Microlearning in corporate training: Small steps for big results.

In today’s competitive business world, the training and development of your staff are crucial elements of sustainable business growth as well as its success. Moreover, they present a prime opportunity not only to expand the knowledge base of all employees but also to foster loyalty and significantly reduce employee turnover. Unfortunately, the majority of corporate training in today’s companies is ineffective. Moreover, a lot of employees attend corporate training that isn’t closely aligned with their learning needs. Whether it is a poorly designed learning solution, an ineffective training program, lack of motivation, or disengaged content, employees are unable to reinforce their understanding of essential knowledge for their jobs and give companies a competitive advantage in today’s markets.


If you want to avoid going through the lengthy processes of recruiting and onboarding new employees, it’s imperative to invest in your staff’s professional development to nurture each employee's potential by incorporating microlearning in your corporate training content. According to a recent study, 81% of respondents said that microlearning is the best learning solution for the working environment. Only by having reliable corporate training powered by microlearning can you make sure that employees’ skills don’t become stagnant.

Micro learning


What is exactly microlearning?


Microlearning is a content delivery method that effectively delivers long-form content in bite-sized segments for users to easily process. It aims to divide information into smaller chunks of text, videos, ebooks, and interactive multimedia, averaging between five to ten minutes per segment. Each piece of information comprehensively addresses one learning objective. There are a bunch of delivery styles that are used for microlearning:

  • Videos: used to provide information quickly.

  • Infographics: used in post-training to summarize information.

  • Static resources (PDFs and eBooks): used to offer quick summaries and provide deeper information.

  • Simulations: used to deliver practical application of a skill or hands-on practice

  • Branching scenarios: used to present one complex problem with multiple pathways that a user could go down in order to promote the users’ critical thinking skills.

  • Podcasts/webcasts: entails a series of digital audio/video files that a user can download and listen to.

  • Quizzes/gamified assessments: used to test a users' understanding of the content they have learned to establish either how much of the content they have retained or the amount of understanding they have about a topic before starting the respective training.

  • Whiteboard animations: used to illustrate an idea or concept in an innovative manner.

  • Social learning: used to provide short but thoughtful discussions and interactions when reaching a wide audience.


Key characteristics of microlearning


There are some essential characteristics that need to be understood and abided by in order to make microlearning as effective as it can be for corporate training.

  • Short duration: only by keeping the duration of your training segments short can your employees quickly gain knowledge, develop skills, and make the most of the content your delivering.

  • Single learning objective: each module should deliver targeted and focused information covering just one learning objective to fight the forgetting curve.

  • Interactive elements: interactivity allows your employees to put their knowledge and skills into practice. Elements like simulations, drag-and-drop interactions, quizzes, and clickable walkthroughs make training content engaging, leading to employees completing their training much faster compared to traditional training delivery styles.

  • Designed for multiple devices: only by using a responsive design approach can you make sure that your training modules work flawlessly across any device of any size and functionality, giving employees the freedom to train whenever and wherever works best for them.

  • Standalone nature: each training module delivers a particular lesson independently and does not require employees to have studied any preceding sessions so that they can reference one specific training for an answer instead of having to follow a web of training to find the information they are looking for.


Common issues and challenges companies face when implementing microlearning in corporate training


Most organizations consider microlearning as a technological solution, not a learning strategy. Because of this misconception, they face special challenges and issues when implementing microlearning in their corporate training. Only by being aware of potential problems that may arise can they implement microlearning properly. Here are some of the typical hurdles companies run into when implementing microlearning:

  • Lack of leadership: without leaders involved in key processes of staff training and performance improvement, microlearning in corporate training may lead to chaos and might not bear great fruit.

  • Lack of alignment between workforce and microlearning strategy: companies misalign the staff’s learning goals and microlearning strategy which makes corporate training irrelevant and doesn’t meet the learning needs.

  • Inconsistent execution: lack of L&D experts leads to executing microlearning in corporate training inconsistently.

  • Work-training dichotomy: business leaders or employers consider work and training as two different aspects of employment which leads to inadequate support for training because it's seen as either the employee is working or training instead of weaving them together.

  • Lack of analysis and prioritization: without analyzing the impacts of microlearning in corporate training and tracking employees’ activity, like time spent, scores earned, courses completed, etc. you can’t measure success or make improvements.

  • Not restructuring the training content: in order for microlearning to be effective, the current content that a company has needs to be broken into bite-sized, cohesive pieces instead of implemented in their current, long-form format.


How to use microlearning in corporate training effectively


Whatever the determining reason is for you to use microlearning in your corporate training, it’s a sure-shot learning strategy that results in improved knowledge retention and reduced cost. Moreover, it can be used in all stages of the learning journey. Not only can you apply it to deliver pre-training before the actual training session begins, but you can also implement it into virtual or classroom training schedules as well. With each phase of training, microlearning can be implemented in different ways to support the specific goals of each phase leading to a greater impact on how the content is received.


Pre-training

  • Apply short videos to inform employees of what to expect from a training session. This helps you build interest in the upcoming training.

  • Present introductory or basic concepts through podcasts or static resources.

  • Check employees' existing knowledge with quizzes/gamified assessments.

During training

  • Use videos to demonstrate product demos or safety practices that cannot be simulated in the classroom.

  • Explain complex information using animations.

  • Use scenario-based learning journeys to walk employees through more nuanced lessons that can't be adequately explained through text and video alone.

Post-training

  • Focus on quizzes/gamified assessments to check knowledge and skills learned

  • Fight the ‘forgetting curve’ through games, simulations, animations that reiterate the content that employees need to remember.

  • Deliver reference material via eBooks and interactive PDFs.

Performance support

  • Support performance and retention by using videos, flashcards, infographics, etc. so that employees always have pertinent information fresh on their minds.


Benefits of microlearning in corporate training


Once microlearning is implemented into corporate training, there are a variety of benefits that can be observed.

  • Increased performance: with microlearning incorporated into corporate training, you can help your employees improve their skills and competency as well as increase their confidence in their abilities. This will result in their ability to perform better in their job and produce a higher standard of work.

  • Opportunity to identify weaknesses: with quizzes/gamified assessments, you can identify employees’ weaknesses and offer learning content to help them.

  • Better decision making and risk acceptance: a variety of training courses help your staff to improve their skills or develop the necessary skillset to accept innovation and risk.

  • Reduced employee turnover: by investing in corporate training powered by microlearning, you help your employees develop a greater sense of self-worth because they feel valuable to the company.

  • Increased innovation: you provide upskilling opportunities for your staff through corporate training that encourages their creativity and encourages them to generate innovative ideas and new strategies.

  • Enhanced company reputation: delivering training opportunities makes your company attractive to top talents and develops a strong employer brand.

  • Increased engagement: with microlearning incorporated into corporate training, you can deliver bite-sized learning content in different formats that keep employees engaged and motivated.


Bottom line: Ready to add microlearning into your corporate training?


Business leaders and employers have to provide effective corporate training in order to meet employees’ learning needs and expectations to ensure employees’ development and sustainment. Whether you want to upskill your staff about safety procedures or introduce a product demo, train on sales skills or show a ‘mini-series on company culture, microlearning job-aids such as infographics, videos, quizzes, eBooks, and PDF documents are a great way to deliver your information.


Providing microlearning in corporate training leads to greater employee engagement and reduced employee turnover. Overall, when microlearning is implemented into a company's corporate training it results in increased efficiency and higher revenue. You also ensure that you deliver effective, efficient, and affordable corporate training to your employees.