March 31, 2017
Written by Dana Youngren
A recent study released by Microsoft suggests that the majority of people only have an eight second attention span, making retaining an entire day’s worth of classroom training a difficult task. As worker demographics and expectations are changing, companies are adapting their training methodologies to better suit employee needs. Companies are developing microlearning courses — bite-sized chunks of activities that can be consumed between tasks or in the flow of work.
To take advantage of microlearning activities that can be consumed on any device, many companies are adapting one or more of the following initiatives — and seeing tremendous benefits.
1. Podcast Lessons
When used effectively, podcasts are a great way to produce content and create relationships with your employees. Employees can easily subscribe to a podcast feed that automatically downloads to any device. Not only that, but it is inexpensive, and employees can listen to it as they perform other tasks at work. As an executive, you can structure the podcast to broadcast helpful lessons to your employees on a wide variety of topics, or even create a weekly sales training podcast to keep them abreast of the latest marketing information and product updates.
2. Instructional Videos
Instructional videos work well in a variety of environments. Companies can create short instructional videos on YouTube or on a company server in order for them to be easily accessed by remote employees. These videos could range from subjects like how to properly fill out certain mandatory forms, to tips for handling customer complaints, or even how-to’s focusing on performing specific tasks related to an employee’s job duties.
3. Discussion Boards
Discussion boards offer up a number of advantages to companies. From giving new employees fast clarification on a particular type of training material, to chatting about new issues in the industry with a large group of people. They even provide a space for doling out kudos to a particular employee for completing an important part of a training session. Some companies are applying gamification methods to discussion boards, which is a methodology that uses game thinking in a non-game-like situation to inspire employees to engage in online learning. For example, employees may compete for a prize based on who interacts on the board most.
Some employees learn how to do their job from reading materials. Others learn it in real time. A simulation can enable an employee to learn a particular skill set by first providing them with instructions on the proper workflow needed to complete a task, and then by asking them to go step-by-step and try the same task in real life or in a virtual setting.
Developing games for training is another creative way to bring microlearning to your company. Games can be as simple as figuring out how a particular type of food is supposed to be presented to a customer if you work at a restaurant, or a fun assessment to check an employee’s progress in a certain area. You can drum up some competition between employees by instituting a leaderboard so employees can measure not only how well they are doing on training, but also how they stack up to their peers.
6. Virtual Reality (Similar To Simulations)
One of the newest forms of microlearning comes in the form of virtual reality. VR might not be necessary for those employees who are in more desk-based tasks, but can be highly effective for those who have more physical roles. Virtual reality is already used across multiple industries, including construction, medical, and combat training. These employees can build up their skills in a safer environment before heading out into the real world – they’ll be a bit better prepared after actually experiencing a particular situation.
If your business isn’t working to adopt microlearning as a training option, then you are quickly falling behind. Microlearning is not only a great way for employees to retain information, but also a tool to help with employee retention and job satisfaction in general. It’s a new workforce out there, and employees want to access training information whenever they want. How can your business adopt to create a more informed, knowledgeable workforce?
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