Make Learning Unique, Not Generic

In today’s workplace, more and more companies recognize building engaging team learning as a necessity, but the question often becomes, “what should that learning look like?”

We wanted to spell things out a little more clearly: do this when building team learning, and don’t do that. These best (and worst) practices can shape the framework of an effective and engaging learning program at any organization looking to increase employee productivity and confidence.

Do This: Build training content unique to your business

The first impression a company gives new employees in the new hire onboarding process will have a strong, lasting effect on their view of the company for the remainder of their tenure. When mapping out a training plan, make learning as customized to your team, and business, as possible.

When you tailor training to the unique personality and culture of your company, Learners have a more authentic, informed perspective from their first day of onboarding—and beyond. Learning should welcome new employees and explain the company’s mission, vision, and values. Ideally, it also explains the value of their team, and individual role, within the context of the larger organization.

Every company, organization, and group operates in its own unique way; you’ll be hard-pressed to find two sales cycles, software stacks, or product flows that look exactly the same. As a result, investing in customized learning, and taking the time to build Lessons about company-specific policies, processes, and approaches, improves consistency and employee engagement. We call these customized Lessons indigenous content—“company-specific knowledge of any kind that your employees recognize, right down to divisions, jobs, and people.”

There are a few specific areas of learning where this type of content really shines:

  • company mission
  • company culture
  • company values
  • institutional knowledge
  • proprietary information
  • job titles
  • industry acronyms

Well-documented, repeatable onboarding process are usually the most efficient and effective ones. See Lessonly’s Onboarding Process Chart for inspiration on where to start.

Not That: Rely only on pre-made content

Pre-built learning content assumes all companies are the same—regardless of size, industry, geography, or business model. It also attempts a one-size-fits-all approach to training employees. If you’ve worn a one-size-fits-all hat lately, you likely know how unsatisfactory this approach can be for apparel, much less employee learning.

All too often, pre-built, off-the-shelf modules, videos, and documents are either out-of-date or too generic to apply to a given business in a meaningful way. And time saved initially by purchasing off-the-shelf content is likely lost in the long run: employees either don’t absorb the information they need to know from the original generic content, or they require additional training to better understand the concepts.

Lastly, to many employees, off-the-shelf content feels like a half-measure leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Just listen to a Lessonly client’s recap of their previous training experience:

Someone in senior management thought an easy, off-the-shelf course would educate everyone conveniently and cheaply, but execution is everything.
Dated, generic content foisted on all employees created an immediate sense of resistance, especially in a department of very smart and capable people. Instead of fostering learning and building confidence, the company-first LMS bred resentment.

This is a common issue that plagues off-the-shelf learning content, but if crafting customized learning the right way is easy, why would anyone risk that resentment and resistance?

The best learning content is personalized

Lessonly allows teams of all sizes to easily build personalized learning programs that have tangible business outcomes. Take a self-guided, five-step tour of our team learning software and see how it works. Sign up today.

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