In our changing world of work, you no longer have a guaranteed audience for your training. And yes, that goes for compliance training as well. Businesses are becoming smarter about the corporate rules they impose on employees. They are beginning to change their structures to match the realities of the outside world. They have access to more information/content than ever before. Even in highly regulated industries.
The illusion of control has been exposed and today’s employees have little patience for it. And they have even less patience for long, bad, boring, instruction. This is all just a small part of the changing landscape of work as we all know it.
Disruptive Technology and the Dwindling Training Fan Base
Your audience is no longer guaranteed. Their attention must be earned. Your training needs to be so great that they WANT to consume your content. You must earn their respect and “show you care” (@isocialfanz). If you can do that you’ll grow a fan base that longs for your next release. A fan base that trusts in you to deliver what they need when they need it.
Technology disruption often forces change in areas otherwise not connected to specific tech. We often hear about Uber disrupting the taxi and transportation industry, but the reality is that its disrupting so much more. Why would anyone want to deal with the stress of being a line cook, hostess, or waitress, or sandwich maker, on a fixed schedule, when you can make equal or more money, and manage your own schedule driving for uber or Lyft? Sure, it's not for everyone. But it is feasible for enough people to cause a serious shortage of labor in other markets. Actors in LA need flexibility in their part time schedules to make time for last minute tryouts, meetings, etc. No need to deal with an angry restaurant manage for the day off, when you can simply disconnect from the Uber app and be on your way to your next gig.
And so, why should employees struggle to access your company’s outdated learning management system, when it’s easier to get the knowledge they need from newer technologies. Employees come to your business preloaded with a mobile device containing access to a world of knowledge, communication tools, life management tools, and entertainment. What you offer them is competing with the attention they give to the outside world. Can you compete? Do YOU prefer your own training content over what’s discoverable on YouTube? Does your training look good on a mobile device? You need business platforms and solutions that match the ease of use and access of the outside world in order to have true fans.
Your Audience Needs to be Your Fans!
In the new era of training in the 21st century workplace you must learn to build a fan base. And building a fan base is more about relating to your audience than it is about the quality of your courses. This is not instructional design 101. As a matter of fact it goes against just about everything you’ve learned as an instructional designer. But it works. Adding business value is not only about your skills at building courses. It’s about your skills at providing value to the business. Tapping into the uniqueness of your team, organization, and audience is critical. This often comes in the form of changing your training model.
One of best ways to make executives part of your fan base is to move from the expense side of accounting to the revenue generating side. If you ever want the business to become part of your fan base, then do whatever your can to create a revenue stream. This is most important in small and medium sized businesses. But it’s enjoyed by enterprise execs as well. Think of how much money CISCO and Microsoft Certifications generate for their businesses. You can too. And you don’t need a massive training team to do it.
Litmos Helps Build Your Training Fan Base
The Litmos community is filled with raving fans because the technology makes it easy for them to build a raving fan base. Helping training professionals LOVE their jobs again is one of the most rewarding experiences I enjoy at Litmos. And yes, I’m biased. But I experienced it myself before becoming an employee. And now I get to share it with others.
One particular friend and colleague purchased Litmos during major turmoil within the small company. After a management shakeup, training became a priority as part of the new structure. Using Litmos they were also able to quickly and easily move into generating revenue for the business. Imagine the joy of having your training department mentioned during quarterly meetings in a positive way because of the revenue you bring in. Now THAT builds fans!
But also imagine simply giving people access to the knowledge they need, when they need it. Or even giving instructors the ability to create and manage their own courses within the Litmos. The key to building your fan base is about ease of use, flexibility, integration, quality, size, and speed. You need technologies that can keep up, but you also need to adapt your processes, and your thinking. Your fans must trust you and the tools you provide to deliver consistently. And you can.
It doesn’t happen over night. But with the right tools and processes, and clear understanding of your audience, you can transform your training department and build a legion of raving fans.