Guidelines for Implementing Microlearning at Your Company
Microlearning offers numerous benefits to your employees. Its short, focused content is a great solution to our already-busy schedules. Employees can take advantage of modules they think will benefit them most, at a time that works best for them. You can also offer microlearning activities that review policies and provide employees with updates to previous training.
Here are a few best practices to help with implementing microlearning at your company. We’d like to share 9 tips with you to help your microlearning program be as successful as possible.
Tip #1: Keep your lessons brief.
Learning units are described as “micro” for a reason: It should take less than 10 minutes for learners to watch, read, listen to, or review the content.
If you’re finding it hard to convey all of the necessary information in a short amount of time, you may want to look into another type of learning activity and offer a deeper dive on the topic. You can still use microlearning to complement or reinforce longer training activities.
Tip #2: Cover only one topic.
Because microlearning should last less than 10 minutes, make sure it focuses on a single topic.
If you operate a retail business, you might want to design microlearning that reviews a new product––not your entire inventory. Does your company offer cloud-based solutions to your clients? Are you preparing to offer a new service? Create microlearning that clearly outlines the new service and its benefits, rather than one that provides an overview of all of your services.
Tip #3: Give your employees information they can use.
You want to make those 10 minutes count. Share only “need-to-know” information––information that is relevant to their roles. You empower your employees when you give them requisite knowledge and allow them to develop skills they will be able to apply immediately in their jobs.
Make these connections clear in the microlearning. Your employees want to learn and grow within their roles and your company. Microlearning is a fantastic way to facilitate that.
Tip #4: If possible, go mobile.
Most employees carry a smartphone. Leverage microlearning and make it is accessible from a mobile device. This makes it possible for people to easily access the information. Learners are able to complete a microlearning during their commute, while on a break, or in between meetings.
Tip #5: Keep lessons interesting.
Microlearning content can be produced in a variety of formats. Some of the most popular include:
- Text (phrases, short paragraphs)
- Images (photos, illustrations)
- Videos (the shorter the better)
- Audio (short clips of speech)
- Tests and Quizzes
- Games (e.g. simple single-screen challenges)
If possible, take advantage of different formats in your microlearning so that they don’t feel repetitive from one to the next. Choose a format that works best to convey (and help learners retain) the information. Reviewing new products or a software update? Images of products or screenshots are a great way to share this information. Addressing the most common types of customer interactions? Short videos are the way to go.
It’s important to remember, that any multimedia you include should enhance the learning, and not be included just for its own sake. (Think about digital presentations that include unnecessary graphics, animations, or sounds. Bells and whistles are distracting if they aren’t actually relevant to the information being presented.)
Tip #6: Help learners keep track of their progress.
Include short quizzes to help your employees assess their progress. Not only can a short quiz be a confidence booster, but it can also break up the material and help learners identify any areas that they might want to target for additional learning and reinforcement.
Tip #7: Create microlearning that is timely.
Design microlearning opportunities around “moments of need.” These are times when a learner is open to help, guidance or training to complete a task or reach a particular goal. For example, right before a new product or service launch, or right before an expected increase in customers or clients, employees are more apt to seek out learning opportunities.
Taking advantage of microlearning opportunities right before these changes can help employees prepare. After big events, microlearning can help employees assess their performance and determine how to make improvements.
Tip #8: Create microlearning that facilitates behavioral changes.
Microlearning should be used to not just impart new information, but to help employees use information and do something differently as a result––for example, the way they interact with customers, the way they follow procedures, the way they inhabit their roles, and the way they explain a new product or service.
Because each microlearning should focus on a single topic, think about how to break down the desired behavior into discrete “micro-behaviors” that are easy to address. For example, customer interactions start with a greeting, and are followed by assessing a customer’s needs. Perhaps, in addition to teaching someone about the problem and the solution, the training can also make it easy for the trainee to begin to change their behavior in a positive way.
- Explain a common customer complaint that typically isn’t handled well.
- Show what a poor response to a customer complaint is, compared to what a better response would be.
- Then include an email template or a phone script to allow the trainee to immediately begin to implement what the learned in the training with as few barriers as possible.
If the training not only offers a solution but actually provides resources to help create that solution, it’s going to be much more effective at facilitating positive behavioral changes.
Tip #9: Start with a hook and end with a call to action.
You want your employees to be engaged while completing training, and you want them to continue to think about it after they’ve finished. One way to do this is to begin with a story that draws learners in and makes them pay attention to and think about what it is that they are learning. If they are bored, they will start skimming the screens and clicking through the content without actually engaging with it. Include unexpected information that will get learners to pay attention.
Similarly, one way to encourage your employees to continue to think about the information when they are done, is with a call to action. Suggest to them a specific action to take using the knowledge that they’ve gained from the content––remember, a great microlearning experience leads to a change in behavior. By engaging in the call to action, they will feel that they’ve successfully implemented what they’ve learned. They’ll get a boost in confidence and continue taking advantage of future learning opportunities.
With new advancements in technology almost daily, it can be hard to keep up! At KnowledgeForce Consulting, we’d love to help you stay in the know about what’s happening in the fast-paced world of corporate learning and ensure that you and your team are ahead of the curve.