L&D is always being asked to do more with less. If you want to punch above your weight and stretch your budget further, check out Steve Thompson's...
The secret to navigating the content provider market
Whether you’re using off-the-shelf content, in-house content or a bit of both, one thing’s for sure: finding the right learning resources can be a minefield.
There are hundreds of learning content vendors on the market today, so how can learning professionals know how to make the right choice? Today’s learners expect consumer-grade content, even in the workplace - it needs to look great, work smoothly and reflect the quality they’re used to in their day-to-day content consumption.
Chief Learning Officer Steve Thompson shared his insights into navigating the complex world of content providers with Andrew Jacobs on the More Than Learning podcast - give it a listen here, and let us know what you think.
Finding the right off-the-shelf content
There are a lot, and we mean A LOT, of learning content vendors on the market today. So how can you navigate this complex marketplace to find the right content for your business?
For Steve, it starts with truly understanding the demographic of your learners. What will appeal to them? What will keep them coming back time and time again? What will genuinely engage and inspire them?
Some of the key aspects Steve recommends looking at are:
- Aesthetic - today’s employees expect consumer-grade learning content, so it needs to look great
- Duration - do your people have time to sit through an hour-long course, or are two-minute nuggets more useful?
- Accessibility - this includes everything from ease of access, such as SSO, to languages, to localised content, to accessibility concerns such as subtitled videos, compatibility with screen readers, user-friendly colour contrast etc.
- Content type - will your people want checklists, videos, podcasts, PDFs, quizzes, elearning course or something else entirely?
But beyond the content itself, think about the overall learning experience.
If you have your own learning platform, is it easy to navigate? Can people find what they need, when they need it? If you’re buying a new platform to host your content, is it easy to access? Does it integrate seamlessly with the rest of your tech stack?
And, most importantly, does it contribute to a great learning experience, or does it hinder your employees from getting what they need, when they need it?
Looking for great content on a budget?
Find out why the 5app x Hemsley Fraser Content Hub could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Building a self-directed learning culture
Ideally, businesses would take advantage of both off-the-shelf learning content and in-house content. However, Steve acknowledges that this isn’t always possible - for instance, if you’re just starting out on your learning journey, or if you have very tight launch deadlines.
With limited time, budget or in-house resource, off-the-shelf content is the best place to build the foundations to help you get your learning platform up and running quickly and to get the right learning to the right people at the moment of need.
A self-directed learning culture relies on having content for employees to discover. During Steve’s time at Greystar, he reviewed a vast number of content providers, before selecting Hemsley Fraser’s award-winning content alongside a flexible 5app learning and comms platform. Greystar uses Hemsley Fraser’s off-the-shelf content for everything from leadership training to health and safety training, so it was the perfect way to launch a platform for a growing organisation at speed.
Top tip: Remove learning barriers by choosing a single sign-on (SSO) solution. Whether your off-the-shelf content is hosted on your own LMS or on an external platform, enabling SSO means your people won’t need to remember yet another password, making it easier for them to get on with their learning.
Maximising impact over time
Get started ASAP
One of the major benefits of off-the-shelf content for learning is the speed with which you can get started. If you choose right, you can literally be up and running with your off-the-shelf content tomorrow.
Tailor your content to drive engagement
If you have a little more time, or you’re slightly more advanced in your learning maturity, it may be time to think about tailoring your learning content to keep learners engaged and coming back for more - especially as needs, challenges and interests change over time.
Evolving your learning function
As time progresses, you’ll likely find that your off-the-shelf learning content needs more of a personal touch. Look at the gaps in your off-the-shelf offering, or where you may need content specific to your own organisation (such as your company history or company culture - off-the-shelf content is good, but not that good!), and start there to fill in those gaps with your own content. This often goes hand-in-hand with evolving your learning function to facilitate the creation of in-house content.
At Greystar, there was a knowledge gap around using Microsoft Excel, especially for processes specific to Greystar’s way of doing things. To fill that gap, Steve worked closely with an internal Excel SME to create bite-sized nuggets about how to do specific functions as part of the Greystar Originals series, meaning other employees could learn to complete a task at the point of need rather than sitting through an entire lengthy elearning course.
Get the full story
Curious? There’s plenty more where this came from! Listen to the full podcast here.