The way employees work in an organization has radically changed over the past decade. They spend a considerable amount of time searching for information on a wide variety of devices in between an onslaught of messages, emails, sudden meetings, and other distractions. In such a scenario, where they could find time for continuous learning to improve their knowledge and hone new skills? To address all these challenges, ‘learning in the flow of work’ comes into the picture. Research studies indicate that people learn better when the learning is specific to their job and when the learning addresses their immediate needs.
‘Learning in the flow of work’ is a phrase first used by Josh Bersin in 2018. In his concept, he proposes that learning should be a part of the daily work of employees. He also opines that while learning in the flow of work is not necessarily the solution for every application, it’s coming fast. He believes that it’s the paradigm you should design around whenever you can. In his book, Driving Performance Through Learning, Andy Lancaster describes, “Learning in the flow of work is the learning accessible during work in the workplace environment.” He also calls it ‘learning in the moment’ as learning undertaken without disrupting employees’ day-to-day work.
Research by Bersin by Deloitte shows that employees have less than 25 minutes to learn in a given week. Given this, companies should focus more on appropriate and need-based learning in minutes rather than focusing on formal training sessions that take few hours. In this context, microlearning has been proved to be an effective learning methodology that supports learning in the flow of work. With microlearning, learning occurs in small doses, almost invisibly, throughout the workday.
Here are six ways to use microlearning in the flow of your employee’s work.
Short eLearning modules are 3 to 5-minute eLearning nuggets that offer bite-sized learning to your employees on various concepts and topics. Each module is designed to meet a specific outcome or an objective. You can offer these eLearning modules as stand-alone training or as part of a learning path. These are generally hosted on your LMS to enable learners to find them quickly and easily.
Infographics are a great way to provide summarized information on the key concepts or takeaways about a topic. The visual-based approach is appealing to most learners. Learners have higher recall and retention when they see infographics. The latest authoring tools help create interactive infographics that help to offer layers of information and more details about a concept or topic.
PDF is one of the most common formats for microlearning. PDFs help as ready reckoner solution for quick and just-in-time access to particular concepts or specific information. You can access PDFs on any device without any hassles. The modern authoring tools help create interactive PDFs that allow you to package data and information into info groups for easy access to your employees. You can also provide specific information in the form of eBooks. Flipbooks are the latest version of eBooks. Flipbooks have multi-device support. The latest authoring tools enable integrating audio files and video clips into flipbooks to enhance the impact. You can use PDFs, eBooks, and flipbooks as short learning guides or quick reference guides.
Videos are one of the popular microlearning formats that can be easily adapted to create other learning aids. Short and focused 3 to 5-minute videos are a great way to introduce a concept in an easy-to-understand visual manner. Videos can be animation videos, illustrative videos, text-based videos, interactive videos, etc. Videos are easily accessible to your employees on the devices of their choice. They can view these videos when they want to review content or refresh their knowledge on a topic. You can also offer expert advice and industry insights to your employees in the form of short videos.
You can also provide pre-recorded webinars covering the latest trends and happenings in your industry. Your employees can watch them on the go and use the information at the moment when they need it. Audio files and podcasts help to share expert comments with your employees.
You can use your company’s dedicated mobile app for providing learning to your employees. This is also a powerful approach to offer learning on the go. The advantage of a mobile app is that learners can use it for both online and offline viewing. You can provide updated information and notifications to your employees.
When employees need to perform new or challenging tasks, they struggle to find relevant information or content at the time of need. Microlearning nuggets help learners apply the learning precisely at the moment of their need. These provide just-in-time learning and are easily accessible on any device. You can leverage the microlearning formats and strategies mentioned above to deliver training or learning in their workflow.
At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective L&D programs. To learn more about how you can effectively implement microlearning strategies in your employees’ learning in the flow of work, contact us or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Lancaster, Driving Performance Through Learning: Develop Employees Through Effective Workplace Learning, Kogan Page, 28-Oct-2019, 368 pages.