Instagram made big news this month releasing a new feature to compete head to head with Snapchat. While many people are curious why they released it, how to use it, and what social platform to choose between the two, this article isn’t for that. For a quick crash course on Snapchat, check out How Snapchat Is Changing Corporate Learning. This article is about what corporate executives can learn from this big news in the consumer social media space and it’s really simple: Video, and particularly short video, is a massive part of how people prefer to consume content today.
It doesn’t seem to matter if the video is highly produced or not. What matters is it can be consumed in a short amount of time when people have the availability and motivation to consume it.
Contrast that with what I hear out of Learning and Development departments every day; it’s concerning. Just this week, I heard a learning executive say “as long as we keep the Virtual Instructor Led Training under 4 hours, that’s ok with me”. 4 Hours? Yes you heard that right, 4 hours! Unless they plan on showing live NFL football games during those 4 hours, I can assure you those professionals are going to open their phones and start scrolling through Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Facebook to kill the time.
So, why have organizations been so slow to adapt and align their corporate learning mediums with the way their own employees are consuming content in their personal lives? I believe it’s because they are caught in the mentality of “we’ve always done it this way”. That’s a dangerous way for any organization to think, made famous by the Grace Brewster Murray Hopper:
The question that must be asked:
“Would organizations get better engagement, increase knowledge transfer, and become more aligned with their employees and partners by adapting the way they create and deploy training content?”
Now, let’s not kid ourselves. The challenge many Learning and Development executives face is figuring out how to make meaningful changes in their large and complex organizations. So, our advice is to start small. Get a few wins one day at a time, and eventually add those small wins up into big wins that make a huge impact.
Here are 4 ideas to implement to get small wins:
1. Create A Weekly Microlearning Video To Send Out Internally
Once a week, publish a short microlearning video teaching a key topic to provide a short reminder of something that many employees might forget. Don’t let creating a video stop you. Just open your phone, grab a selfie stick or colleague, and make it happen. As you progress in creating video, you can get fancy with editing.
2. Delete Every Other Slide
In your next lunch and learn just try to shorten it by deleting every other slide. Most likely you have too much content in there anyways. Use the minimum amount of content necessary to meet one learning objective. Include links or additional resources for people to explore further on an as needed basis.
3. Use Real Life Or Engaging Stories
People remember stories and examples they can relate too. Try leveraging a capture story at the beginning of anything you do, and then relate what you are teaching back to the story to help them remember. A great best practice is to use famous people, quotes, or current events to relate to the topic you are teaching.
4. Leverage A Tool Outside Your Learning Management System For Publishing
Most learners have a negative mindset about their Learning Management System. So if you do something creative like a weekly microlearning video, you automatically decrease your odds of it being successful by deploying it inside your Learning Management System. There are all kinds of alternative options such as: Email, text, a mobile learning platform, or even getting employees to follow you on a social media network.
So whether you are into Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn, hopefully you can take a few lessons from what is happening in the consumer world to improve the learning experience in your organization. Regardless if you are shot down or the first few tries don’t go as planned, do your best to persevere and keep your mind on the picture. Thomas Edison said it best:
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.
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