Effective microlearning in action

Posted on: May 5, 2021Updated on: October 5, 2023By: JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect

Microlearning isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for over 10 years—developed right alongside concepts like mobile learning, gamification and elearning. But recently, microlearning seems to be making waves as the dominant topic of conversation. Why? Because now we know that microlearning really works.

When done the right way, microlearning can help solve some of your biggest challenges critical to business success.

With these kinds of results, it’s no surprise that 81% of organizations are currently using or are planning to begin using microlearning to support their employees. 

Wood blocks stacked as steps

So, what’s the catch? In order to unlock its true potential on your frontline, like any other workplace strategy, it has to be done right. And that can be difficult when the topic is saturated with hype from microlearning vendors that are more interested in telling you that they “do microlearning” than explaining what it is and how it works.

Microlearning definition

Effective microlearning isn’t just about serving up short training content. To experience all the advantages of microlearning, it should also:

  • Fit naturally into the daily workflow
  • Engage employees in voluntary participation
  • Be based in brain science (how people actually learn)
  • Adapt continually to ingrain the knowledge employees need to be successful
  • Ultimately drive behaviors that impact the business results that matter most to you

Business leaders asking for microlearning are on the right track, even if they didn’t know why. Yes, it’s still important to keep your training bite-sized and quick to consume so it’s easy to digest and remember. But giving your employees a bunch of short videos to watch without direction isn’t going to help them change their on-the-job behaviors in meaningful ways. 

Instead, the winning formula comes from a holistic strategy to modern learning. First, map out your business goals. Then, apply the latest in technology, brain science and solution design principles to get business results that you can measure.

Microlearning examples from 3 international organizations across different industries

Microlearning is more than a way to train—its transformative capabilities can help you tackle a wide range of business issues, all the way down to your frontline. Here’s how MOL Group, Citadel and Briscoe Group are helping Axonify bring its vision of microlearning to life with great results to move their frontlines forward.

Use 1: For industry-leading transformation

In fast-paced industries, if you don’t lead you get left behind. So, how do you stay on top when your industry is quickly transforming? According to MOL Group, you innovate and educate. And as a fuel retail market leader in 4 European countries, they know a thing or two about blazing a trail.

When MOL Group saw that new customer habits and technological developments were transforming business and consumer demand, they knew they needed to change too.

They decided to extend their focus on gas and become a broader goods and services convenience store where people can stop in for coffee on the way to work or for quick groceries on the way home. This shift helped them take part in (and ultimately, lead) the reinvention of the transportation environment. 

But these changes wouldn’t be possible without a lot of training to transform frontline employees into customer-wowing hosts. And they had a big task: to find a faster and more effective way to engage and train more than 15,000 frontline hosts in almost 2,000 service stations across nine countries in seven languages. 

With a modern training and communications solution specifically built to fit seamlessly into the unique way busy, deskless frontline employees actually work, the team has seen great results including 95% participation and 15% knowledge growth.

MOL group fuelled a “fresh” approach to customer experience with frontline-first training and communications.

Use 2: To achieve business goals

Providing a customer-focused experience in the constantly changing world of financial services can be difficult, but it’s possible with right-fit training and building advisor confidence in your brand. At Citadel Credit Union, branch staff are critical to providing these specialized member services. So, they need to be well-versed and confident in the company’s products and services, core banking platforms, sales and management and leadership. 

They needed a repetitive, consistent and fact-based learning approach that required little extra effort and fit seamlessly into a frontline advisors’ daily workflow. Which meant it was time to embrace microlearning to reinforce knowledge, skills and behaviors. 

Justin Schakelman, Director of Learning and Leadership Development at Citadel said the company was “willing to invest in our frontline in small ways every day, so that we can all reap the long-term benefits”. And by using Axonify to strengthen those important behaviors, Citadel did just that reaching a 24% increase in credit card sales.

Citadel Credit Union combatted the ‘forgetting curve’ for their frontline bankers with microlearning.

Use 3: During times of disruption

On-and-off lockdowns. New rules and ways of working. Different stages of re-opening. Since early last year, frontline employees have been through the ringer. 

How can microlearning help businesses keep their frontlines performing under these circumstances? Briscoe Group, New Zealand’s leading retailer of homewares and sporting goods, is a shining example of using microlearning to build their frontline’s resilience.

At the outset of the pandemic, the Briscoe Group leadership team agreed that supporting their frontline workforce would be critical to their ability to withstand this massive disruption. Continuing learning at home meant acting fast to get relevant training to the frontlines, and eliminating confusion by delivering targeted information in short bursts to make sure all 2,000 employees across almost 90 locations were prepared for the changes in their job sure helped.

“Axonify has been transformational and proven its worth many times over, this year in particular.” Aston Moss, General Manager of Human Resources, Briscoe Group

Microlearning is a foundational component of a modern training and support strategy. But short content alone won’t solve specific, measurable business problems or make the most out of the small window of time your frontline employees do have to train. Combining microlearning content with the right principles drives better frontline performance and outcomes. You just need to figure out where to start for your business. For more on that topic, head over to our ultimate guide to microlearning.

Be safe. Be well. Be kind to the frontline.

JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect's Headshot

JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect

JD Dillon became an expert on frontline training and enablement over two decades working in operations and talent development with dynamic organizations, including Disney, Kaplan and AMC. A respected author and speaker in the workplace learning community, JD also continues to apply his passion for helping frontline employees around the world do their best work every day in his role as Axonify's Chief Learning Architect.

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