What Microlearning Means For Your Business

The workforce is changing, and businesses need to adapt to those changes to thrive. It’s obvious to anyone in business that people entering the workforce today are much different than those of 20 or 30 years ago. Today’s workers were raised on digital devices, bombarded with a firehose of information from sunrise to sunset. At the same time, their attention span is dwindling. According to statistics collected by social media consultants Cision, the average attention span of workers today is just 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in the year 2000. What that means for businesses is that when it comes to training, workers have limited patience for complicated printed materials, extensive procedural videos or day-long classroom instruction. If the information presented is too comprehensive or covers multiple concepts at once, they’ll likely just tune it out. Still, nobody discounts the importance of having a properly trained staff. The challenge businesses face today, though, is presenting training materials in a way that engages those workers and captures that limited attention span. The answer to that challenge? Microlearning. The Use Case Microlearning means just what its name implies: the delivery of educational materials in small, easily digestible doses, with content confined to narrow concepts. According to elearnignindustry.com, benefits of microlearning include: 
  • Increased engagement for learners without leaving them feeling rushed or bored.
  • Ability on the part of organizations to deliver content anywhere at any time.
  • Clear relationship between training materials and the actions required on the job.
  • Ability on the part of workers to repeat content to enhance understanding.
  • Easy deployment and updating of training materials.
 Microlearning is a perfect fit for those mobile devices that seem to capture the limited attention span of those millennial and “Generation Z” employees making up an increasing part of today’s workforce. And despite a tendency to consider microlearning as today’s educational buzzword, the real-world impact is clear. The success retailers have achieved via the deployment of microlearning platforms were outlined in a May 2018 article by fashion publication WWD. Companies including Steve Madden, Francesca’s, Tiffany & Co., Brooks Brothers and Kate Spade & Co. have all adopted the INCITE Mobile Associate Communications Platform (mACP), developed by technology firm Multimedia Plus. INCITE is a sophisticated, highly branded, mobile-first private broadcast network with instant-on, non-streaming video; self-publishing interface; granular targeting; real-time metrics; field accessibility; instant, internal global broadcasting from an app; and a simple dashboard interface. Training material is delivered in small, bite-sized modules whenever and wherever workers have free time, and can be provided in multiple languages. INCITE has delivered more than 1 million training programs and 5 million individual training modules to associates in 22 countries. Tiffany & Co., for example, attributed quarterly sales and profits that came in ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates to its investment in technology and improvements in the in-store experience. The company uses the INCITE platform to help create that experience. And David Minnix, executive vice president and chief boutiques officer at Francesca’s, told WWD the INCITE platform was a critical tool in helping the company develop passionate and motivated team members who were prepared to reach their full potential. “Our team members’ ownership of their development, coupled with the support and positive impact from our leaders, has assisted us in building long-term relationships with our guests,” Minnix told WWD. “The platform has been more than a technology accessory, it has been a proven tool that is part of our successful formula.” Measuring results There’s an old adage attributed to management guru Peter Drucker that holds true for all types of industries: “If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.” Drucker’s quote applies to microlearning as well. The question, though, is how does one measure the effectiveness of training programs that leverage microlearning? Is it by the number of customer complaints, or a change in sales after a new program is deployed? Although those may be some of the ways to measure the effect of microlearning, in most cases they take too long to deliver actionable data. To thrive in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, nimble businesses need to be able to measure how well their workers are learning in as close to real time as possible. INCITE helps meet that need by providing data-rich metrics including progress completing training materials and scores achieved on certifications. Managers and executives can then compare that data with key performance indicators at levels ranging from individual employees to the entire organization. Proprietary analytics tools spotlight areas of improvement needed for employees or groups of employees and identify opportunities to reward. A recent survey conducted by the Association for Talent Development found that 38 percent of the talent development professionals queried currently use microlearning, with another 41 percent planning to start within the next year. Microlearning is clearly the future of employee training, and those businesses that incorporate it into their programs are likely to gain a competitive edge. Want to learn more about INCITE and how its microlearning capabilities can help your operation? Contact Multimedia Plus at (212) 982-3229 or email info@multimediaplus.com.