The Case for a New Learning Program with Microlearning
The fear that human attention spans are growing shorter because of technology may or may not have a basis in fact. There is no question that learning via small nuggets (microlearning) versus huge volumes of information is the wave of the future. If you’re trying to convince your boss that a new learning program based on the principles of microlearning has merit, focus on potential profits, both short-and-long-term. Build your case based on an in-depth understanding of your company’s needs and how the learning program meets them. Focus on training not as an expense, but as an investment.
Learn or Die
While technology increases at an exponential rate, humans still only have 24 hours in each day. Businesses thrive or wither based on their employee’s knowledge base and state-of-the-art skill sets. Microlearning provides essential education in the most flexible, convenient way possible – and exactly when the employee needs it. It’s a cost-efficient method for maintaining and upgrading employee skills.
Budgets are tight, and learning programs not only cost money but consume valuable employee time. These programs possess benefits, but it’s a matter of weighing the ROI. That’s just one reason microlearning boasts so many advantages. It’s less expensive than old-school programs, is easy to upgrade and allows employees to learn in very short – 3 to 5 minute – sessions. Employees can learn on their own time, rather than company time. Because the sessions are short, there’s no complaining about intrusions into personal life.
With any type of learning, the bottom line rests on what the student actually retains. Here’s where microlearning really helps make your case. Employees retain 20 percent or more of the information received through microlearning compared with standard learning programs. That’s not only because of the short learning period, but the interactive model. Application is immediate, but the training itself is informal.
Unlike many other programs, microlearning is completely mobile friendly. That means an employee can use any idle time – whether waiting in a doctor’s office or for their kids to get off the school bus – to take in a microlearning module. If a job-related question pops into their mind at any time, a microlearning session tells them the best way to proceed.
Find the Right Program
You’re sold on microlearning, but there’s no one-size-fits-all program. Do your research and find the best microlearning software for your company’s needs. Look for a company with a strong educational background. You want a provider offering user-friendly, high quality content with frequent updating. Ask potential providers to give you contact information for similarly-sized companies using their product.
Potential Downsides – Have an Answer
When you’re constructing your case for a new learning program, it’s natural to focus on all of the positives. Your boss wants to know about the negatives, so you must prepare responses. Microlearning is a vital tool, but there are a few downsides. Microlearning isn’t designed for intense online training, but it can work as a complement to more demanding programs. Its purpose is not to comprise a company’s sole online training catalogue, and it’s important not to market microlearning in that fashion. Instead, emphasize its key functions, such as specific learning objectives and quick learning of a new skill. Most employees prefer microlearning, but some feel more comfortable with different learning options. If your company is not currently offering microlearning, it is not capitalizing on one of the most effective methods of employee training. Build your case not by overselling microlearning – it stands on its own qualities – but by stressing how not using microlearning puts employees and the company at a disadvantage.
A Pilot Program for Microlearning
Your boss may want to start out with a pilot program, and that’s understandable. Fortunately, a microlearning program easily sells itself to employees, especially those in the millennial generation. Use good metrics to track the program, and odds are the pilot program soon goes company-wide. If issues arise, they are more likely due to the provider than the microlearning concept.
If you’ve done your homework, made a compelling argument and your boss doesn’t like the idea of microlearning, it may be time to start circulating your resume. You want to work for a competitive company using cutting-edge training, and those are companies realizing the microlearning advantage.