After a cold winter here in the Northeast United States, we're excited and energized to finally be entering spring. Just as you may be compiling a list of spring cleaning projects around the house, we suggest you inspect the office closets (and hard drives, subscriptions, content libraries…) and clean up the cache of your company’s leadership development resources.
An annual audit of learning assets makes sense not only for using the most up-to-date educational methods, but it’s also good for the bottom-line. What have you purchased or licensed? Is anyone using it? Does anyone even know about it? Ouch, right? Often it feels productive to research and purchase those goods, but widespread adoption might not have followed. If you build it, they don’t always come. The hard truth is that many of these assets get stale, making future use even less likely.
We encourage all organizations to clean out and curate their learning content each year (at least) to create a more effective, defined educational journey for employees. You may not need to acquire many new materials. Most organizations have an array of learning tools (presentations, trainings, webinars, instructional videos, demos, handouts, and more), but may not have an easy-to-access inventory system. Periodically taking stock and culling outdated information will ensure there’s a cohesive learning map for career progress. Fresh eyes reviewing the materials may find gold nuggets as well as a few rusty nails that need to go.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled the below leadership development spring cleaning assessment to help you evaluate each learning asset in your arsenal.
Recently, we've completed similar spring cleaning projects for several clients. One client, a global mass media conglomerate, desired to improve their customer experience and as part of our plan, we comprehensively reviewed their resources, identified holes in the learning path, and built custom content to bridge gaps.
Our clients realize there’s an insane amount of educational information available today, and much of it contradictory, unreliable, or unsubstantiated. When employees have questions on the job, they often Google it instead of using the in-house (paid for) learning management system. Although this can be efficient in a time crunch, it can potentially lead employees off target, away from the organization’s stated goals, company values, or trustworthy information resources.
To keep learning assets foremost in their people’s minds as a source for answers, companies need to refresh and innovate the ways they present information so that those in-house tools (previously curated and determined valuable) are seen by education-seekers as the first-stop resource.
Modern learners advance using many kinds of information gathering styles, so a blended media approach has become mandatory for employers. We advise clients on using a combination of online tools like forums, specially designed peer groups, homework assignments, feedback, online documents and resources, webinars (live and recorded), and relevant speeches and presentations, including TED Talks, as well as various flexible licensed materials and applications accessible on computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Supporting a rich online media library, instructor-led trainings (in-person and virtual) still play a critical role in any organization’s learning journey. Whenever we discover a gap in this complex web of learning, we create and customize new content tailored to that client’s particular needs, business goals, budget, and workforce preferences.
On content curation projects, we frequently work with an award-winning, innovative online educational platform, NovoEd, to use enhanced social, collaborative and mobile tools to engage today’s learners. It’s accessible, fun, and interesting. While approximately 90% of people who sign up for large online classes don’t finish, the completion rate at NovoEd for paid classes is actually 90%. We appreciate how they create engagement through social media capabilities to increase focus, develop cooperative team dynamics, and encourage a greater commitment by learners. All of which benefits both learners and employers.
If your leadership development library isn’t up-to-date and compelling, you’re losing your leaders’ attention and missing the opportunity to create a culture of learning and growth. The greatest engagement and business results come from a blended approach that takes place over time, so learners integrate their new knowledge with real life work experiences. And, you don’t have to spend all the company resources to do it. We work with our clients to find options that offer exceptional value for fresh, relevant learning experiences for their employees.
Of course, every client has a unique story to tell with distinctive organizational issues, needs, and history. However, whether they do it on their own or reach out for assistance, every company will benefit from an annual spring cleaning of learning resources.
Continue the ConversationShare your experiences in the comments below.
- What are some of your content curation best practices?
- What’s the most valuable underutilized asset you’ve uncovered when doing a deep clean?
- Or, what’s the most outdated piece of content you’ve found still in circulation?
Happy spring cleaning!