6 Content Curation Best Practices to Maximize the Impact of Your L&D Strategy

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With an overabundance of choice and information available to today’s learners, training and development programs must be underpinned by robust strategies to deliver relevant, worthwhile, and high-quality training.

According to Amazon Web Services, although 97% of organizations recognize the need for ongoing skills development, employees commonly report barriers to training, including a lack of time and low-quality instruction.

Actively managing and curating content will add value to learners and help them achieve their goals, enabling you to use the tools and resources available to improve the outcome of L&D programs.

The Importance of Learning and Development Content Curation

Content curation is the process of defining learning objectives, organizing, cataloging, and formatting resources in a convenient and easy-to-access format. 

When you give learners access to high-quality learning pathways personalized to their needs and goals, you share a roadmap that signposts where they’re going and how they get there. Prioritizing the quality of training content reduces the risk of overwhelming your employees, build their confidence and keeping them focused on goals.

By harnessing the power of your existing resources, streamlining courses, and filling knowledge gaps, you empower skills development and drive organizational performance.

Analyzing content and tidying up what's no longer accurate, relevant, or adding value enables learners to spend their time effectively. When you constantly tweak learning pathways, it keeps your content fresh and engaging.

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How Content Curation Can Enhance Existing L&D Strategies

L&D content that’s well-paced and focused on the end goal gives users greater control over their learning experience with clarity of expectations and outcomes.

1) It Prioritizes Organizational Needs

The most effective strategies require a deep understanding of your organization’s needs and priorities and how learning and development drives results. Faced with competing considerations, knowing where your most important priorities lie and keeping the outcome in mind when approaching content curation ensures learning programs focus on a goal.

Collaboration throughout the business is a critical factor in success. L&D professionals in high-performing organizations are more likely to be attuned to learning needs and look for the skills required to overcome business challenges when compared to their counterparts in other organizations, according to RedThread Research

The data reveals that successful L&D teams are more likely to focus on the entire learning process—including the skills needed to design, create, and curate content. Additionally, they recognize the importance of building relationships and resilience through ongoing strategic evaluation.

2) It Bolsters Your Learning Culture

According to Oracle’s Global Talent Survey, 85% of employees want to learn new skills, and 82% believe that tech can best support their career and skills development with resources tailored to current skills and goals, and unbiased recommendations.

When content is easy to access, store and share, it empowers people to grow and solve problems independently. Creating, curating, and sharing a library of training resources shows that your organization values learning and development and invests in employee growth. 

Analyzing content and tidying up what’s no longer accurate, relevant, or adding value enables learners to spend their time effectively. That means no need to turn to external sources and less time wasted picking through irrelevant or outdated material. When you constantly tweak learning pathways, it keeps your content fresh and engaging.

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3) It Improves Learning Outcomes

Faced with conflicting priorities and busy schedules, many employees feel they don’t have time to spare to learn new skills, according to a Gartner report

Findings also reveal that employees can better apply new skills when L&D programs use digital learning alongside other formats such as coaching, on-the-job training, or instructor-led training to reinforce knowledge. Additionally, employees who spend time reflecting at the end of the day on what they’ve learned perform 23% times better in the long term.

By breaking down resources into small and engaging chunks, you encourage learning both in the flow of work, and at times that suit the learner. Selecting the right content for your learners is about giving them the things they’ll find valuable and delivering it in ways that resonate. Curating learning content gives you a chance to not only select courses but to choose the optimal formats.

4) It Strengthens Career and Skills Development

According to the CIPD Good Work Index, “opportunities to develop skills” is the number one success factor among employees who believe that their career development has exceeded expectations. On the other hand, employees cite a lack of training and development programs as the top barrier to career progression. Employees who feel they don’t have access to training are also likely to list it as a reason for leaving their current roles.

Learning journeys enable people to achieve their career goals by connecting them with knowledge, hands-on training, and feedback at optimal moments. With a strategic approach, you’ll see what content exists and the talent within the business who can share knowledge and skills.

Reinforce the context along each learning journey to remind people how the course ties together their goals and larger performance objectives.

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Content Curation Best Practices for L&D Teams

It’s not enough to know only the skills learners want to develop or those the organization considers a priority. An adaptive and impactful learning and development strategy weaves together those skills requirements with the right training at the moment of need.

