in between your learners’ wishes and you fulfilling them. You should let them lead as much as you possibly can and try to accommodate their needs, requirements, and demands as much as you can to ensure increased engagement and effectiveness of the educational content. This will not only enhance individual performance but the overall productivity of the business as well. Collaborating with different internal members of the organization gives space to and develops a learning environment that is people-centric and much more welcoming to the benefits of development training.
The technology adoption in businesses has been heavily fueled by our current situation, making curation and creation of content much more germane to the HR and learning and development people. This serves as an opportunity for them to boost the efficiency of the development and training of the employees within a corporation. They can leverage the digital technologies that target learning and growth to increase the productivity and engagement of the workforce.
The human resource professionals, learning and development leaders, and corporate trainers should go above and beyond the traditional, usual, and conventional tasks of their jobs in order to be able to obtain higher engagement from their learners and create better and more effective training material and programs. They need to be excellent content creators and great at communication to ace the process of training. Content creation for e-learning is something that requires a separate set of skills that can be developed and perfected. Check out these amazing tips for creating highly-engaging e-learning content.