We live in a technologically-driven world that is continually streaming information and that has enabled us to be connected 24/7. In such a world, the time boundaries that used to prohibit people from connecting are invisible. It is expected – and sometimes even required – that people are constantly “on call”.
While all this helps businesses work faster, it also puts great time pressures on workers. Not only do they need to be highly productive, they also need to keep updated and constantly educated on everything. While some businesses acknowledge that fact and make their best to invest in employee training, others simply don’t do it due to a lack of time. However, there is a cure for the latter type of businesses and it is called microlearning. Let us see why you should consider this relatively novel concept.
If you want your business to succeed, especially if it’s a global one, investing in employee education is a must. How will your company be competitive if your employees don’t speak any foreign language or if they cannot get around in the world of high tech?
However, the type of education you decide to offer them needs to be updated with such a world – the new technologically-advanced environment that employees experience on a daily basis is not conducive to traditional learning methods. Learning complex concepts takes time that most businesses just don’t have. Moreover, most employees are used to getting their information in small chunks rather than larger and more complex modules. They simply lack the time and patience to learn in the old-fashioned way.
Microlearning is a new method of learning complex concepts and tasks in small and easy-to-understand chunks delivered in different types of digitally obtained media (text, video, and so on). It involves learning activities that actively engage the employee within a short amount of time. These learning activities consist of bite-sized lessons that are aimed at specific outcomes and employee needs.
The ease of obtaining information is part of the reason why microlearning has gained popularity over the past year or so. Employees now have the capability of accessing new information quickly and putting it into practice rapidly.
The Benefits of Microlearning
The benefits of this type of learning are multiple:
The old adage that “time is money” definitely rings true when you are running a business. Training employees does take time, but you can reduce or eliminate this time by incorporating e-learning modules.
A typical e-learning course takes approximately 40 to 60% less time than the traditional classroom setting. E-learning participants also pick up on material faster and retain it longer than learners in traditional classrooms. When it comes to microlearning, it takes much less time to process information because bite-sized chunks are more easily absorbed.
There are two outstanding financial benefits of microlearning when compared to traditional classroom learning: it is easier and cheaper to produce smaller chunks of information and the costs of employee training are significantly lower.
Firstly, there is no more need to spend money on outdated printed material – everything is done online. And secondly, as microlearning allows your employees to learn anywhere and anytime, is eliminates travel costs and other expenses.
Due to the fact that technology and corporate education have become intertwined, today’s employees can be more flexible in how they learn and apply new concepts. In other words, they can learn whenever and wherever it suits them best. The reason is that they have continuous access to the materials they need for their jobs, so they can learn at home or any other place if that fits better into their schedule.
This is true not only for your old workers but also for the new ones. It is always a good idea to have a library of modules that entails different topics so that a new worker can immediately start learning and get adapted to your company more quickly. The small bite-sized information simply enables a more flexible transition to a new job.
Learning new concepts isn’t easy when it’s presented in a bulk format. However, being able to practice new skills immediately is one of the best reasons why microlearning works. It is fairly easy to select, process, and apply a particular lesson through a microlearning module.
Employees who use microlearing are way more likely to utilize the newly acquired skills than employees who learned those skills in a classroom setting. This means employees are more vested in the position because they can see the results of their actions. More control, more knowledge, more efficiency.
Everybody knows that a fully engaged employee is a productive employee. The readily available microlearning materials presented in interesting ways help employees understand and practice their skills with more enthusiasm.
When they don’t have to search through books to find the right information but can learn it through, let’s say, a short and fun video, of course they will be more engaged. Moreover, employees can learn through many other engaging formats such as infographics, bullet points, games and quizzes.
It goes without saying that technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past twenty years or so. Businesses that want to remain competitive need to stay on top of issues and gain understanding of their industry. In such a technologically-driven and competitive corporate climate, micro-learning helps businesses remain competitive.
Although learning from books in libraries is an undisputedly valuable method, such days are simply long gone when it comes to corporate training. Businesses need to adapt to that fact and always strive to employ new methods.
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About the author:
Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, enjoys covering topics related to marketing, customer service, corporate culture, and education. For more information, reach her @Natalie Smith.
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