3 Steps to Create Self-generated Training Content for Staff
Posted on: 2 July 2021
Nurturing your employees skills and constantly upskilling them throughout their career is an essential task and one in which all good businesses have adopted. Creating an effective training plan for staff provides them with the opportunity to grow and develop, whereas having an ineffective program will only demotivate staff and decrease productivity levels as a result. Therefore, your training content must be development and structured correctly for optimal benefit.
In this article we will go through the 3 steps needed in order to create successful self-generated training content for staff.
Step 1: Understanding the task at hand
The idea of conducting training for employees may come from anywhere in the organisation, from the head of the sales department, whose team didn’t reach the KPI, to someone who thinks that there are too many meetings, and work hours are being mismanaged. So before you begin writing a script for a new online course, it’s a good idea to ask some questions. These questions will form the basis of what’s called a training needs analysis.
- Is there really a need for training? Can the desired result be achieved in a different, less expensive, or more efficient way?
- How many learners are there?
- What topics do they suppose to be the most useful in their work?
- Who are the stakeholders? Who else knows about the project and can provide you with useful information?
Step 2: Designing an Outline of the Program
What you need to do now is identify content that matches the needs, a suitable format for distributing it, and some easily measurable metrics that aid you with monitoring the course of the program.
Unlike training goals focused on business metrics, learning objectives are learner-centric as they describe what people should know, be able to do, or feel as the result of the training. Good learning objectives are usually tightly connected with learners on-the-job results. “When learners complete this program, they’ll be able to…
- use the SPIN Sales technique.”
- apply advanced Excel formulas for marketing analysis.”
Since training programs usually consist of more than one module or lesson, you’ll also need to write down subgoals for each of them. If the overarching learning objective is to teach employees how to use a Popcorn machine, the subgoals can be:
For lesson 1 — learn the control switches
For lesson 2 — learn how to install the machine and make it ready for work
For lesson 3 — learn how to fill the machine with ingredients
For lesson 4 — learn how to sanitize the machine
Dave Meier, in The Accelerated Learning Handbook, describes a four-phase learning cycle. These phases are:
Each phase requires well-thought-out tactics because the failure of only one phase will result in a failure or weak results for the entire program.
The purpose of this phase is to arouse the learners’ interest by providing them with the context, explaining the relevance of the content, and setting goals and expectations. Also, you’ll have to deal with any negative feelings that the learners might have.
The next phase is presenting training content to learners in a meaningful and engaging way.
First, there’s graphic design, you need to think about how you’re going to manage the learners’ attention with highlights, fonts, and colours. Next, there’s extensive work with the content such as presenting new vocabulary, providing comprehensive examples on every new idea, and considering different learning styles.
The effectiveness of learning is jeopardized when learners don’t have enough time to fully comprehend the new knowledge and skills. At this phase, you need to encourage people not only to passively absorb training content but to consider the idea of integrating it into their everyday lives.
Without immediate application, much of the freshly obtained knowledge and skills will quickly go up in smoke. How will you encourage learners to use the new information outside the class? Will you create training handouts to print and use in their daily routine?
Step 3: Developing the Content
E-Learning content can take various forms: lectures, e-books, video-lessons, realistic simulations, interactive assessments that look more like games, and the list goes on. A good training program includes as many types of activities as possible to retain learners’ attention and appeal to different learning styles.
You already have a program structure, but you’ll also need to organize and present content within each training module. Below is an easy yet effective module structure:
- Give a general overview
- Provide details
- Add concrete real-world examples
- Make a summary of what has been learned
Each module or a lesson, will need a plan. The plan will provide a clear focus on the topic of each module, help you choose suitable learning activities, and allow you to be sure that the content fits the time frames set for each session.
The development of actual presentations, hand-out materials, and training activities is at the heart of any training program. But if you’ve done the previous steps — know for sure who your learners are, what you need to teach them, and why — developing training materials is just a matter of technique.
Depending on your goals, you may develop e-courses on your own or look to designers, video editors, and voice over artists for help. But even if you can afford to hire a full team of professionals in different areas, we’d still recommend having a working knowledge of the most popular authoring tools.
Now that you’ve read through each step you might get the impression that creating training programs is a linear sequence of steps, but you would be wrong. Although this sequence can be used as a guiding principle, feel free to adapt the model to your particular project! It’ll only benefit the training if you absorb the general ideas while still taking into account new information or situations.
Creating a training program involves gathering a lot of information, research, decision-making, planning, and collaboration. Successful training development begins with a single question- Why? Find the answer, and the rest will flow naturally.
If you would like more information on a digital platform to host and managing your own training content online, get in touch with us and let us show you how Obbi can help.