Connecting people with relevant courses by building learning pathways that deliver content at the optimal time with the context to apply it to their role is an ongoing practice that takes careful planning and execution.

1) Align Training With Organizational Priorities to Provide Context

Impactful training and development focuses on the outcome, aligning personal and organizational goals. To do this effectively, identify needs and existing skills, and define the purpose for each activity.

At each step, specify the goal, the audience, and the resources needed to get there, and always tie the learning back to organizational strategy. Then map out each pathway of content and list the requirements needed.

Reinforce the context along each learning journey to remind people how the course ties together their goals and larger performance objectives. Simple initiatives such as affirming feedback and personalized course recommendations can communicate and strengthen company goals and values.

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2) Know Your Learners and Their Needs

Always consider learners’ needs to ensure training is accurate and accessible. Check that multiple languages and cultural preferences are accounted for. Think about how employees interact with content—simple steps like adding closed captions to videos can make a big difference.

Remember to check that compliance or legislative-based content accommodates differences in states and regions and is accurate and current. Courses should also be responsive and formatted for mobile devices if you deliver learning to remote and field-based workers or external learners.

3) Mix Up Your Learning Formats

Always cater to different learning styles and preferences, considering how learners like to consume content and offer multiple choices.

Blending formal and performance-based activities allows learners to test skills in the real world, learn from others, and receive relevant feedback. McKinsey data shows that when learning journeys include different formats such as performance-based activities, they achieve better results. Learning journeys should also link multiple touchpoints to reinforce skills and refresh knowledge.

Reinforce the context along each learning journey to remind people how the course ties together their goals and larger performance objectives.

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4) Map Out Available Resources Against the Content Required

With a clear understanding of what’s needed now and in the future, look at available resources to see what needs to be updated and improved and what’s irrelevant. 

The focus should always be quality, not quantity. Filter and sort through existing information, leaving only relevant and high-quality resources. The process could involve merging existing content to streamline processes where information infrequently changes, such as company policies and procedures, or removing it entirely. 

If you anticipate needs changing quickly or you realize there’s currently a gap in resources, consider how great the requirement is and whether you have the resources in place to handle the request. Knowledge-sharing should always be encouraged, so identify who’s needed at each stage and give each stakeholder plenty of time to capture and create knowledge, then find any existing resources they’re happy to share. When employees, leaders, and subject matter experts share their expertise, it shows the importance of peer learning and creates valuable resources targeted to your employees.

For high-stakes requirements, niche needs, or low-priority training, consider off-the-shelf resources to complement your learning library. Companies like OpenSesame offer thousands of courses built and curated by experts, freeing up valuable time with the assurance that the information is accurate and high-quality.

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5) Make Training Easy to Access

Content must always be well-organized, maintained, and stored logically. Filters, playlists, smart groups, and tags will put the relevant information in front of the right people based on interests, skills, career development, or performance goals. 

The best learning management systems create a seamless user experience for learners, allowing them to dip in and out of courses, resume training online or offline, and connect and share resources with others.

6) Assess, Update, and Improve the Content Curation Process

Content curation is an ongoing process and adaptive L&D strategies evolve in line with changing requirements. Delivering optimal results demands knowledge of business priorities, industry-wide trends, and learner needs. 

Measure the data against your baseline to uncover the impact of content curation activities against metrics such as engagement rates, course completion, and dropout rates. However, outcomes, outputs, and behaviors are also effective ways to analyze success, so review course completion against personal goals and check how employees use learning to drive performance.

Social data like user searches, likes, and shares will also highlight how learners interact with content. Armed with this information, content can be adapted and changed over time.

Enhance Your Content Curation Strategy With Bridge

Simplify your content curation strategy and put your learners on the path to greater success with Bridge. Create, manage, and catalog content while building learning journeys that deliver meaningful training to the right learners with minimal input. 

Give your learners the power to access offline SCORM content from anywhere across devices, keeping them connected to peers and engaged with the training. Then uncover a wealth of engagement, performance, and skills insights to refine your L&D strategy.

Picture of Alex Graham

Alex Graham

Alex Graham is a content writer for Bridge and its parent company, Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). Prior to joining LTG in 2021, she spent four years creating resources to help small businesses, HR professionals, and independent professionals. Here, she developed a passion for creating marketing content that inspires business growth and helps people implement their L&D strategies. She holds a degree in English Language and lives in Liverpool, UK with her husband and son.

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