With almost every industry disrupted by agile companies, it has become a reality that to be successful in today’s business world demands speed over size.
The same thinking can be applied to learning and training. This has moved from traditional, classroom-based learning to fun and effective microlearning approaches.
Companies need to drive faster knowledge absorption and reinforcement training to keep up with their competitors who are innovating at rapid rates.
Traditional employee learning is ineffective as a result of legacy systems and protracted training that simply isn’t adapted for a multi-generational workforce.
Millennials and Gen Z in particular, are super connected. They have a completely different outlook on work life and as a result, have different training needs.
It is, therefore, an imperative for companies to consider adapting their approaches to learning in order for their employees to retain the required skills or apply their training in the specific work environments they find themselves in.
Everyday workforce demands are increasing, one of the reasons that learning and training have become more about immediate application and retention; specifically those that lead to action-based outcomes.
Adding to this is the increasing Millennial workforce and their elevated levels of distraction and expectation to consume content in short-form hence they resonate with informal learning strategies.
Companies simply cannot rely on their traditional one-size-fits-all learning approach.
The workplace has changed and it will continue to change, this is evident by the change in ‘learner’ profile.
Millennials are set to occupy 50% of the global workforce by 2020! It is therefore important to give consideration to this generations’ learning needs. Their short attention spans, preferences and expectations all require a different approach.
It has to be innovative and designed to appeal to them.
So what is microlearning?
It’s the first training method created for learning in the 21st century.
Microlearning is bite-sized learning often referred to as ‘learning in nuggets’. It is specifically designed to meet a learning outcome.
It incorporates micro-moments of learning to drive improved job performance and development.
It works well for Millennials as well as other generations in your workforce.
Microlearning creates unrivalled personalised moments that makes the material easier to retain. This is due to its efficacy over long-form learning methods.
It is often delivered in rich media formats such as apps, videos and animations and is accessible on multiple devices such as Smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. This level of access and format makes it ideal for just-in-time training initiatives.
Your employees can learn on the job depending on the area of the business you wish to train or retrain them in. These can include soft skills/behaviour change, compliance and simulations.
Let’s take a look at some of the learning challenges that companies are facing and why microlearning is the ideal solution to address these:
1. Deliver ROI on learning and training
Don’t breathe a sigh of relief upon budget approval just yet.
Generally, the allocated budgets come with the default, “What ROI can we expect from this?”.
Because employees are spending far less time ‘in the classroom’ and the learning is packaged for immediate on-the-job application, the time spent training is significantly reduced. The information retention rate, however, can be higher as a result of the way the learning is delivered.
2. Moratorium on learning and training expenditure
Globally companies are facing challenges and often business leaders and management tend to cut unnecessary costs - sadly this is usually the training budget.
Therefore it’s important to optimise whatever-sized training budget you have. You can choose to spend it on short, flexible on-the-go learning for your employees.
3. Microlearning is quick to deploy (and up-to-date)
There’s not much worse than going into battle for your learning and training budget, only for the training to be delivered and then the employees need to be informed of several updates on that training.
To keep engagement high on the learning front, you need to invest in innovative learning approaches that can be deployed, and updated relatively easily. Flexible deployment is your friend when it comes to learning.
So what are the benefits of microlearning for your company?
Companies can derive a multitude of benefits by adopting microlearning strategies in their training. Not only can it boost employee engagement but also performance. Here are some other ways it can be beneficial to implement it:
Microlearning can be:
- Implemented for multiple generations in the workforce.
- Deployed with easily and quickly.
- Incorporated into formal and informal training.
- Used to address the dwindling employee attention spans.
- Updated frequently as the need arises.
- Beneficial in reaching higher training completion numbers.
- Flexible for on-the-go learning.
- Fun and short, yet effective.
- Packaged for immediate, on-the-job application.
The workplace is in flux - things are changing at unprecedented rates.
Workplaces are demanding that employees get up to speed and fulfil new, and ever-changing responsibilities fast.
This scenario doesn’t leave much room for the traditional training approaches, instead, we’re in need of fresh, innovative approaches that shorten the learning curve that’s needed.
Work environments are stressful and people need to consume bite-sized chunks of information through already accepted digital mediums.
The world of work is becoming super digitised and if companies want to succeed it has become critical for them to forge work environments where employees can also learn at an equal pace as they are required to perform.