Five signs that you have a content problem

June 23, 2016 Monica Kraft

"Hello, my name is Monica and I have a content problem."
Addiction is no laughing matter so please pardon the pun. Let's try another analogy that can help us relate the importance of content to effective learning.

Location, Location, Location. Have you considered investing in real estate and heard that the only thing that drives real value for real estate is location? It hardly seems fair when there are so many other factors to consider. Once deemed valuable though, a property will typically retain and even grow its value over the course of time. And the market is driven completely on the availability of inventory, is it not?

Investing in real estate is kind of like investing in people. There are so many factors that drive value from our employees, customers and partners but there is one that stands out above the rest and guarantees long-term payback. That's the ability to learn. Learning, Learning, Learning. If you continuously develop your people through learning, sure they could leave and take their skills and ideas elsewhere. But consider the alternative? What if you don't develop them and they stay? No. Developing your people is the only way to address the skills gap crisis head on and drive lasting business performance for your organization. Your people will keep growing and giving as long as you can feed their desire to learn.

But what if you cannot? Most organizations are trying to modernize and improve their learning programs to make them more effective. The irony is that the major investment they plan to make is in technology that helps them administer and track training. Training and learning are the same thing right? Well not exactly. When we look at all of the latest industry research about cog science and what the modern learner needs, it's pretty clear that training facilitates learning but learning happens far more often than training ever could. The stat that I am fascinated by is how many times a day we hit up Google1. Speaking of addiction! Okay so we must face the fact that we are addicted to our phones and yes, we are addicted to search. So it is time to admit that at the core of our learning programs is content. Content, Content, Content. 

Are you making the most of your content development efforts or is it becoming a real problem now that you are trying to break it down into smaller chunks, deliver it on any device, and embed it in the path of your modern learners instead of forcing them to log in to the Learning Management System (LMS) when they need help.

In this post, we cover five indicators you may have a learning content problem. This will help you start to evaluate if you’re falling into the trap of blaming your training administration platform for your learning problems.
 

  1. Your learners and/or business leaders don’t find value in your training

We unfortunately hear this one all too often. Employees consistently state their organization’s training doesn’t help them improve their jobs, and L&D budgets are often the first to get cut. Have your execs ever drilled you on how exactly your training is helping the bottom line? If any of this rings a bell, your content could be the problem.
 

  1. You have too much content

While some organizations will suffer from having little to no training material, many, especially large global entities, have WAY too much. It gets outdated easily and learners complain they either cannot find what they need, or that most of the training they can find is irrelevant. This problem rapidly expands in complexity the more business units you have, particularly if you’re trying to deliver learning content in multiple languages. 
 

  1. It takes too long to produce content

Do you have a million requests and to-do’s on your training agenda? Need to update your new hire curriculum? Need to produce that new technical training for your product group? Heck, need to create new training for multiple groups in varying locations? Or are your instructional designers spending 20-40% of their time formatting content rather than designing meaningful training.

If any of these are a ‘yes,’ then you likely have a problem.

  1. You have no idea what content is even being used – or whether it’s even working

This one’s a biggie. It stings when your L&D team goes through the hard work to create some exciting learning, but realize post-launch there’s no way to determine or measure its effectiveness. We’re not talking about course completions here – that’s not a measure of success. If you cannot see inside a course to discern which sections were most viewed for instance, then you really have no visibility into what’s resonating with learners. Here your dubious executives may enter the scene once again to question the validity of your efforts.

5. You’re far too experienced with reinventing the wheel

This can go hand-in-hand with having too much content and lengthy production times; often organizations discover multiple instructional designers are working on the same course without even realizing it. What a waste of resources, time and money!

Learning content can frequently be reused and repurposed, but only if you know what content you already have – and most organizations don’t.

So there are the five indicators. If you answered yes to any of these – what can you do? Take a closer look at learning content management and examine your content strategy. 

Companies like Dell and T-Mobile realized they needed to up their training game, and they turned to Xyleme’s learning content management platform to help them easily author and deliver better learning, more cost-effectively.

To learn more, contact us, or check out some of our free resources like Too Much Content, Too Little Time. 

______________________________________________

About the Author

Monica Kraft

Monica Kraft is the Director of Product Marketing for Xyleme, Inc. Xyleme provides content management for learning and development. In this role, Monica is responsible for PR, event planning, customer relationship development, sales enablement, content development for Xyleme.com and driving digital marketing/solution education, and input into the branding strategy and overall marketing plan and budget.

Follow on Twitter More Content by Monica Kraft
Previous Article
Your learners are overloaded. Be part of the solution.
Your learners are overloaded. Be part of the solution.

Next Article
An Interview on Changing Learning Trends with Learning Technology Expert & CEO, Mark Hellinger
An Interview on Changing Learning Trends with Learning Technology Expert & CEO, Mark Hellinger