Microlearning 101: What You Need to Know & Why You Must Use It
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In today’s competitive world, performance is everything. But how do you ensure that performance will continue to trend upwards with time?

Sure, you can hire the brightest minds with the slickest resumes to bring into your organization. But only focusing on hiring will only get you so far. Plus, it’s extremely costly. Instead, the most innovative companies are finding success placing more emphasis on their existing employees through leading-edge methods of employee learning.

Enter microlearning.

If you’re already thinking “boring training videos” and about to close this window, know that the eLearning world has undergone some major shifts in the past few years.

Those boring videos aren’t the norm anymore. And the new norm is exciting. With the rapid shift to remote work that we’ve seen this year, microlearning has emerged as one of the most effective ways to improve your teams’ learning and development program at scale and across many locations.

What to know about microlearning

So what is microlearning exactly? And why should you care about it? In short, microlearning is all about time. Long, exhaustive training methods are outdated for a reason. To get an entire organization into the same room for even an hour is just not feasible anymore. Plus, with everyone on the go and working across platforms, it just doesn’t make sense.

Microlearning solves this problem by distributing training via short bursts that can be fit in just before a lunch break or in the morning before diving into emails.

The great thing about integrating microlearning into your organization is that we’re all already doing it. Think of how you find the information you need to know, and when you need to know it. You look up the answer directly on a computer, laptop, or mobile device and then consume a very short article or video related to that specific content.

The professional microlearning concept is very much the same idea. And it works.

An article in ATD recently brought up George Miller’s theory that “most adult learners can store between five and nine items of information at once in their short-term memory.” Harvard Business Review further supports this idea of playing to our strengths, arguing that the microlearning approach makes learning part of everyday work instead of a once-yearly mandatory event that’s forgotten as soon as it’s over.

Learning that actually sticks with participants? That’s huge for employee and company growth.

Why microlearning is so effective

Microlearning is not just for the employee level either. It’s also shown to be incredibly effective for leadership development and a strong learning strategy. You can imagine why. If there is anyone struggling to find the time to sit through a long training session, its leaders doing their best to manage time in-between meetings.

And when it comes to securing your company’s future, leadership development is just as important as employee development. Effective management and communication are not skills we’re innately born with, but they’re critical to business success.

And while microlearning is not a new idea, the approach to distributing and growing this type of learning is. The performance numbers further support this claim that microlearning is the new way to learn and by extension, to work.

Forbes recently reported that “microlearning has been found to result in a 17% improvement in learners’ performance and a whopping 50% enhancement in learning engagement.” Those are numbers you simply can’t afford to ignore — and you shouldn’t.

More engaged learners are more likely to problem solve on their own instead of going straight to a manager with a question. And leaders with proper learning and development training are much more likely to approach issues with a full toolkit of solutions.

While it may not fully replace all other learning and development programs, microlearning is definitely worth putting into your consideration set.

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