We’ve worked with companies large and small, and one of the most common questions we get isn’t about content or delivery; it’s about timing. That is when a company should transition from small scale training efforts into the big leagues of custom content and digital learning solutions. This is when to make the digital learning investment.
Of course, training is never a one-size-fits-all type of issue. We like to take our time to assess every organization, their learners, and their goals before making recommendations. Still, there are some general guidelines that startups can keep in mind when deciding how to spend those precious investment dollars and about when to make that digital learning investment.
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1. Small Scale Learning
You don’t necessarily need to spend big when your company is still growing. Small scale digital learning investment is ideal for organizations with fewer than 100 employees. Luckily, there are a ton of free and low-cost solutions available to give your employees adequate training without spending a ton of investment dollars that have already been spoken for. Consider the following:
- Aggregating YouTube videos that can help employees get a handle on everything from communication skills to compliance.
- Existing content (think employee handbooks) that could be turned into more engaging videos or learning modules easily.
- Your own version of an LMS utilizing networking tools like Slack or Basecamp to deliver content to employees.
It might not be pretty and it’s definitely not branded, but there’s no reason that small scale training has to be boring walls of text. Take what you have and find more engaging ways to deliver the information and you’ll save money without losing employee interest.
2. Investing in Training
Once your organization hits 500 to 1,000 employees, it’s time to get serious about your training and making a digital learning investment. Simply creating a YouTube playlist doesn’t work on a large scale, especially because you’re likely to have several branches and satellite employees that require the branding that custom digital learning has to offer. Here are some of the other reasons you need to invest in digital learning when you’re company has grown:
- You’ll need a user-friendly authoring tool that allows you to create custom content without spending your entire training program.
- The need for a video platform that allows you to create and share how-to, compliance, and even product videos quickly.
- You’ll need a way to brand, market, and create campaigns around your digital learning. With more employees comes the obligation to increase user buy-in. You want to get learners excited about your digital learning, and that’s difficult to do if you’re borrowing bits and bobs from other sources instead of creating your own branded experience.
We get it: when you’re starting out, investing in digital learning might seem like it’s pretty low on the priority list. But well-trained employees are happy, productive employees, so don’t leave it on the backburner for too long. Use placeholders to keep learners engaged and getting the information they need until you have the capital to really knock their socks off with something special.