How to Use Learning Content to Train, Upskill, and Reskill Your Team
September 21, 2022
Continuous learning and development can separate a good organization from a great one. While almost all companies provide onboarding, the learning shouldn’t stop there.
Learning and development (L&D) is a priority for leaders and team members. Ninety-four percent of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn, and 75 percent of 1,500 L&D professionals agree that their companies will develop more custom learning content in the upcoming years.
An effective learning content approach is crucial to your L&D strategy. Knowing how to create impactful content, use engaging content types, and organize and scale your materials can help you empower your team and consistently exceed your goals.
What is learning content?
Learning content includes topics, concepts, themes, and instructional materials to enhance an individual’s knowledge or skill set. In a professional setting, learning content helps workers develop and advance in their current roles and future professional endeavors.
There are several types of training content, each of which serves a purpose within your organization.
Some of the most common types of learning content include:
- Compliance & regulatory training. This includes all the rules and regulations employees must follow and understand, such as sexual harassment prevention policies, safe work environment routines, data security and anti-phishing practices, HIPAA awareness, and more. ATD’s 2021 State of the Industry report showed that 13.7 percent of learning content was mandatory and compliance content, more than any other content area.
- Ongoing professional development. Continuous training to help employees further develop technical and interpersonal skills (also known as hard and soft skills) as individual contributors, managers, and leaders. Training shouldn’t end with onboarding. Team members need exposure to training and learning materials to maximize retention and personal and professional growth.
- Onboarding. Documents, tutorials, and training to get employees acclimated to your organization and help them become productive faster.
Developing an effective learning content approach
Learning content is vital to help train, reskill, and upskill your workforce to stay competitive and attract and retain top talent.
According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 46 percent of L&D pros say executives are concerned that employees do not have the right skills to execute business strategy.
This is where learning content can contribute, but you must have a strategy to ensure you provide the resources your team members need to help them succeed in their current and future roles.
To start, don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to team development. Individuals learn differently, so creating content that appeals to different learning styles is essential.
There are four main learning styles according to the VARK model, including:
- Visual: Learning by seeing images and information. Visual learning resources include multimedia content, flowcharts, flashcards, etc.
- Auditory: Learning/retaining information through listening and speaking. Resources include podcasts, discussions, recordings, etc.
- Reading/writing: Receiving information displayed as text. Resources include essays, user manuals, handouts, etc.
- Kinesthetic: Learning by doing. Resources include role-playing, demonstrations, etc.
You must create different types of learning content to engage individuals with various learning styles. Create training materials in a variety of formats, including:
- Interactive quizzes
- Gamified content
- Certification programs
Present learning content in memorable, scaleable ways
Learning is only half the battle; retaining what we learn is also essential. According to the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, the information we learn is lost over time when we do not attempt to retain it, and we tend to halve our memory of new knowledge in a matter of days or weeks.
To make learning content memorable and scale this content as your organization evolves, keep these best practices in mind:
- Optimize course length. According to adult learning data, the typical learner’s attention span wanes after about 15 to 20 minutes. Limit courses to 10 to 20 minutes and break up longer sessions into shorter sections.
- Use interactive elements. Features like quizzes, scorecards, and matching activities can help learners take a more active approach to training content.
- Create social learning opportunities. Social learning can make training more engaging and also improve retention by encouraging team members to share what they’re learning. Ninety-one percent of L&D pros agree that teams are more successful when they learn new skills together.
- Use a learning platform. A learning platform, such as a learning management system (LMS), allows you to create engaging, interactive learning content and organize these materials in a central location.
- Reinforce learning regularly. No one can remember everything they’ve learned, especially if the skills and lessons are not reinforced. Find regular opportunities to test knowledge and provide refresher training.
Read more: Make eLearning Engaging in 7 Steps
In addition to these best practices, it’s also helpful to take a blended learning approach where you combine self-guided instruction with various modalities, including asynchronous learning, virtual instructor-led training (VILT), and social learning.
Because blended learning combines in-person and online instruction, it’s advantageous for hybrid or remote teams but can also be beneficial for in-person workplaces. Based on data from the 2021 State of the Industry report, 35 percent of learning hours were delivered through VILT, and 32 percent were through self-paced eLearning.
Learning content challenges
While training content is essential for onboarding and ongoing L&D, creating and using learning content doesn’t come without a few challenges. A learning platform and a sound content strategy can help mitigate these pain points.
Keeping learning content up to date
With evolving technology and industry changes, keeping learning content up to date is an ongoing challenge for L&D pros and LMS admins.
WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help keep your learning content fresh and relevant. With the ability to collaborate with other content creators and subject matter experts, you can ensure that the courses you’ve created have your team member’s latest contributions. Additionally, robust integrations to third-party content providers allow you to sync up-to-date learning content that keeps pace with industry shifts and learners’ needs.
Curating learning content from multiple sources
Curating learning content is about gathering the best content for your team’s needs and developing a process to present it to users to help them gain knowledge, learn new skills, and improve their skill sets.
This can be challenging when leveraging multiple sources to create and manage learning content. An All-in-One Learning Platform like WorkRamp can connect to commonly-used training, HR, and enablement tools to help build a learning ecosystem. Manage and deliver eLearning from multiple sources and guide users through learning pathways.
Benefits of a learning center of excellence where content lives
When your training content is in a central location, team members know exactly where to go for learning, development, and growth.
Users don’t need to switch between multiple, disconnected platforms nor experience subpar ways to interact with what they’re learning. Even better, cloud-based LMSs allow learners to access their courses anytime, anywhere.
Centralizing your learning content in a learning platform enables team members to progress through training consistently. You can also track progress and course completion, which is especially important for enforcing compliance training.
PartnerHero used WorkRamp to ensure 100 percent compliance with HR courses like hiring, personnel management, harassment training, data protection and security, and more. By creating engaging learning experiences with WorkRamp, PartnerHero was able to mitigate corporate risk, help employees complete training, and boost employee engagement scores.
Making the content your own
Addressing learning styles and engaging content formats is one piece of the puzzle, but another is including contextual information to make your training content applicable to your organization. With course authoring tools, a template marketplace, and pre-built content, WorkRamp allows L&D pros and LMS admins to combine internal resources and expertise with off-the-shelf, top-notch content.
Use pre-built templates
Where possible, take advantage of pre-built templates that you can customize and configure to meet business objectives. This will help you save time without the need to create course content from scratch. You can leverage your internal resources and subject matter experts to create content that will be useful for your team and their specific role.
“We love leveraging some of the courses provided in WorkRamp’s marketplace–such as the instructional design courses, WorkRamp-specific training, and Zoom best practices. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we design a course, so we can support more teams and initiatives than if we’d had to build everything from scratch.”
Robyn Barton, Global Director of Talent Development, Partner Hero
Combine the best learning platform with the best content
L&D professionals can combine pre-built and custom content to create effective learning paths and help team members upskill and reskill. This helps you save time and leverage your expert team’s knowledge and experience to create content that will empower your team.
When you have your learning content in a single location and create engaging, scaleable materials, you equip your team members with the resources they need to continuously learn and improve.
This helps you create an unstoppable team and develop a competitive edge. It’s all about having the right pieces to create the right outcomes. The best learning platform plus the best content will lead to organizational excellence.
Create learning content that works
With WorkRamp, you can create learning content and combine instructor-led training and on-demand guides to build robust L&D programs and create a culture of continuous learning at your organization. Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.
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Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has more than 11 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.