5 Signs That You’ve Outgrown Your Training Binders

Training binders filled with sheafs of paper may have been dependable for decades, but now they’re beginning to show their old age. With the recent acceleration of mobile usage—both personally and professionally—employees increasingly expect training materials and performance support to be available on their mobile devices. And while PDFs can get the job done, at the end of the day, they’re no better than paper–they offer no data around employee usage nor engaging interactivity, and they’re barely readable on smaller screens.

Most forward-thinking companies are at a pivotal moment in their learning and training programs, choosing to invest in highly-sophisticated tools for their mobile training. But how do you know if you’re really ready for that, when you could just stick with familiar binders? In this post, we’ve outlined five signs that you’ve outgrown binders and paper-based training materials, and what you stand to gain by ditching them for good.

1. You’re in need of data and feedback

With paper-based materials, it’s difficult to know how many employees have actually read through the entirety of your materials or how well they know it. Digital content, on the other hand, allows for immediate feedback between instructors and students, whether from analytics, such as “number of pages read” and test percentages earned, or employee notes recorded right in the content. Training managers can choose which data matters most, and set clear standards for their training, based on business objectives.

2. You’re tired of stacking and re-stacking piles of binders. 

The most obvious pitfall of paper binders is that they’re cumbersome-using paper means that you have to spend time collecting and distributing materials, manually entering test scores and sorting files. With digital devices, however, your employees can access your content at the touch of a button. Even better, if you have a cloud-based content solution, synced updates mean that you won’t have to pester your employees to use a particular PDF or download the latest version; they’ll already have the content waiting for them in their secure account.

3. Your paper costs have added up. 

Even though going digital might seem more expensive, the shift toward cloud computing is ultimately on your side. With a cloud publishing solution, you’ll save money in the medium to long term by cutting reprinting and distribution costs from content errors and updates. What’s more, by ensuring that every employee is operating under the most up-to-date content, you won’t risk any business errors from faulty or outdated content, which, according to a report from the IDC, can add up to $37B.

While cheap in the short term, the cost of paper binders quickly adds up. For example, some of our customers spent more than $15 per person per paper packet they produced, including the materials, the shipping, and distribution costs. After factoring in the number of new employees, necessary binder replacements and updates, as well as the number of binders needed per employee, that number escalated fast. Even putting cost aside, at the rate that today’s information evolves, paper can barely keep up.

4. Using mobile devices for work has become the norm at your company. 

As more and more companies embrace mobile in the workplace, your employees expect to be able to access corporate content, which includes employee training, on their mobile devices. Not only does this give them more flexibility to learn at their own pace, but it also encourages them to further engage with the material in their downtime, such as on the bus or in-between meetings with clients. While they could carry around their paper binders, they’d have much less incentive to open those on the bus.

5. Your employees are bored with paper and PDFs.

Printed paper–or even PDFs–do little to delight and engage with your employees. Instead, with HTML-based digital content, you can choose from a variety of interactive features to display your training materials in the ways most likely to improve learning and help your users achieve their learning outcomes. Maybe your introductory message would be better as a short video, or maybe a slideshow on next year’s planning would be better as an interactive timeline. With the right tools, digital content can unlock your own creativity and let your content shine.

The bottom line:

Paper binders might meet your bare minimum now, but odds are, they won’t for long and these inadequacies will only get worse. In order to get ahead of the coming changes, begin looking into digital content solutions and all of the exciting, new opportunities that can come with them. 

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