When Is Microlearning the Right Choice for Employee Training?

Designing Digitally


When Is Microlearning the Right Choice for Employee Training?

One of the key issues of employee training, and any type of learning in general, is the rate of knowledge retention. On average, a learner tends to forget half of what he or she has learned in a matter of hours or days, at most. Transience, which is forgetting as time goes by, affects us all. So how then can we help employees retain, remember, and accurately reproduce what they have learned in training?

One of the best methods for solidifying knowledge is by providing smaller, easily-digestible bits of information that employees can then actively use in their day to day job tasks. This is what microlearning does!

What is Microlearning?

If you're building your employee training program out of small learning units, with the purpose of enabling skill-based learning, then you are actively using microlearning. This content delivery method is highly efficient because it reduces learner cognitive load. By using push technology, carefully designing microlearning objectives, and paying attention to the timing and pacing of bite-sized content delivery, you take the stress off of the learner.

Since the modules are small and task-specific, microlearning allows learners to retain new knowledge quickly. They can solidify it to long-term memory by immediately using it in their problem-solving at work. And, learners can help other teammates by sharing the information they learned.

Read also: Ways to Ensure Microlearning Modules Boost Knowledge Retention

The Perks of Bite-Sized Training

If you want to keep up with the Jones' of today's highly competitive business world, you need to incorporate microlearning into your Learning and Development (L&D) culture. Keeping employees engaged and satisfied depends a lot on what opportunities for growth they have within the company. Effective employee training begins with discovering their learning needs, evolves with the creation of efficient training modules, and ends with gathering data and improving the delivery method. Using microlearning in employee training can satisfy all these requirements and brings many benefits to both your organization and your employees.

  1. Increased Engagement

Microlearning is less intimidating for employees looking to learn new things. Bite-sized learning units are easier to digest and remember, and employees are better able to help their co-workers navigate issues with similar solutions. An increase in engagement will be noticeable not only with the training content, but also with other learners.

Read also: How to Improve Learner Engagement With Microlearning 

  1. Increased Attention Spans

The format and duration of micromodules encourage learners' sustained focus. Also, since lessons are delivered in a just-in-time manner and learners get to use the concepts immediately in their day to day jobs, employees feel their time is well-spent.

  1. Combats Shortage of Time

Relating to the previous point, shortage of time in a workplace environment is another issue that microlearning can help combat. On average, in a 40-hour workweek, employees only spend about an hour of their time on continuing education. Since a knowledgeable staff member is the backbone of a flourishing business, introducing micro modules to help them grow both personally and professionally is a must.

Read also: Reducing the Seat Time in Your eLearning Courses

  1. Provides Flexible Access

Microlearning is one of the best content delivery methods because:

  • It helps employees effectively problem-solve day-to-day issues

  • It allows employees to access important information anytime, anywhere, as needed

  • It can be used as part of a mobile learning effort to increase job satisfaction and job performance

  • It replaces costly and time-consuming instructor-led training (ILT)

  • It successfully closes the gap between knowledge and skill by delivering practice-based modules

When to Use Microlearning

A microlearning training strategy can be adapted to fit any organizational needs. You can use it for onboarding, marketing, new hires, compliance, brand training, and for just about any subject under the sun. Because of the focused content delivery, short bursts of skill-based practices, and anytime/anywhere access, microlearning is the most flexible learning strategy you can use.

There are different ways to deliver microlearning:

  1. As quick introductions

Before launching a new training course, you can use microlearning to introduce the topic, learning objectives, and desired learning outcomes to your employees. Giving employees a sneak-peek into what they should expect from the training program can motivate them to stay engaged and explain what they will gain by completing the course.

  1. As refresher training courses

Microlearning is a great way to refresh employees’ memories about processes and methods your organization follows. Rather than deploying a full traditional classroom refresher course, delivering timed micro-lessons to already knowledgeable employees will be better received, and make better use of employee time on the job.

  1. As new knowledge/skill acquisition courses

Of course, you can create brand new microlearning courses too. You can break down complex topics into small, actionable modules that employees can then implement into their daily routines or task completion methods.

  1. As knowledge/skills expansion courses

Microlearning courses can also add new knowledge and skills to employees' existing knowledge/skill base. You can do this by modifying existing courses or creating upgraded courses from scratch.

      5. As a way to change work methods

If you're looking to change the way things have been done in your organization or introduce new work methods, microlearning is the seamless way to go. Its flexible format and anytime/anywhere approach to content accessibility make microlearning one of the best business and employee enhancement choices.

       6. As peer-to-peer teaching

Work colleagues help each other solve tasks all the time. They are essentially providing each other with microlearning without even realizing it. When designing your microlearning courses, keep in mind that useful content gets passed on quickly.

Read also: The Pros and Cons of Microlearning


Mastering the microlearning development process is a long-term endeavor, but well worth the time spent. You'll help nourish more knowledgeable employees, increase job satisfaction, and create a workplace learning culture that will boost the success of your business.

Designing Digitally is a leader in developing employee training modules that blend business goals with employee learning needs. Contact us for a free consultation and to find out how you can help your company and employees grow.