Improving employee performance, talent, and efficiency is an integral part of organizational skill development. However, rapid digitization has made traditional and popular employee training methods almost obsolete.
With legacy methods no longer effective and shrinking attention spans, employee training and development programs need to be extra engaging and valuable. That is where microlearning comes in.
Microlearning is growing in popularity: this approach is proven to engage employees, improve knowledge retention, reduce costs, and boost productivity. As the name suggests, microlearning is defined as the transfer of information through bite-sized chunks of content. ‘Content chunks’ are often in the form of infographics, short podcasts, videos, e-games, or other visual media.
Let’s see how microlearning can help improve employee productivity, efficiency, and engagement.
Information contained in visual, bite-sized forms are more easily consumed and retained by learners. Talent development professionals think 10-13 minutes of content is the maximum length for this type of microlearning content.
If you’re thinking about integrating microlearning into your course program, here are some tips to keep in mind:
First of all, debunk the perception that written, long-form content or in-person training sessions are more formal ways of employee training, and that microlearning is just an informal add-on.
Get the buy-in from leadership teams to support microlearning initiatives—this may require some evangelization on your part.
Some of the ways that leaders can support microlearning:
With microlearning, the primary goal should be to establish learning objectives from the get-go. Usually, microlearning focuses on performance support and helps workers enhance their skills to work more efficiently. Microlearning is especially impactul for refresher training.
Establishing goals for your training sessions can also help talent development professionals identify if microlearning techniques can meet the established objectives or whether your organizational needs are suited for a different form of training.
Moreover, since microlearning is based on just-in-time learning and can be saved on online platforms, leaders and trainers can rely on cloud-based remote management tools to record and monitor employee performance and identify any additional educational gaps or learning needs. Seamless integration is required between mobile applications, and these kinds of tools can help ensure that microlearning can effectively occur across all devices.
Among all the new and creative trends and methods to improve employee training, simulation-based microlearning is gaining the most traction. Simulation training is a digital training field with virtual representations of real-world activities.
These representations can be tailored to achieve a specific goal—for example, AI-simulated sales pitches can be set to 'beginner' and 'advanced' levels for employees to learn skills accordingly.
Simulation training can also allow employees to experiment with new ideas and boost their creative confidence. Many organizations are also using AI and machine learning to monitor the progress of employees, productivity and to assess how quickly and effectively they can solve problems.
Organizations that incorporate hands-on activities or simulations into microlearning are more likely to report that their microlearning efforts are practical.
Microlearning is a hot topic in organizational training and development, which means that talented professionals are constantly looking for new microlearning methods that companies can adopt.
Some organizations may prefer to house microlearning courses an online platform like a learning management system, where employees can access all educational content from one place. In contrast, other organizations may be more suited to a high-tech environment with simulations (such as VR glasses) allowing employees to experience real-world settings and situations. Ultimately, microlearning can only bring fruitful results if appropriately integrated into an organization's training and development structure.
However, mobile learning requires the successful execution of ICT resources like web-based applications and is heavily dependent on Collaborative Learning with cloud-based systems. One of the biggest challenges in microlearning is maintaining device heterogeneity for multimedia content: learners use different devices to access content and expect seamless experiences while using microlearning content.
This is where cloud computing can help as a solution manager store that delivers various content that can be accessed efficiently and effectively. The cloud acts like a vault for every individual learner to handle and process data on different devices.
According to cloud computing expert Barbara Ericson of Cloud Defense, "Cloud computing is advantageous since you're able to store all your files and data on remote databases instead of being limited to local hard drives or storage devices." This extends to single files and vast swaths of data, including complex programs or software. Many people are looking to cloud computing due to this benefit and many others, including cost savings, speed, and efficiency.
From HR and training managers to eLearning strategists and developers, most companies try to incorporate microlearning as part of their training strategies, since it can lead to these benefits:
Gone are the days when employees would have to wait for group discussions and in-person training sessions to learn something new. Microlearning can happen—often at the employee’s initiative—through a variety of accessible channels:
Microlearning moments are there in a pinch when an employee needs a quick solution to a pressing problem.
One of the most significant benefits of microlearning is that it allows learners to choose courses according to their needs and preferences. Since much microlearning content happens on mobile, it’s especially appealing to Millennials and Gen-Z employees, who can consume their preferred courses on the go.
Employees also tend to enjoy microlearning more than traditional forms of training since they don't have to spend hours in a room bombarded with dull lectures and assessments. Instead, they can learn through bite-sized video content, engaging graphics, and even through AI-powered games that helps to improve situational performance.
With microlearning, employees can learn, experiment, and develop new ideas quickly and effectively. With cloud technology, easy accessibility of mobile learning apps, easy-to-digest information and interactive content—engagement is high and diverse needs of learning are fulfilled. With the right tools and methods, there’s no reason why virtual and office employees cannot reap the benefits microlearning techniques provide.
Interested to learn more? See how you can incorporate microlearning moments into your courses with a demo of 360Learning.