As Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp have proven, user-generated content is much more respected by consumers than company promoted content. So, wouldn’t it make sense for training departments to complement the company’s offering with employee produced content? It’s not to say that employees can build all of the content needed for training. Clearly, there is compliance and certification training that should be developed by specialized experts. But recent studies predict that up 80% of organizations will use employee-generated content for training in 2018.
For many companies, allowing employees to generate training content means overcoming some inherent perceptions and fears. For example, if you have a procedure on how to repair a product, some of these could be:
– Will the employee-generated content be correct?
– Will it look and feel like other similar content?
– Will it contain copyrighted images or video?
– Will it be too long or too short?
– Will it work on any device, including mobile phones?
In reality, these are the same concerns whether the content is built by the training department or by your employees! The only real difference is historical, where instructional designers working with subject matter experts were traditionally responsible for building training. If you change your thinking to allow employees to create training content, have a good review process to check that it is accurate, copyright free and works on your delivery platform (such as your Learning Management System or portal), it will work very effectively! And it will reduce the time and cost to build training content.
So how do you get started? Like any new program, communication is key. But given that most employee surveys indicate strong dissatisfaction with existing training programs, this will likely be perceived positively. Employees are already content creators, posting to social networks and using video and other tools on their mobile phones every day.
You will need technology to enable this new process, something that will allow employees to upload content that will be shared with other employees. You need to have a basic process like this:
- Allow employees to collaborate on content creation as training requests are approved.
- Allow participants to upload video, audio, documents, and presentations as easily as they can with other tools, like file sharing and mobile apps.
- Provide your training department with tools to organize the content and manage training projects. Training is now the manager, not the creator of the content.
- Make sure help and best practices are available as the content is created, submitted, reviewed and refined.
- Reward and provide recognition. Make sure your employees feel appreciated and are recognized for their efforts.
Another piece of advice is this. Do not try and train employees to use “eLearning” authoring tools. They are designed for highly specialized content, such as compliance and certification. But for the other 80% of your needs, allow employees to use simple tools that make it easy to write text, create links to other content, upload files, and embed videos. Make sure the experience is similar to what people do every day on their phones. They watch videos, play games, and read books and articles.They don’t use PowerPoint Slides on their phones.
Employee generated content can be created using a variety of available video, audio, writing and drawing tools. Providing a simple way to assemble this content into training is what you need to make it possible. Synapse provides a guided, step-by-step experience that makes it easy for your managers, employees and subject matter experts to do this. It’s fast to learn and takes less time than PowerPoint to build awesome training.