8 tips for implementing effective microlearning strategies in the workplace
A microlearning strategy can strengthen your workplace by streamlining your training process and delivering learning concepts in a way that resonates more strongly and is better retained. This, in turn, can lead to better outcomes across the board, from productivity to retention.
Recent research reveals that 45% of workers are looking for a new job, and one of the key things that they want from employers is better learning and development opportunities. Microlearning makes this possible for all employees on a consistent basis, but how do you actually implement a successful microlearning strategy?
1. Start with priority problems
Prove the value of a microlearning strategy before trying to overhaul your entire strategy. This will help you shift the mindset and build your business case.
Even as you start to implement microlearning materials, you don’t have to do it all at once. You can select a single topic that presents a pressing challenge to your organization. Outline how microlearning can address this challenge, and use it as your case study.
2. Know your audience
Understand how learning fits in the workflow for the people you support. You need to understand your team’s day-to-day job requirements and challenges. What are their pain points? What areas could benefit from a microlearning strategy?
Consider how their typical day is laid out, the types of devices they use and the types of content formats they can easily consume on the job. The more you know about your team, the better you can tailor your workplace learning experience and each learning objective therein.
3. Build the business case
Don’t make microlearning just about learning. Connect the strategy to key problems your business is facing and the value you can provide to stakeholders in their own language. A lot of these stakeholders may know little to nothing about microlearning, so you need to lay out the process, the science and the potential outcomes in straightforward, actionable terms.
Bring any experts to the table, including L&D professionals or external partners who specialize in modern training principles. Emphasize the research-supported benefits of microlearning for employee engagement, knowledge retention and productivity, and connect those benefits to your business KPIs.
4. Help people think differently about learning
Most people still think learning looks like school—rigid, regimented, spread out over long sessions in a classroom-like environment. Microlearning makes learning part of the job; everyone needs help shifting their perspective—from the executive to the frontline worker. You’ll need to flex your leadership skills and help your team make this connection.
Axonify helps to facilitate the shift by presenting training concepts in a way that doesn’t resemble a formal training environment. Axonify is equipped with game mechanics (like points, badges and leaderboards), casual games, communication tools and social networking features so it feels less like a corporate training tool and more like a central hub where employees can go to connect with fellow team members and sharpen their skills.
5. Assess your content
Don’t just break your existing courses down into smaller microlearning modules. Assess the value of these resources, determine what should stay and have the courage to let low-value content go. Some courses can probably be reworked, but some will inevitably need to be scrapped.
You need to determine what works so that you can fine-tune your learning and development in a way that fully aligns with your desired business outcomes. Each microlearning module should add measurable value.
6. Assess your tech
Any learning management system (LMS) can deliver shorter courses, but does it support a continuous learning experience that fits seamlessly into the flow of work? Whether you have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in place or you use point of sale (POS) systems or other company tech, you need to ensure that the content is delivered seamlessly in a manner that’s appropriate for your workplace.
If content is going to be accessed on company tech, make sure that the tech is capable of supporting your learning management system and delivering a seamless, user-friendly experience. You’ll also need to ensure web accessibility with broadband speeds in most cases.
7. Upskill your team
Make sure the people running your digital learning strategy understand the basics of learning science, can build focused content using different modalities and are focused on business results.
Many learning and development professionals have dedicated their careers to traditional corporate training methods, and so the implementation of a microlearning strategy might require a significant shift in focus.
8. Measure, measure, measure
Measure the ways microlearning impacts your business. Are your learners engaged? Are they actually learning the material and shifting their behaviors accordingly? What do the results look like? Include user sentiment in your assessment, but expand to more meaningful metrics through microlearning.
If you’re using an LMS with enhanced reporting features like workplace behavior metrics and customized business targets, your L&D professionals should understand how to interpret these metrics and fine-tune the program accordingly.
Your microlearning strategy is never finished
If you follow the steps outlined on this list, you’ll be well ahead of the game. However, once you unveil your microlearning strategy and start your team on their learning journey, the work is just beginning. You must constantly keep an eye on the results, fine-tune each eLearning course and evolve the microlearning strategy as your business evolves.
As long as you have a sound strategy, a knowledgeable L&D team and an eLearning platform that supports microlearning, you will see results. The important thing is to be consistent with it and go where the data leads you.