In our fast-paced world, where organizations have become increasingly complex and employees are simply trying to stay afloat, the learning landscape is drastically changing. The days of large-format learning are slowly dwindling, replaced with a learning cadence that more naturally matches the reality of today’s organizations. The distracted, impatient, overwhelmed modern learners have arrived, and with them, expectations for what learning needs to be. This shift leaves organizations with smaller and smaller windows to create high value to help their people succeed – a move toward moments, not courses.

“The moment of need” is a phrase that describes a need for information in a learning or performance context. The moment is varied and multi-layered, and value is provided in a high-context, highly focused way. Whether that moment is a few seconds or a few minutes long, as learning professionals, how do we optimize our content strategy to make the most of this short window? Here are some tips to help.

1. Use Learner Journey Maps.

Dig deep to truly understand your learners and what they are looking for in their various moments of need. What do they need when they are learning something for the first time? What about when something changes? Map out each moment on your learner’s journey from learning to performance, and align your content strategy to meet those needs.

2. Leverage Microlearning.

Though not a silver bullet by any means, when used with purpose, microlearning can be an effective strategy to maximize this short window with learners. Microlearning is designed to optimize the moment of need.

3. Consider Resources Over Courses.

Sometimes, formal training isn’t the answer. Whether with 90-second videos or two-page guides, empower learners in the moment with the resources they are looking for and can easily access. This strategy not only helps foster greater autonomy but also helps bridge the learning/performance gap.

4. Avoid Disrupting Workflows.

When the moment arises, especially with performance support, learning should not stick out like a sore thumb. The idea of performance support is to enhance performance, not obstruct it, so it’s important that whatever you provide doesn’t feel like learning but like information embedded in the learner’s workflow. Also consider how far learners would have to deviate from their workflow to find what they need. Intuitive access is crucial here.

5. Be Mobile-Optimized.

Struggling to adapt your content strategy to the moment of need? Start with mobile! Nothing better represents what a moment looks like than how we consume experiences on our phones. Mobile experiences are short, punchy and value-driven. Promote mobile-first design in the creation of your content. Understand the user experience of this cadence for learning. Having a mobile-optimized content strategy will help you understand how to design for the moment.

6. Use Data to Optimize Your Future Moments.

Take the guesswork out of your content strategy, and start assembling a more accurate map of learners’ needs, both present and future. Through a competency-based framework, work with technology that supports your understanding of what learners are looking for to add value in their moment of need. The technology is there, so use it to your advantage to make your content strategy not only more efficient but also more effective.

7. Engagement Is Not a Nice-to-Have.

The moment of need is a distracted moment, with a lot competing for learners’ attention. Make sure not to waste the moment with a diminished experience. Make the effort to be engaging and interesting. It’s not a nice-to-have but a requirement to rise above the noise to truly grab your learner’s attention.

The moment of need is precious. Be focused, engaging and purposeful. When your organization can build a brand of learning that delivers value in the moment of need, your people are empowered to succeed, no matter where they are in their journey.