How can L&D professionals and training managers design training programs that appeal to the workforce of today? While classroom training cannot be done away with, it has become essential to support classroom training with just-in-time learning modules. Also, there are times when a dearth of trainers make corporates look for other viable options for training their employees.
One such option is microlearning. Here is how microlearning can be used to compensate for trainer unavailability.
Providing Targeted and Flexible Training
Instructor-led training programs are rarely flexible, and neither can they be designed exclusively for a target audience spread across locations. The following case study highlights the need for targeted training that is also flexible.
Nextworth, a Boston-based electronics trade-in and recycling service provider, expanded its service to different locations. As it was impossible for a Nextworth technician to inspect devices in different locations, there was a need to train targeted employees across locations to perform device inspection.It was impossible to have trainers in different locations to train the target group. By implementing microlearning for just-in-time learning, inconsistencies in partner locations of Nextworth, were reduced by half. This also resulted in a double-digit improvement in trade-in accuracy.
Microlearning delivers content in bite-sized segments that are focused on specific training needs of the targeted audience. It is also a flexible training method, as learners can access nuggets of information provided by microlearning modules, anytime, anywhere.
Increasing Learner Engagement
Microlearning can help you engage learners even before the actual training begins. Pique learners’ curiosity in the training with short videos, infographics, and quizzes. This will make them want to take the training. According to a survey by Bersin, online course designers have just 5 to 10 seconds to grab the learners’ attention, before they click away. The survey also revealed that employees have just 1% of a typical workweek to focus on training and development. With such a short attention span of learners, and a short duration available for training, microlearning with its capability for providing just-in-time learning, would be an effective training strategy to increase learner engagement.
Providing Intuitive Access to Learning Resources
In this age of Internet, it is not surprising that most of us have a ‘Google search’ mentality. We look for immediate answers to questions. The same applies to learning as well. It is impossible to delve for more information during a classroom session. On the other hand, microlearning is a great tool to provide learners access to learning resources, for just-in-time learning. You can provide links to additional resources, within the microlearning module.
There was a time when workers and supervisors in factories had to go through stacks of technical manuals, before they could access the information that they wanted, to do their job effectively.
Microlearning has turned the tables on these thick, hardbound manuals. All it takes is for an employee to whip out his smartphone, and he has intuitive access to a storehouse of learning resources present in the microlearning module.
Providing Just-in-time Learning
Many organizations cannot afford to take learners away from work, to sit through a traditional classroom training. For example, in the healthcare industry, you cannot have all medical practitioners in the hospital attending a classroom training at the same time. Using microlearning for just-in-time learning, is the perfect solution for such industries.
Imagine a scenario, where a salesman needs to give a product presentation to a potential customer. As he is constantly on-the-go, he does not have access to a trainer who can reinforce product information. How can the organization help its sales force perform their jobs effectively?
In this case, an apt solution would be to implement microlearning to provide just-in-time training to the salesmen. A quick tap on the smartphone, and the product information is revealed through the microlearning module. The next time your workforce is looking for quick information, and there is no trainer to guide, let them indulge in microlearning to get the relevant information, at the right time. Training and development is an ongoing process in any organization.
“I am always ready to learn, though I do not always like being taught.” ~ Winston Churchill
The above quote echoes the sentiments of most corporate employees. The good news is, you no longer have to teach employees. Just let them tune into microlearning, and enjoy the process of learning.
If you have successfully implemented microlearning in your organization, do share your experiences through the Comments section.