From roadblocks to floodgates: 3 solutions for managing accelerated L&D

In these times of uncertainty, business-critical training has never been more, well, critical. More departments than ever need to support their employees through change, onboard new staff and educate people on safety or compliance measures. With the rate that L&D is accelerating, how can you create more hours in the day? What solutions are there to creating a lot of quality content in an environment of reduced budgets and capacity? Let’s explore 3 solutions.

When there is a surge in demand for online and distance-friendly learning, the teams who produce it can be challenged by altered working environments, reduced bandwidth and budgetary restrictions.

Even the most experienced teams can find themselves struggling to produce quality, engaging content at such a rapid pace.

It’s tempting, to “make do” and just get something out there – which does have some merits. But with more remote workforces in the future and with distance-learning becoming the norm, many teams are wanting this online-led approach to be future-proof – and worth all the hard work.

Here are 3 solutions to help you thrive in the new world of accelerated L&D

3 solutions for managing accelerated L&D

 1.  Consider crowdsourcing

Much like in other areas of working, crowdsourcing is an increasingly popular option in larger organizations when producing online training. 

Colleagues outside of L&D can help with many aspects of the heavy lifting – and save you time. By leveraging these experts that are already within your business, you can tackle multiple challenges. From increasing your production capability, to localization and personalization at an extent centralized production may not be able to achieve; in one form or another, crowdsourcing is being embraced by many larger companies globally.

For example, hear from Thermo Fisher Scientific about how they socialized their learning production to support their global audience in this Learning at Large podcast episode

But what about quality, consistency and security I hear you ask? Good question.

Crowdsourcing from the wider business may seem to come with some risks, however these can be simple to manage. You can customize your approach according to your organization’s structure.

By making your L&D team a center of excellence, or a filter of sorts, within your organization you can ensure your standards don’t slip. Produce guidelines, empower your colleagues with light-touch instruction and keep sight of the projects currently being worked on. 

Center of excellence

What you’ll need to do is look at how and where you get your colleagues involved. Do you want them to storyboard? Create? Edit the content? Release? 

Only you are able to answer those questions. It could be any of them, it could be all. But by putting in the systems and guides to help them be successful, you can free up your time and the time of your team while bringing down costs.

Want to learn more? Register to read our (upcoming) whitepaper here >

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2.  Save costs, not quality

In-housing is always talked about when discussing cost-saving. It sounds great. And whether you’ve used an agency previously, or bought off-the-shelf learning content, you know how expensive either of those two options can get.

But the reality of in-house learning production – although cheaper – is that it comes with a cost of a different kind. Teams are tasked with producing the same kind of engagement built or designed by experts, in the same time frames, despite other workloads.

It’s tempting to “make do and mend” – porting your existing face-to-face learning into documents, focus solely on Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT), or just copying and pasting content into your elearning authoring tool.

Each of these methods is valid in the face of such challenging circumstances – but none of them represent longevity, scalability or high levels of engagement (and therefore compliance). 

This is where you need to explore your options and see how bringing learning production in-house can be done smarter – not harder. 

a. Adapt your existing content thoughtfully

Keep your audience in mind. Ask yourself – or better yet the business – some fundamental questions: 

  • Who are my learners for this content?
  • How and when are they likely to have time to undertake it?
  • What devices will they use?
  • What elements of previous programs have worked well?

Even by asking these questions, you’ll start to find answers as to how you can best reach the people you need to, in a way that makes sense. Our Digital Skill Up program could help you frame some of those questions – register here

b. Use Frameworks

There are so many different frameworks available for learning content. You can see some of our favorites to base your development process on here.

But whichever you decide upon, you guarantee a replicable process and consistency for your team – plus more interesting, more relevant learning for your audience.

c. Is there a template?

Some services offer elearning templates, or pre-built frames for your content – which could save you some time and some cost. Check out our favorite elearning templates here…

Alternatively, if you’re an Elucidat customer, there’s Learning Accelerator and it’s range of learning-designed Blueprints. Each comes with a host of downloadable resources, in-line content guidance and example projects to interact with. They go beyond just elearning templates. Find out more here. 

Ultimately, saving money is always a challenge. But when it comes to in-housing your content production, you can do it and minimize the stress. By being smart, asking the right questions, and leveraging templates and tools. 

3.  Be human (without video chat)

One of the biggest temptations when moving large-scale training to an online, or online-blended, delivery is to solely use the video-conferencing programs we’ve all come to be experts in. 

And Video Led Instructor Training (VILT) is great – in the right circumstances. But large online classroom environments, when used exclusively, can actually turn learners off. They’re also resource-intensive; requiring trainers to run multiple sessions on multiple days to multiple audiences – and as a result are being moved away from by over 25% of businesses (Brandon Hall, 2020). So despite appearing scalable, video conferencing can actually damage engagement and doesn’t offer the same trackability of in-person training – decreasing the compliance and behaviors it’s meant to instill. 

woman in red t shirt looking at her laptop

So how do you scale your training to a large audience, keep them engaged and check their knowledge?

Well the first step is to step away from the webcam. 

A lot of the knowledge and information from your online classroom can be translated into a digital course without too much hassle. And an online course:

  1. Respects their time, and yours – Learners can pick up and put down the training to fit with their schedule, rather than making their schedule fit around their training. You also don’t require large amounts of people to stop what they’re doing to tune-in at the same time – saving the business money. It’s also one of the core components of taking a people-centered approach to learning.
  2. Can be more personalized – Provide relevant and engaging content according to their role, using questions and surveys to make sure they learn what they need to – and retain it.
  3. Is trackable – Especially with compliance content, it’s crucial that you know your learners know what they need to – and can demonstrate the behaviors they should. Online training delivers the data on who has and hasn’t completed, plus offers the ability to check knowledge. 

And the best part is that it’s all still deliverable at scale – but with these added benefits. 

Conclusion

With each of these solutions, your training – and learners – benefit. You can start with implementing just one, or dive in with more! But however you approach it, find the version that works within your organization – and you’ll not only save time, but future-proof your production too.

By combining the knowledge of learning design and best practice from your L&D team, with the subject-specific knowledge throughout your business, you’re going to create relevant and correct training that is engaging which reinforces desired behaviors. 

By approaching projects thoughtfully, there’s no need to compromise on quality when speeding up production. 

And by moving away from virtual classrooms, you’ll better scale your learning, better serve your learners and as a result? Better knowledge and compliance. 

None of these methods are instant “fixes” to the difficulties of an accelerated L&D need, but by taking the time to consider implementing even one of these approaches will help to set the hard work of now up for future, continued success.

Take your team from being order takers – to a center of L&D excellence with the future-proofed model for L&D in this 3 part webinar series. Enable them to be the drivers of best practice in people-centered training across your business. Register today!

 

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