What comes after purchasing a Learning and Development (L&D) system?
In our line of work, we have consulted with many L&D executives, HR professionals and people just like yourself. They all have one thing in common – eagerness to craft a good enterprise content strategy.
In this article, we will consider both in-house production and outsourcing as an enterprise content strategy, as well as the different types of content your organisation can opt for.
Outsource vs. In-House
What if you have only one L&D specialist on your team but higher management wants a lot of content created for all the different departments? From our experience, it is almost impossible to create content in-house with just one employee on the job.
The most successful companies we see have a dedicated L&D team with at least 3 separate roles- LMS administrators, learning consultants and content creators. One of our clients even has a team of 20 L&D employees to service 3000+ employees across the organisation. If you do not intend on having a large team dedicated to produce content in-house, outsourcing might be the best way forward.
If your organisation only has one L&D Specialist, it would be better to purchase ready-made content from various content providers. It is a much more efficient use of the single L&D specialist’s time to CURATE rather than CREATEcontent as content providers often have large libraries of over 1,000 courses. The L&D Specialist can also gather feedback from different departments to improve the curation process.
A Blended Approach
How Should I Combine Outsourcing and Creating Content In-House?
If you have a moderately sized L&D team of 3-7 employees, it is possible to produce some content in-house. The next question is which aspects of the content should be outsourced, and which aspects should be done by your team.
Take advantage of your expertise. Most Asian enterprises that we worked with are better at creating “instructional” or “technical” content rather than “motivational” or “soft-skills” content.
Therefore, we suggest that your L&D team focus on creating instructional content in-house. These would be company-specific content (e.g. hard skills like specific workflows or processes).
On the other hand, we realise that many enterprises in Asia might not be experienced enough to create content around topics such as soft skills. We highly recommend purchasing soft-skills content from leading vendors as this will also facilitate in keeping your organisation in line with global best practices.
Now that we’ve discussed HOW your business can produce content, it is equally important to consider WHAT to produce.
What are the different content formats and which one(s) should I choose for my organisation?
If you take a look at the existing content providers in the market, content can be broken down into a simple two by two matrix.
- Learning Format: Micro vs Extended
- Type of Content: Instructional vs Motivational
Instructional content relates to hard skills while motivational content relates more to soft skills. As for learning formats, extended formats are content in the form of videos or gamification that usually lasts longer than 30 minutes. In contrast, micro-learning is comprised of bite-sized content pieces of 2 to 5 minutes per material which enables learning on the go.
To decide which content format is most relevant for your organisation, ask yourself what the organisation lacks the most at its current stage. If you find that your organisation is in a growth stage requiring a lot of hard-skills training, perhaps instructional content might be more useful. Taking into account workforce demographics, your organisation may also have more Millennials which respond better to micro-learning.
Understanding your organisational context is key to identifying the best content providers for any given situation. If you are still unsure…
What is more important, soft skills or technical skills?
a. Technical Skills Builds Foundation, Soft Skills Drives Value
The short answer is that both technical and soft skills are important. Cornerstone OnDemand’s recent surveyshows that both employees and managers feel that learning for both areas are equally important. The survey also notes that technology skills and technical training are important to implement for jobs of the future. Yet in response to this question, employers rated overwhelmingly that soft skills are most critical to their past successes.
The World Economic Forum estimates that the half-life of skills is increasingly shorter. Nowadays, skills average a half-life of 5 years relative to a decade ago when the half-life was 10-15 years. This means that employees need to reskill in a much shorter time frame. Therefore, it is important to emphasise a continuous learning mindset, rather than a rigid soft vs hard skills approach.
b. How Employees Identify New Skills to Develop
Employers still rely heavily on managers to identify the skills of which the workforce needs to develop. As an L&D executive, it is advisable to consult with line managers who understand more about what is needed on the ground. Feedback from line managers is instrumental in identifying whether departments require more training in soft skills or hard skills.
In this article, we have looked at the different ways you can generate content for your organisation’s L&D strategy and also which type of content may suit your organisation better. There are a variety of combinations which you can adopt for your L&D strategy.
As we commit to creating better content for you, we appreciate your feedback on our articles and we look forward to continuing discussions with you should you have any queries. Please reach out to email@example.com and I will be happy to share more.