MicroLearning: The Modern Solution for Employee Development

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In this world of minimal attention spans, busy schedules, and an abundance of distractions, organizations have to consider this when planning and developing training for their employees. Many companies can vouch for the success of microlearning, a training method that is delivered in very small segments,  which is why it is was given the name “micro”. If implemented correctly, microlearning can play a large role in increasing employee productivity, customer service excellence, profitability and success.

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a brief, very focused learning tool designed to fulfill a specific learning goal. It uses multimedia formats such as animated slideshows, mini-webinars or videos. Microlearning has an employee-centric approach that provides relevant, up-to-date training, which is accessible via commonly used devices, making it very easy to access anytime, anywhere.

The training segments are quick to complete. These segments are delivered in brief  “learning packages” and because of a more fun and informal training style, the learning impact is often more effective. With the learning content structured and offered in often entertaining, easily memorable ways, combined with  effortless absorption and retainment of acquired knowledge, microlearning is the modern solution to employee training and development.

But just how “micro” should microlearning be? Polls conducted on microlearning have addressed two main questions: What’s the ideal length for a microlearning segment and what’s the maximum length for a microlearning segment ? Most participants responded that the ideal length should be 10 minutes.  Although organizations that seem to do the best keep the length shorter than 3 minutes.

 

While microlearning is not a very new concept, we see more and more companies implementing it to successfully train their workforce. Dividing training content into smaller “bytes” has existed for a long time, but there is an increased focus on microlearning as a significant element in an organization’s overall training program.

Micro-Learning and Profitability

Since the learning packages are delivered directly to the trainee, the cost of paying for an instructor’s time, and facility and equipment rental is eliminated. The learning segments can be produced more quickly and at a less cost than traditional courses or even e-courses. Thanks to their modular structure, micro-learning courses are easier and less time-consuming to create therefore the spend on learning resources is greatly reduced.  Moreover, employees don’t have to take time off to attend training off-site.

Also, it is more cost-effective to update the digital information in these learning packages as it changes, rather than reprint training manuals and conduct new classroom training sessions.

No Need to Travel

Getting teams together for training requires a lot of logistical planning and is very expensive. Not only that, while they are attending the training, they are losing time that could be spent serving prospects and clients.

Microlearning eliminates the travel required for training and puts the training in the learner’s control, to complete at their convenience.

Save Time

Microlearning sessions take a lot less time. Microlearning content, delivered in the form of a mini-webinar, slideshow or video, is around 5 minutes in length. In this encapsulated form it can still convey the same information that was formerly conveyed day-long training sessions. Because of the short training duration, training can also be integrated into the trainee’s work schedule, so they don’t fall behind on important tasks.

Lower Expense – Increase Profitability

Microlearning packages takes less time to develop, therefore are more cost-effective. They cost much less than conventional e-Learning courses. These “learning nuggets” can be revised very quickly to increase their impact or updated to stay relevant. yet at a very low cost. A lower employee development expense means an increase in overall company profitability.

More Effective Learning

Research shows that if information is repeated, with intervals between, new learning pathways are created in the brain. The ability to memorize highly technical knowledge can only be solidified by repeated practice. Microlearning provides this kind of practice and repetition, which results in more effective learning and increased productivity.

 

Microlearning helps solve the attention issues that many of our contemporary learners struggle with. Rather than trying to get through hours of classroom training or lengthy e-courses, these smaller doses of content are easier for learners to consume and absorb.

Microlearning  also makes it easier for department heads or managers to present a new idea or system to their teams by  delegating a “quick coach” session to senior team members.

Case Study on Microlearning – Fidelity National Information Services

To elaborate further on the advantages of this learning method,  we are sharing a a case study from Fidelity National Information Services ( FIS)  to gain insight into the benefits of this implementation.

 

In the third quarter of 2017, a series of micro eLearning or micro learnings were launched by FIS to help support the Client Relation’s Path to Excellence.   Using these 4 key values :

  • Responsiveness,
  • Advocacy
  • Accountability
  • Fun

as their guide, these micro learnings support an increased awareness of thier client’s voice to improve upon the overall service delivery.  They have now released 11 bi-monthly installments and counting!

