The data doesn’t lie: the value of employee training is quite clear for organizations. In LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if there was an investment in their learning and development. It’s abundantly clear that employee training is important to both employers and employees as a way to improve employee retention and give learners the necessary knowledge and skills suited to their roles.
But what is the most effective and efficient way to train employees so that they can learn exactly what’s needed for their role, while effectively retaining knowledge? One method that’s particularly appealing for a variety of reasons is microlearning.
What is Microlearning?
While there is no singular, universal definition of microlearning, all definitions of the term emphasize the brevity of this approach to learning.
Why Use Microlearning for Employee Training?
Microlearning is based on cognitive science and uses “spaced repetition,” a method of breaking down learning subjects down into smaller, more manageable components that are repeated with appropriate spacing between lessons. Spaced repetition has been proven to boost knowledge retention. Through spaced repetition, learners recall 80% was learned after 60 days.
Microlearning can also easily allow learners to acquire new skills and knowledge in busy and hectic working environments. In today’s hyper-connected digital world, distractions are more present than ever. A study from the University of California-Irvine found that:
- Employees work on tasks for about 11 minutes before they are interrupted by a phone call, text message, email, in-person interaction or other distraction.
- It takes employees an average of 25 minutes to return to their original task after an interruption.
Given this context, it stands to reason that an organization’s learning and development (L&D) investments and efforts at employee training must be brief and to the point in order to be effective. Microlearning provides the opportunity for employee training that is direct, succinct, and straightforward.
This approach results in greater understanding, application and retention by learners while giving a unique level of control to the learner, allowing them to choose where and when they engage in training.
Millennials and Microlearning
Microlearning is an ideal solution for employee training, especially for millennials. In 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the labor force, and this cohort learns differently from any other generation before them. As “digital natives,” millennials have had lifelong relationships with technology, tending to multi-task and seek out short-form video content for both learning and leisure purposes. Microlearning videos are particularly well-suited for these learners, who have increasingly busy schedules and consume video content heavily.
Microlearning as an Employee Training Solution
Given the effectiveness and efficiency of microlearning as an employee training solution, it’s no wonder that microlearning is growing in popularity. And with more and more of the workforce going remote, microlearning allows for employees to learn and gather new knowledge in bite-sized chunks from anywhere, at any time. For all these reasons, microlearning presents itself as a very attractive option for organizations looking to efficiently train their increasingly remote or hybrid workforce.