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The Power of Microlearning to Encourage ‘Learning in the Flow of Work’

“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” – Jonathan Estrin

What does it say about your employees then, if they spend a major part of their time going through some training or the other? Will they still be employees first and learners second? Or the other way around? That’s a legitimate concern! Every organization wants their employees to learn fast, retain all that knowledge forever, and get back to work quickly. But then, those lengthy courses take hours to complete, so lengthy that learners often forget what they learned at the start of the course after going halfway through it. ‘Learning in the flow of work’ is a new idea by Josh Bersin to resolve this very problem in corporate training. And microlearning can be the path through which you can achieve it.

‘Learning in the Flow of Work’: What Does it Even Mean?

As the name suggests, Learning in the Flow of Work means training employees and enabling them to learn, while they are on the job. Sounds simple? But when Josh Bersin first introduced the idea, it seemed very radical. And that was because historically, training and working, though related, were always separated into different silos. But we forget that a lot of learning is experiential that happens while learners are working. (Look at the 70:20:10 model.) Also, we need constant access to information to do our jobs well. (We can’t very well memorize everything!) Learning and working are very much interrelated, and it was high time the gap was bridged. And ‘learning in the flow of work’ did exactly that.

But wait. Why microlearning? What makes it such a great fit for learning in the flow of work? Well… microlearning provides short, easy-to-access, easy-to-digest bursts of learning that learners can use in their time of need. Each microlearning module is focused on only one learning objective, so the content is very specific and saves learners’ time when they need specific information urgently.

Explore how microlearning helps in boosting employee performance.

Can you think of a better way to carry out learning in the flow of work?

Microlearning in the Flow of Work: What Can it Do?

1. Promotes Continuous Learning

Though we all are quite aware of the fact that learning is a process, how often do we truly treat learning like that? But microlearning curriculums can help you create a truly continuous learning experience for learners. You can build a library of microlearning assets that learners can access whenever they want, be it while performing their job tasks, while commuting to work, or while interacting with peers on social media platforms. A readily available library of microlearning modules will provide flexibility to learners and also the freedom to choose how and when they want to learn.

2. Provides Just-in-time Performance Support

We all want our employees to perform to the best of their abilities, right? After all, that is the whole idea behind workplace training. But is formal training enough? Formal training is good, and it does instruct learners and provide in-depth knowledge. But what about applying that knowledge to perform a certain job task? And there’s the forgetting curve. It is inevitable that learners will forget the newly-learned information if it is not reinforced. That is why providing performance support is so very important.

When learners want an instant solution when they face a problem in the middle of their job task, they wouldn’t want to go through a lengthy, time-consuming course with a lot of information, would they? They will want quick and specific information that they can quickly access and get back to their jobs to apply the knowledge. Using microlearning solutions is the best way to provide just-in-time performance support.

3. Supports Remote Learning

In the past few months, we have all endured the effects of COVID-19 and social distancing. Remote working is no longer specific to some jobs; the pandemic has turned all of us into an ‘accidentally remote workforce’. But while employees across the world are working from home, the line between work and personal life has blurred into non-existence. There is no 9-5 clock that you need to go by, and employees are ending up working longer hours. On top of that, the rising number of COVID cases across the world has us all struggling with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.

How do you carry out your training programs at such times?

Employees, now more than ever, need a flexible training plan that is not-so-time-consuming. All of these requirements are met by microlearning. Remote workers, whether by choice, job roles, or by accident (like in the present climate), do not want to spend their time going through long hours of training. They want training that is quick, efficient, on-the-go, and most importantly, accessible through their mobile devices. And a mobile-first microlearning solution is the best way to support remote learning.

Wrapping It Up!

Do you agree with me on how you can leverage microlearning for learning in the flow of work? The idea of learning in the flow of work may seem like it is new and radical, but honestly, we have known about it since forever, without even being aware of it. Maybe now is the time to create a solid plan to make it happen and give learners an easy, effective, and engaging learning experience.

If you want to know more about microlearning and how it can be leveraged to boost employees’ performance, download our eBook.

Where Does Microlearning Fit in Your Learning Strategy?