At the workplace, we are constantly judged on our capabilities and benchmarked against co-workers. This means we need to make learning a continuous process. Not just that, we need to do away with obsolete knowledge and replace it with new knowledge. What this means, especially for L&D professionals is that the shelf life of knowledge is shrinking while the amount of knowledge required to perform jobs is growing.
You may have full-length e-learning courses or classroom training programs in place, but that does not guarantee that employees will retain all that information. Learners need to find a way to transfer this knowledge to their job. Performance support can come to the rescue by helping employees apply the skills learned. In a work environment that’s constantly changing, performance support increases job competency. L&D professionals can use the power of microlearning to provide employees with performance support, exactly at their moment of need.
Why Do You Need a Performance Support Tool?
You already have online training programs in place. Do you need a performance support tool? You do, because a performance support tool (PST) complements formal training. A PST is designed to address a specific challenge or problem. Consider the following scenario to understand how performance support makes a difference to your employees’ work lives.
A new employee in a company needs to know how to fill the timesheet online. The instructions were provided to him during the new hire orientation program, but he has forgotten the steps. He can ask a colleague or supervisor to help him, but he will have to wait till they finish the task they are working on. He can go back to referring the e-learning course on new hire orientation, but this is going to take him some time.
Let’s consider another situation where the employee has access to a microlearning module that exclusively deals with the steps to be followed in filling the timesheet. He can quickly refer to the microlearning nugget and complete his timesheet. In this case, the employee got access to information exactly at his moment of need. This not only saved his time, but also increased his productivity.
The above scenario makes a simple case for performance support, there are many more applications of performance support across different industries and verticals.
Why Use Microlearning to Deliver Performance Support?
Performance support needs to be made accessible to employees wherever they are. A product salesperson might be out on the field, trying to recollect the new features included in the product. Performance support through microlearning is essential as he is waiting to make a sales pitch to the client. He could have a product manual saved as a PDF on his smartphone. But just because it is available on the mobile, does not mean it is optimized for mobile viewing. For all you know, the salesperson might have a frustrating experience trying to zoom the contents on the PDF and look for the information he needs.
When you use microlearning to deliver performance support, content is broken down into bite-sized chunks and developed to provide engaging information. What’s more, it is easily searchable. So the employee finds what he needs in a short time, and also receives an enhanced learning experience.
Ways to Deliver Performance Support through Microlearning
If you are thinking of delivering performance support through microlearning, there are a range of formats that you can adopt. Some of the formats are listed below:
If an employee on the shop floor needs to refer to steps on operating a machine, would he like to go through a manual or a 3-minute video? He would most probably opt for the latter. So when your learners are stuck and need quick help, videos in microlearning are perfect to offer performance support.
There are certain training programs where it is not always possible to show real-life videos. For example, healthcare professionals are taught how to provide first aid. New employees in the healthcare workforce will certainly benefit from training reinforcement through animations and illustrations. Microlearning aids in performance support and provides a sticky learning experience.
Scenarios in microlearning can help employees relate to a real-life situation at work. Customer service professionals for instance, might have to deal with unhappy or irate customers sometimes. They would have to know how to handle the situation or if they are very new to the job, they would have to know whom they can escalate this to, in order to keep the customer happy.
Scenarios through microlearning can aid performance by providing just-in-time support and help employees take the right decision.
A medical representative is expected to stay updated on drug information. But it is impossible for a medical rep to remember all this information. An interactive PDF with user-friendly navigation, accessed as a microlearning module can provide the required performance support.
Infographics can be used to represent a complex information in a simple way. This is an excellent technique in microlearning to catch learners’ attention. One example of using infographics is for safety training. For instance, you could present need to know information where you show employees the steps to use a fire extinguisher through an infographic.
Podcasts provide an easy way to deliver microlearning. Whether it is product support, following safety procedures, or handling tough customers, podcasts are sure to appeal to the auditory learners in your organization.
It is essential for organizations to deliver the right information, at the right time to employees. Microlearning offers the potential to deliver performance support in various formats. It’s never too late to get started with empowering employees by providing the right resources through microlearning. If you have used microlearning to rollout performance support in your organization, please use the Comments section to share your thoughts.