It’s Like Building A House…And Then More Houses
With a training content strategy in place, learning professionals can spend more time confidently rolling out new training modules, implementing learner engagement strategies, and nailing benchmark metrics. Don’t guess what to do next; your time is precious. So, where to start?
1. Your Content Strategy Needs A Blueprint
Just as a strong foundation is important when building a house, starting with a strong context is key when building a training program. Your learners should, at a glance, be able to understand the goals and learning objectives at the beginning of a new training rollout.
Think back to your own onboarding experience—the intimidating length of the checklist and the endless jargon you were required to memorize and regurgitate.
You definitely checked out.
In a successful training program, the learners know not only what they are learning, but why they need to internalize this information. Your learners become more invested in their learning when they can tie the training benefits directly back to their personal success metrics–whether that’s closing more deals to fast-track their promotion or to make it to Founder’s Club.
2. Build The Essentials: What Can You Get Away With?
Now that you have a sturdy foundation, building your “essential” rooms (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) is the next step. These will supplement your foundation; your learners know the basics of the job, and now you need to provide them with the things they need. To start, ask yourself what the learner’s immediate next steps would be to work effectively, and what needs to happen on a regular basis.
These are the “learner essentials,” or the things that will make them successful in their role. In the context of the house blueprint, mapping the “essential” rooms is equivalent to taking your learners through the basic workflow of their day-to-day. For sales teams, this is the time to hand your reps the Sales Playbook and teach them about the ideal customer profile or how to run a complete demo. These are the tools and training that your reps will need to succeed in their roles.
3. Bring In Your Bells And Whistles
With the foundation and essential rooms set up, you can turn your focus on the “decor” and the furnishings. This is the space for career development and personal growth opportunities. After your new employees have acclimated to the routines and functions of their roles, you want them to feel successful and confident in their roles.
Learners must understand the basic skills and techniques before moving onto something that requires advanced knowledge or context. This “scaffolding” process layers training in a digestible way and ensures that the learner is able to both understand and retain knowledge without information overload. This is the time to teach them skills that will allow them to thrive in their roles–and for revenue teams, that means making the Founder’s Club.
4. Picking Out Your First Training Topic
With your content blueprint complete, it’ll be much easier to pick out your next training topic.
Identify the learning objectives, then work backward to set benchmarks for success. You will then be able to give your learners a “just right” topic, and show the in-the-moment impact when adopted correctly. The key is to start small by rolling out one topic at a time, analyzing the results, listening to learner feedback, and modifying training as frequently and quickly as needed.
5. Building Content At Scale
Training and enablement is not a solo journey, it takes a village to implement the right content, training, and strategy for a new module. It’s critical to think about designing a content strategy that allows for cross-functional collaboration. Otherwise, you’ll run into challenges, including:
- Maxed-out bandwidth
During training implementation, you become the only person who knows how to resolve the firehose of questions from your reps, leaders, and cross-functional teams.
- Information silos that can create a serious bottleneck. In order to capture the most accurate piece of knowledge available, SMEs should be able to create their own training content.
- Growth inefficiencies that happen when your content or training module is no longer relevant for your team. Whether it’s a new product feature that hasn’t been documented or an outdated certification course, you need to scrub your training content so that everything is up-to-date or your user engagement rate starts to decline.
The key to building content that can scale with your hyper-growth teams is to democratize the content creation by distributing the work to Subject Matter Experts and arming them with templates and guides. Having a pre-set content structure gives your editors a starting point so that they’re not building the content format or training design from scratch, allowing them to focus on what’s important: the content itself. This practice also allows for:
- Ease of content creation
- Improves content management and organization
- Allow editors to design training quickly
- Standardization of language and terminology
- Ability to assign content creation to other teams with ease
When you democratize content creation, you’ll often run into “content chaos,” including duplication of efforts or the inability to maintain content hygiene. To combat this, you’ll need to leverage your LMS to put guardrails in place, including:
- Restricted permissions for content creation and editing
- Standardized templates and guides
- Robust reporting to track training feedback