Your employees are resourceful.

If they want to learn about something, they only need an Internet connection and the willingness to page through an article or two, or watch a quick video. So, what’s stopping them from getting all the information they need from the University of Google instead of utilizing employee resources and learning materials? As it turns out: not much.

Employees want their employers to offering learning materials that can advance their careers and help them grow in their skillsets and abilities. The key to finding the balance between employees that use the resources you offer and those that prefer to go searching on their own is by offering both custom content and content that has been created from excellent sources on the Web.

There are a ton of great resources like TedX, Quora, and Pocket just to name a few, that can be paired with your internal employee offerings to offer your employees the best of both worlds.Employees want the best online information fused with organization-specific custom content.CLICK TO TWEET

Here are a few ways to make your company learning materials as engaging and interesting as the content employees find on the interwebs.

The Social Spin

One of the “it” factors a lot of created content lacks is the social element that makes curated content so engaging. Whether it’s an article shared on Facebook or the sometimes-treacherous comments section on YouTube, younger workers often crave the interaction that a lot of online content offers. Not only does the social spin give millennials a chance to sound off and voice their own opinions, but it lends a level of application and trustworthiness–it’s a topic worth talking about.

Unless your organization is extremely large, it’s nearly impossible to recreate the same level of social sharing with created, corporate content. Therefore, when you’re looking to share opinions, get reactions, and get employees talking, it might be best to curate articles, videos, and other media from around the Web.

Idea Investment

Today’s employees–and particularly millennial employees–are more invested in the idea of self-improvement. Not only do they educate themselves to be better at their jobs today, but better at the jobs they aspire to for tomorrow. Employee education that only addresses the “how-to” of their jobs without any soft skills training isn’t engaging and can result in a lack of buy-in. In short, if you’re not giving employees the training they crave, they’ll likely find someone who can.

Of course, it’s a balance. When a topic is industry or organization-specific (think compliance training, safety training, or role-specific education) it likely needs to be custom-created to be the most relevant. But when it comes to soft skills like leadership and sales training, there are already great resources available online–and if your employees are true leaders, they’ve probably already checked out programs, articles, and sites on their own time.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, it may be better to gather up the best resources and make sure employees have access to all the training they both need and want. Hey, millennials are going to Google everything from cat memes to leadership training; you might as well make sure you give them access to the latter.