Organizations with a culture of learning have a huge advantage. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage microlearning to build learning habits and foster a culture of continuous learning in the remote workplace.

The Importance of Continuous Learning in the Workplace

Studies show that a culture of continuous learning in the workplace creates many benefits for organizations. Top firms seek employees who know how to learn, ask important questions and understand how to find answers to those questions. They recognize that employees with a habit of learning are more creative, innovative and engaged. These organizations can recruit, retain and develop talent better than organizations that do not have this type of culture.

To create a culture of learning, organizations must create learning and performance ecosystems. These ecosystems help build employee learning habits and driving continuous learning in the workplace. In this journey, microlearning can act as a catalyst.

Why Are Organizations Finding It Difficult to Drive Continuous Learning in the Remote Workplace?

The current workforce faces challenges that most employees have not previously faced. Working remotely and staying current on best practices can be overwhelming, and it’s common to hear employees say, “I don’t have time for this training.”

Time becomes even more of a challenge when what learners need is different from what learning and development (L&D) teams provide. Consider traditional employee compliance training — eLearning courses that require employees to spend a certain amount of time to be spent on each slide, even though learners may already understand the concept. This approach is demotivating for learners and conditions them to react poorly to training.

Organizational leaders must lead as an example and model the desired learning habits. Employees will mimic their behavior, especially as leaders share what they’ve learned and promote training. As they seek to follow the example of leaders, employees will develop habits that drive continuous learning in the workplace.

Why Is Microlearning a Great Fit for Driving Continuous Learning in the Workplace?

Within this environment, organizations can use microlearning in formal and informal learning.

Microlearning in Formal Learning

Microlearning is designed in consumable bites that act as natural fillers for busy employees. Courses that begin with clear explanations of how employees will benefit from training (the “what’s in it for me,” or WIIFM) are immediately engaging. Employees are more engaged when they clearly understand why they need the training.

Microlearning in Informal Learning

Microlearning can occur within a performance support system environment as just-in-time (JIT) learning or social learning environments, where learners curate and share content. These systems benefit employees by giving them the information they need when they need it. Organizations that leverage social learning and networking tools enable employees to share what they’re learning, building habits that drive continuous learning.

Microlearning also reinforces previously learned information, creating space for practice and remediation. Ongoing microlearning opportunities modify employee habits, challenge inaccurate behaviors and replace them with desired behaviors.

How Can You Leverage Microlearning to Drive Continuous Learning in the Workplace?

The following tips will help you drive continuous learning in the workplace using microlearning.

Step 1. Help Employees Build a Habit of Learning

    • Always begin with the WIIFM to motivate the learners.
    • Provide support for learning habits — for example, through a performance support system that includes a searchable knowledge base or a forum moderated by subject matter experts (SMEs).
    • Modify employee routines by designating certain times of the day or week for learning and incorporate ongoing learning cycles that include microlearning courses with immediate rewards.
    • Make learning frictionless. Employees ignore even great courses if it’s difficult to find them, log in and engage with the content.
    • Reward learners with points or digital badges when they complete a course.

Step 2. Drive Continuous Learning With Microlearning

    • Poll employees to find out what learning they need and want. Then, build microlearning content according to those needs.
    • Ensure that employees can consume content when they need it. Learning that’s accessible on mobile devices is consumable anytime — including during breaks or between tasks — and helps build learning habits.
    • Allow employees to select and personalize their learning.
    • Leverage content that takes less than three minutes to consume so that employees can find the information they need without weeding through extraneous content.
    • Leverage short virtual instructor-led training (VILT) sessions.
    • Provide room for focused flipped classroom sessions.
    • Use strategic assessments to gauge the effectiveness of the training.

Employees are struggling to find time to learn. Their organizations can leverage microlearning to not only modify learning habits but also drive continuous learning in the workplace.

Want to learn how you can use microlearning to promote learning in the flow of work? Take a look at this infographic, which shares three strategies that will help you improve your training by driving learning in the flow of work.