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PERSONALLY SPEAKING

“I’ll have a Venti extra hot decaf caramel macchiato with no foam.”  It doesn’t get much more personal than that!  This has been one of the major drivers of success for the international coffee powerhouse Starbucks-where customers can take customization as far as they choose to go.  In exchange Starbucks enjoys huge customer retention and a loyal clientele boasting an average customer life span of 20 years!

And they’re not alone. BUILD-A-BEAR, Coca-Cola’s Freestyle Vending Machines, and the recent rise of the McDonald’s self-service kiosks are just some examples of how customization is the new king.

These companies master the art of customization, realizing the want for it in today’s marketplace and how doing so will continue to create engaging experiences for their target customers.

Can learning professionals take any ques from these progressive marketing teams?

Heck yes!

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Allowing a person to own their experience with a brand creates affinity and fosters a personal stake in the product, service or brand going forward.

This is no different in the workplace where Learning Leaders must find a way to for their product (organizational training) to resonate with their clients (organization-wide learners).

Creating customized eLearning experiences has proven to increase overall learner engagement, learner retention and employee productivity and microlearning is the tool to help do this.

In today’s workplace, factors such as millennial and soon to come Gen Z workers, social media, Smart Devices, international locations and remote working all affect the way learning needs to be designed and delivered.

The one-size-fits-all approach no longer resonates with learners and is costing organizations more money in the long run.    

Because of its short format eLearning style, microlearning is highly adaptive and responsive and can be updated quickly within a manageable budget.  It also improves success rates of three key goals of any corporate training initiative.

Only 38% of managers believe that their programs meet learners' needs. Why? Because either the learner’s perspective is lost or simply not anatomized.=eLearningIndustry

 

 

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Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners are in control of what and when they're learning.

 

 

LEARNER ENGAGEMENT

Creating customized microlearning provides learners with content that they find the most relevant which translates to better engagement. 

When programs are designed keeping the learner not only the content in mind, the overall program becomes more relatable.

Just like Starbucks offers the same latte to everyone but allows someone with Lactose intolerance to choose Soy Milk as an option, a Learning Leader must consider nuances of their learners. 

A key area would be the job title and skill level of learners.  Consider a senior IT Manager and senior Marketing Manager who need to go through training on your new Cloud based LMS.   Chances are the IT Manager will quickly bore and disengage from the training if presented with the same content as the marketing professional who doesn’t have much experience with the LMS at all.

Microlearning also serves up eLearning on any device meaning learners can take their learning on the go or drill down to the specifics that they’re looking for right from their own device 24/7.  It doesn’t get much more engaging than that!

LEARNER RETENTION

The statistics on forgetting new content can be surprising.

Research on the forgetting curve shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it. 

This makes retention a big challenge for Learning Leaders when planning and budgeting for training programs.  Microlearning can make a huge impact here as well.  Using microlearning as a tool in your training repertoire enables Learning Leaders to provide learners with consistent updates in short bursts of content covering 1-3 key points only.  

Simply put, less information being presented means learners can focus easier on what they are trying to learn which makes retention easier.  Consider a traditional in-class training session.  Would you remember what you learned in the first hour by the end of the day? Likely not.   

Retention is also achieved by making microlearning on-demand.  Learners that need a refresher before starting their shifts or have a question on how to use a new program before starting on a project can all greatly benefit from microlearning.

EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY

Finally, increasing employee productivity is the reason behind corporate training and development and microlearning directly addresses this goal.

Since microlearning does away with the formal classroom training or longer eLearning formats, employees can spend more time working during their core work hours and engage with their customized training modules during off-peak times like the commute home, lunch time or even while they’re waiting for their system to boot up in the morning. 

Organizations can create a more productive workforce by developing and delivering training content quickly as required versus months later due to longer development times for longer format training.

It can be a tall order for organizations that have yet to make a leap towards eLearning or for those that have, introducing microlearning can be a challenge of its own. 

It can be a tall order for organizations that have yet to make a leap towards eLearning or for those that have, introducing microlearning can be a challenge of its own. 

Keep in mind that microlearning is the wave of the future but not a stand-alone solution.  Training professionals have the task of finding just the right blend of longer format training and microlearning to meet identified goals and the needs of their unique workforce of learners.  What is not up for debate however, is the clear importance for customization in eLearning and how it has already and will continue to change the landscape for corporate training going forward. 

 

Sources: learningsolutionsmag.com  

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