Microlearning: why organizations should start today

Did you know that the human attention span is getting increasingly shorter? That is because of the large amount of information we are presented with. Do you want to teach your employees something new? Courses that are longer than 5 minutes are a no-go. Microlearning, offering the learning material as simply and succinctly as possible for the end user, is a popular alternative. In this blog, I explain why microlearning is suitable for your organization.

Ruben Wieman

Microlearning: why organizations should start today

Table of contents

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is learning in a user-friendly and interactive way that suits our short attention span. In concrete terms, this means that training courses:

  • Take about 2-5 minutes;
  • Are completed on mobile, tablet or social media;
  • Are varied: summaries of articles, infographics, slides, quizzes, polls, videos, links, and images are used in microlearning.

Microlearning with Oneteam

The most important aspect of microlearning is that your employees can complete the training at any place and any time. They do not need to log in to an LMS (Learning Management System) or learning platform, but can simply follow the training on their mobile. This makes learning accessible.

An example of microlearning: a restaurant has a new hamburger. They want to inform their employees about this new hamburger as soon as possible. How do you make it? What ingredients are in it, and what is the price? Microlearning is ideal for this.

You can show a video of how to make the hamburger. You show the end result through images and you give a brief summary in bullet points of the ingredients. This is followed by a short quiz about the preparation method to refresh your employees’ memory. This allows you to inform your employees at short notice.

Who is microlearning suitable for?

Microlearning is basically suitable for everyone and for every organization. The fact is that microlearning is especially suitable for organizations that employ many non-desk employees. Why? This group of employees does not have a fixed workplace. They only have a mobile phone. Perfect for microlearning.

Do you also employ young people, such as Gen Z and millennials? microlearning is the perfect learning method for them. These generations have grown up with the internet and social media, so they expect every experience to be fast, easy and smooth.

What exactly are the benefits of microlearning for my organization?

Using microlearning for non-desk employees has many advantages:

  • Implement changes faster: as an organization in the retail or hospitality industry, it is important to implement changes as quickly as possible. Whether that concerns crisis communication, a new hamburger on the menu or onboarding a new employee. microlearning allows you to quickly inform your employees about it all.
  • Learning becomes fun: in view of the short attention span of your employees, it is important for your training courses to be short and interactive. Videos, images, additional PDFs, short texts, emojis and your own corporate identity ensure that your employees will quickly complete a training course.  
  • It is easy to create and adjust training courses yourself: microlearning is simple, because you don’t have to put anything together yourself. You can easily add videos, images, PDFs, quizzes, and other content. And adjust accordingly.
  • Your employees will quickly complete the training courses: training courses do not take longer than 5 minutes. This is attractive for your employees. They can also start a training course while on the bus ride home, for example. They can complete it whenever they want. In addition, according to the 2019 Talent LMS survey, employees get a positive feeling when they see that they have passed a training course. That is motivating.
  • Checking the progress of the training courses: Your own LMS (Learning Management System) offers you the advantage of having a better overview thanks to statistics and reports. In one overview, you can see which employees have completed a training course, who is still working on it and who has yet to start. This information comes in handy for when you want to send your employees a reminder.

Are there any drawbacks to microlearning?

With microlearning, your employees follow short, online training courses. This does mean that microlearning is not always sufficient for larger, complex training courses. Certainly not in training courses where your employees must learn practical skills, such as waiting tables. I recommend supplementing microlearning with additional training, such as workplace training.

How do I find the right microlearning software?

Mobile friendly: the software is specially designed for your employees’ personal smartphones. Your employees should be given an experience similar to WhatsApp or other social media platforms.

Secure environment: your employees need a personal login. This ensures their data remains safe within your organization.

Author tool: decide how you organize your training courses. Create interactive courses thanks to a variety of options such as video, images and text.

Insights into progress: with a software tool you can easily measure who has completed a training course, who is working on it and who has yet to start.

Chat: communicate with your employees through the chat tool. Do they have questions about the training? Or do you want to send them a reminder for the training? This can all be done through the chat.

Set up notifications: thanks to the software tool, you can use push notifications to remind your employees to start the course.

Certificates: make it rewarding for your employees to complete the training by awarding certificates. This keeps them motivated to complete the microlearning each time.

Native app: by designing the microlearning in your own house style, your employees will become more familiar with it. This will motivate them to complete the training.

Tests: test the knowledge of your employees by asking questions.

Add interactive content: make the microlearning fun and interactive for your employees. Software tools offer the possibility to add video, images, and additional content.

Gamification: Add game effects such as quizzes and set success rates. This will motivate your employees to complete the training faster, according to various studies.

Synchronize data from your employees: make sure the tool also integrates with existing WFM- en HR-software you are already using. That way, you don’t have to transfer their data, which saves you a lot of time.

Support: if you or your employees have questions, it is important to have a help-desk that can come to your aid immediately.

GDPR-proof: make sure your software is managed by European data servers. So you won’t have to worry about the GDPR.

💡 Golden tip from Oneteam: go for an all-in-one solution

It is important to find a solution that meets your microlearning requirements. But also try to think further. Isn’t it useful to find a tool that offers a total solution for your deskless employees? With an Employee Experience Platform you can bring the full digital employee experience together on one platform. Whether it’s communication, training or engagement, an Employee Experience Platform holds the key to making your frontline employees successful. Read the Frontline Employee Experience Guide and start improving the employee experience of your non-desk workforce.  


Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman is the founder of Oneteam. He mainly writes about the future of deskless employee experience and key frontline HR trends. Fun fact about Ruben: He started his professional career as a deskless employee at supermarkets and a pizza delivery guy. The frustrations he encountered lead him to build an employee experience app focused on making the deskless workforce successful and engaged.

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