We get it: Small budgets and that one guy in HR who swears he took an instructional design course in college might sway you to get the job done in-house. And at times, it might even be adequate for less-important training or quick-fire leadership tips. But sometimes, trying to develop instructional design and training in-house could be an epic fail.
How do you know when you can go it alone and when it’s time to call in the pros? Check your needs against our list. If you answer “yes” to any of the following statements, it’s time to ditch the DIY stuff and hire an educated, experienced, and innovative instructional designer for your next training module.
You’re reducing large quantities of content.
Your old training took about five hours. You want to condense it down to 30 minutes. An instructional designer can tell you what to cut and how to keep all of the important information using storytelling, sequencing, and media.
You don’t want to teach a live class anymore.
Finding that live classes are taking up too much of your time? An instructional designer can help you convert your current efforts into a module that can be accessed online or recorded once so you can deploy the same training again and again.
You’re creating something from scratch.
Don’t go it alone–starting an entire training program from scratch takes planning and perfect execution. An instructional designer can help you define your training goals and choose the right delivery method for your information.
Your learners aren’t finishing existing modules.
If you notice that your learners are beginning training modules but aren’t completing them, there’s a clear disconnect happening somewhere in the middle. Enlisting the help of an instructional designer can help you identify where you’re losing learners–and how to keep them engaged until completion.
Your learners don’t improve after completion.
What’s the point of training if it doesn’t change learner behavior? Ineffectual training modules waste time and resources, so if your training isn’t getting you the results that you want, it might be time to hire an instructional designer to inspire real change.
You’re struggling with executive buy-in.
Training rarely works without support from the C-suite, but you might be struggling to get them on board. An instructional designer can help you come up with a proposal that gets execs excited and in turn, inspires employees, too.
You created it. No one cared.
Finally, if you’ve created training that no one even opens, looks at, or experiences, you’ve got a major problem. It could be the result of any number of factors: poor program marketing; a lack of enthusiasm; past performance issues. If no one takes the training, it might be time to admit that your DIY approach isn’t the best one.
It can be a big step to allocate budget to hire an instructional designer, but it’s one that can pay you back in spades. Instead of wasting time on boring, superfluous, lengthy, or downright ineffective training, your time and money is better spent on training that gives you real results.