Most people don’t think of learning as sustainable – they think of it as an event. It’s a class you attend or an online course you complete. But that thinking doesn’t connect learning to applying skills on the job.

Traditional one-and-done training has lost its credibility as sessions quickly become outdated, inaccurate, and irrelevant. Your business needs sustainable learning that delivers relevant content exactly when and where it’s needed. But how do you get there?

Sustainability Requires Maintenance

For starters, it’s crucial to create and stick to a learning sustainability plan that keeps all your content fresh. As products, workflows, applications, and goals change, content needs to be reviewed and updated continuously.

Ask yourself: Does the content develop the skills needed for ideal job performance?

While sustainable learning has to focus on relevant, high-quality training, it needs to go beyond that. It needs to give insight into how effective your operations are. If learning doesn’t meet that goal, then it’s pointless.

Plus, when you pay more attention to your learning content, you build credibility. Your team will know that their training is accurate and up to date – because it will be.

Application Leads to Updates

If learning content is old, obsolete, and not applied on the job, then it needs to be updated or retired.

Ask yourself: Does the content focus on outcomes that meet business goals?

New content and updates can be captured in two ways: reactively or proactively.

You can reactively update your content as your team submits requests or as you identify training gaps. This gives everyone the opportunity to have their voice heard and builds a community of sharing through learning.

Or you can proactively ask your team for updates with regularly scheduled process evaluations. This lets the content’s importance dictate how often it gets reviewed.

Outside Views Inspire Change

But reviews of your content shouldn’t only happen internally.

Ask yourself: What outside consultants have practical experience with similar problems?

Understanding how others solve similar problems lets you explore new ways to boost productivity and create more efficient workflows. External reviews provide the perfect opportunity to meet with your business partners and discover how you can improve together.

Purpose Drives True Sustainability

It’s time to do away with “update” training. Training sessions on new features or functions have nothing to do with applying skills to meet desired goals. When you focus on workflows and outcomes, you build learning with a purpose and that makes it truly sustainable.

When you use a role-based system built on microlearning content, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time there is a change. Just update the relevant content and the system should be smart enough to deliver it exactly where it’s needed. And that’s how you equip your team to learn sustainably.

If you don’t think of learning as sustainable, it’s time to change that.