Curating Personalized Content for Effective Training

Blog: Selecting, organizing, and managing relevant content according to your strategy, learner, and sunny disposition.

Curation is all about keeping it simple, engaging, and on topic. While doing some light weekend reading, I came across a survey by Donald H. Taylor at the end of 2021titled, The learning and development trends to look out for in 2022. The piece discussed how personalization is the number one issue to solve for training. As a seasoned trainer (humble brag), I couldn’t agree more. To me, to be successful, you need to have curated resources for specific learners and positions.

Learning objectives

Before I begin, I like to get some prep work in. To start, I feel it’s essential to ask myself a few questions about the client.

  • What are the objectives I want this learner to master?
  • What does the learner need to know to achieve these objectives?
  • Will I tell the learner about my secret lunchtime taco spot?

Once I’ve answered these questions, I have a much better idea of how to build a curriculum and remove anything that is not immediately necessary to the development of the learner. As for the “taco spot” question, it’s actually not a bad idea to relieve the tension with some casual conversation. Who knows? You may even find a new lunch buddy.

Training structure

Acronym alert! Using Structured On-the-Job Training (SOJT) programs can help narrow down the objectives to personalize the training for a given learner. Individualized educational targets are established through interviews, accountability tools, and on-site mentorships. Three necessities for SOJT include:

  • An outline of what makes someone competent in their role
  • A determination on competency measurement
  • Opportunities to foster learner competency

Training structure can also reflect your office environment. Depending on your operation’s policies, in-person, hybrid, or virtual methods should be offered to stay consistent throughout any individualized competency parameters. Once the pajama dress code is acknowledged, things will be much more relaxed for you and your learner.

Need to Know

As a trainer, it is my job to determine the appropriate training sessions for each employee to ensure they receive information essential to their role and individual growth. There will be items that every employee will need to know, there will be things that only specific departments will need to know, and there may be things only I know. So, show your learner the ropes, build them a personalized plan, and revel in their successes. As a potential bonus, your new lunch buddy may take YOU to the next cool taco truck. I’ve seen it happen.