Microlearning: Take corporate education to the next level.
What’s your company’s greatest asset? The one thing that gives you a superb competitive advantage?
Your team. Most of us know this instinctively. There’s a good reason why we spend a lot of time, effort (and money) attracting top talent. Our team defines the company and sets our direction.
Knowledge is the competitive advantage in this marketplace. Your team’s greatest asset is their ability to learn.
In this fast paced, technology driven environment learning is the only future proof skill. That’s where great training resources come in.
But, even the best training goes out of date. Especially in fast moving disciplines, what we know evolves constantly. Effective training needs to keep pace with that. It has to grow with your team and help them find the answers they need.
One key way to extend the life of your training resources and increase their value is by incorporating micro-learning moments.
What is micro-learning?
When we think of learning most of us picture a mountain of books, endless hours of study, numerous cups of coffee and a lot of time.
The concept of micro-learning turns this on its head.
Micro-learning takes big, intensive tasks and breaks them down into bite sized pieces that can be consumed on the go.
The idea behind it is to help knowledge workers learn key concepts quickly so that they can keep pace with the rapid rate at which our knowledge is growing.
Each piece of content addresses a specific question, solves a problem, teaches a single thing. It’s active, speaking directly to you and your needs instead of at you.
Micro-learning techniques can help companies augment and easily update training programs. It can help knowledge workers keep up with key developments in their field. And, it helps all of us stay on top of change in our fast moving environment.
This type of content is highly versatile. It can stand alone or be integrated as part of a greater whole.
Quickly, painlessly introduce new skills
“Education is the ability to meet life’s situations. “— Dr. John G. Hibben
The way we work is changing. No profession and no field is safe. Technology has become an integral part of the way we do things.
Companies are introducing new tools to increase productivity, stay on top of projects and communicate. All of these tools come with a learning curve.
To make the most out of them, your team needs to understand all the key functionalities. But, they are busy people- they have projects, clients and multiple tasks to do so any new tool will be faced with a certain amount of resistance.
Micro-learning can help you channel that resistance.
Create short 30 seconds to 2 minute pieces of content that introduce one feature and show how it will improve productivity using concrete examples. Highlight exactly how this will help improve the company’s processes. Then, send a piece of content out via the best communication method for your team every day.
People don’t have hours to devote to learning new tools but even the busiest of us can set aside two minutes if it will have a direct impact on our work.
Augmenting traditional training
According to the Training Industry 2016 Report, 41% of training is still delivered by instructors in more traditional settings.
Face to face training works. It introduces your team members to industry experts and thought leaders in the field and can forge a real connection.
The problem is that for this learning to be internalised, other aspects like recall, revision and practice have to come into play.
To make these traditional sessions more effective, create short 1–2 minute video summaries of each key takeaway and use examples from your company to show how they work in action.
You can use the summaries as a part of a larger mini-training that complements the traditional session and can be accessed through your LMS.
Mix micro-learning with content curation
There is a lot of brilliant content out there written by incredibly talented people in your field.
Use it even more effectively by adding context to this content.
Create bite sized pieces of content that elaborate on key points and put them in the perspective of your company. Share stories of specific examples where the learning has been applied effectively.
One of our clients, does this exceptionally well. Fast Shop, a major retailer with online and brick-and-mortar operations in Brazil, creates short videos of their top salespeople sharing specific tips they use every day on how to increase sales performance. These help motivate the team and have a real, measurable impact.
Alessandro Marinho, Manager of Internal Communication and Corporate Education implemented the program in 2015 and has seen a record approval rate of 85%.
Using Skore, they can track each video’s performance metrics and better understand what their team responds best to.
Context is a vital part of learning. We tend to understand and remember things better if we know how they apply to us and why they are useful. That’s why creating content around experiences from our team works so well.
Creating training programs based around curated content has many additional benefits. It’s inexpensive and pulls together a variety of diverse voices. Augmenting it with specific bite sized pieces adds a great level of customization.
Stay up to date
Have you ever done a google search, looking for statistics for this year only to find that the top results are using irrelevant data from years ago?
It’s easy to forget to update old resources but making it a priority will save you time and increase productivity.
Team members will spend less time going through countless pieces of content to find what they need.
You can use micro-learning to update slightly dated, but still useful, pieces of content. So, if you’d invested in a great training course that was largely relevant you can add new bite-sized content that expands on key points.
Weaving micro-learning into the larger whole
The point of micro-learning techniques is to break down large chunks of information into smaller pieces that can fit in around other commitments.
It’s a way to remain on top of your game and learn key concepts and skills even if you’ve got limited time. And, it has a lot of potential for making corporate training programs more effective.