Why did FIS decide a new training solution was necessary?

We live in a fast-paced industry where change is constant.  This was having an impact on thier clients, many of whom did not have the bandwidth to know how all their setup options work and what changes may be needed to keep up with new regulations or system processes.  A key element received from feedback were complaints regarding how requests were handled and the length of time it took for a resolution.

“Their Voice” –  An FIS Designed Microlearning Program

FIS quickly identified that thier internal team also faced frustration with the influx of client requests vs. their ability to properly answer requests in a timely manner.  This drove the team to create a learning series called “Their Voice” to serve as a reminder of company expectations, culture and tips on how to manage incoming requests,  focusing on the details that really make the difference.

Often, training and learning are viewed as solitary “one time” events.  A team decision was made use a series of micro learnings as opposed to traditional eLearning courses to deliver learning opportunities that were timely, relevant, engaging and concise.  A traditional eLearning course focuses on 3-5 learning objectives versus utilizing a microlearning approach and focusing on one specific learning objective that can be released in installments to keep key objectives fresh in the minds of the learners.

How has the micro learning affected learning and engagement?

Traditional learning has often felt like another task that needs to be scheduled and made time for, something that takes away from day to day tasks.  Using a series of quick micro learnings provides continuous, quick and engaging learning opportunities that are not time consuming.  FIS tried to keep the overall mood of the Their Voice installments lighthearted by using animated characters, funky music, and the talent of thier own internal team members.  They have done this while also reinforcing our key values.  Often the lessons in the Their Voice series are not earth-shattering ideas, but an awareness of the importance of the little things and the small details that can be taken for granted. It can be these small details that can make or break the overall experience for their clients.

How using FIS team members for voice over effects learning and engagement?

When the installments first started rolling out, engagement was a challenge.  Many felt that the scenarios were common sense and therefore weren’t relevant.  Once we started incorporating voices from other FIS team members, it added some intrigue to the process and created curiosity to hear whose voice might be showcased next.  Not only do they use team member voices, but they are included in the creative development process by choosing their onscreen character.  With these elements, people now set aside their initial conceptions and biases of the tutorials and see the fun in it.  This has also given their development team the opportunity to interact more with front line Client Relations staff to build further collaboration across the teams.  One of the teams used the opportunity to record their voices as a team building activity.

What types of issues are the micro learnings used for?

FIS has many different lines of business and teams that roll into their organization.  All the roles are typically client facing, but how they interact with their clients varies across teams.  The goal was to have a common L&D experience that was relevant to all groups.  They pull scenarios from live survey responses from our clients and then make the scenarios more generic to call out the specific behaviors that led to the high or low score.  They then demonstrate how that experience ties into one of their 4 key values – responsiveness, advocacy, acccountability and fun – to highlight how to maintain or improve on the result of the scenario.

How is FIS able to track who has completed the video learning via LMS?

They can track views through our LMS to see how we are trending and which installment has generated the most views or hits.

Have there been any noted improvements since implementing these videos?

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and has generated an overall increased awareness and engagement with key values that align with the Client Relation’s Path to Excellence.  The response to this specific type of learning has been very positive and they have many requests to develop similar types of learnings for other topics including the support of FIS One.  They are continually evolving and changing things up with each installment,  delivering fresh learning opportunities every 2 weeks.

Microlearning: The Path to Service Excellence

As proven by the FIS case study, Microlearning simplifies complex learning by transforming it into a fun, fast-paced, productive, and effective process. Since microlearning content is easier to develop, less expensive to update and takes less employee time to complete, the overall improvement in employee learning and development is remarkable.

Created to connect eLearning with this Mobility era, microlearning is perfect for mid-size to large organizations with a lot of vital information to share – and for employees that are motivated to learn, but have little time to train.

And as we know, knowledgeable and competent employees are productive employees. As covered in our article Customer Care Begins at Home, there is a direct correlation between internal customer service and employee development and an organization’s ability to provide exceptional customer service.

Implementing microlearning will ensure that all employees continue to grow and excel in their roles, which in turn results in service excellence and continued business success.

 

 



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