Why it’s hard to keep up with high-impact content—and how a modern learning strategy helps
Let’s face it: keeping up with training content can suck. It’s expensive to buy. It’s time-consuming to build and maintain. At the end of the day, most of it ends up sitting on a digital shelf, unused. And if the attendees who tuned into episode 7 of “In The Know” on LinkedIn LIVE are any indication, many L&D folks are struggling with limited resources to create content. In fact, it’s only getting harder to keep up with the training, compliance and learning demands of fast-changing, highly-regulated businesses.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Series host JD Dillon, Axonify’s Chief Learning Architect, was joined by Ingrid Carreres, Senior Bilingual Instructional Designer at Sonnet Insurance, for a discussion about how Ingrid’s first-hand experience with a modern content strategy that uses curation and AI helped her save time, build content agility and L&D credibility—fast.
They also touched on what it took to make the impossible possible for Sonnet Insurance and overcome common content challenges, starting with leveraging a strategic mix of off-the-shelf and home-grown content rather than building everything from scratch, to drive results.
The problem with traditional content building practices
Instructional Designers want to build high quality, high impact content that aligns with solid learning principles. But for most, it’s not that simple.
“Most workplace learning content is overstuffed,” says JD. “We often only have access to our audience for small windows of time, so we end up having to cram all that information that our stakeholders demand into our content. That makes a lot of content irrelevant. It’s not designed to meet everyone’s individual needs, meaning in a lot of cases it’s not really designed to meet anyone’s needs.”
Plus, when content needs to pass through the hands of specialty talent, subject matter expert and stakeholder review, it’s already being deployed too slowly and the problem has likely changed.
“For me, fixing content begins with a mindset shift,” adds JD. “We have to abandon our build-first mentality in favor of building only when you have to. If a topic doesn’t require heavy vetting by SMEs, you have limited time and budget or the information is just changing too quickly to keep up in any other way, find ways to borrow the wisdom of the crowd. If the problem has already been solved by a trusted partner, you should buy the content. When the problem is unique is when you should build.”
This change can help your organization increase opportunities for skill development, reduce the strain on your limited L&D resources and keep up with the changing needs of your people and your business.
A modern take on supporting the audience and learners
Sonnet Insurance is Canada’s first coast-to-coast fully online home and auto insurance company. And they’ve mastered the art of meeting tight deadlines, compliance requirements and keeping advisors well-informed and engaged.
“Our insurance advisors support our customers who purchase insurance online, those that need to make changes to their billing or need advice about their coverage,” says Ingrid. “And our senior advisors handle everything to do with support questions or escalations. So in order to operate, we must have licenses in all provinces and comply with government regulations.”
See how Sonnet Insurance uses Axonify’s Content Assistant and Content Marketplace toolkit to give their advisors the support they need and get results.
According to Ingrid, the team’s biggest challenge was serving their many unique groups. They needed to make it possible for advisors to access information quickly and effectively while interacting with customers —whether on the phone or online—and operate in accordance with language laws.
“After onboarding, some people feel the content overload. But with Axonify, now we can look at the delivery and learning paths to spread the learning out across the entire onboarding experience into the transition to the production floor,” she shares.
“Axonify’s Discover also helped us be able to update the content effectively and go through the internal review process more efficiently.”
What to know about building content vs. and deploying it
To maximize resources and keep pace with change, Sonnet Insurance started to build content only as a last resort.
“We had to rethink how we deliver training—and the kind of training as well. I look at all the resources and the time we have for specific projects,” says Ingrid. “Usually, it’s a short amount of time and we always have limited resources. Then I look at all the competencies within that project scope that I need and start my research. I look at existing Sonnet content, talk to SMEs, check out all the tools we have and definitely go through Axonify’s Content Marketplace. This way I can really identify what I can leverage versus what I must build.”
Using off-the-shelf content that covers topics like customer service skills, live chat training and more, saves her valuable time, especially important as the company’s sole instructional designer.
“Doing the footwork upfront to understand the limits of your situation, the resources you have available at the time, being realistic about what your options are and then taking advantage of your resources helps you balance things out a bit,” JD confirms.
Sonnet has also recently begun harnessing the power of Axonify’s new offering, Content Assistant, and Ingrid stands by the results.
“When my teammate and I heard about [Content Assistant] we were mind-blown! It really changed a lot of things for us and is helping us through a huge ongoing project,” she says. “Even in its beta version, we would pick a key piece of information, put it into a KLP, click ‘Generate Question’ and that’s it—I get my multiple-choice questions. It’s incredible. And it’s definitely accelerated the building of the content. I was able to create about 15 topics, which includes 8-10 key learning points, in less than two days.”
So how can your business succeed despite the constraints of budget and time? Content curation and a helping hand from AI allows you to assemble relevant training quickly and easily by leveraging what already exists in an organized way. Let’s be honest—the content struggle will always be around but zeroing on the tenets of a modern strategy can help you reap the rewards of a more relevant, agile system.