Cost-effective training: maximising efficiency with microlearning techniques

MICRO LEARNING concept cell background 3d illustration

Matteo Penzo zones in on the many reasons to focus on microlearning as a tool for ensuring application of learning, whilst keeping an eye on the budget

In today’s rapidly evolving corporate landscape, organisations face a dual challenge: to equip their workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in a dynamic environment, while also optimising their learning and development (L&D) budgets to ensure maximum efficiency and return on investment (ROI).

Unlike traditional training programs that require dedicated time away from work, microlearning modules can be seamlessly integrated into the flow of work

The recent findings from the UK’s CIPD Learning at Work 2023 Survey underscore the persistent challenges faced by businesses across sectors and organisational sizes, particularly in relation to learner time, engagement, and budget constraints. As organisations navigate these challenges, a closer examination reveals the transformative potential of microlearning techniques in reshaping corporate training paradigms, offering a cost-effective and efficient solution that maximises learning outcomes while minimising costs.

Challenges businesses face with workplace L&D

Traditionally, corporate L&D strategies have often followed the content-rich model made popular by platforms like Netflix, where a vast array of learning materials is made available to employees. While the intention behind this approach is to empower employees with access to a wealth of knowledge resources, the reality often falls short of expectations. Learners are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, struggling to navigate through extensive libraries of courses and modules. Moreover, the one-size-fits-all approach fails to cater to the diverse learning preferences and needs of individual employees, leading to disengagement and limited knowledge retention.

The UK’s CIPD Learning at Work 2023 Survey sheds light on the prevailing challenges faced by organisations in the realm of workplace L&D. Despite increased investments in L&D resources over the past 12 months, 53% of L&D professionals surveyed reported a corresponding increase in their overall team workload. This underscores the growing pressure on L&D teams to deliver impactful learning experiences within constrained timeframes and budgets. Furthermore, with traditional learning completion rates varying between 5-15% across geographies and industries – and learner engagement at an all-time low – organisations are compelled to rethink their approach to corporate training and development.

Microlearning and its benefits beyond cost savings

In response to the limitations of traditional L&D methods, organisations are increasingly turning to microlearning as a viable alternative. Microlearning represents a paradigm shift in how learning content is delivered and consumed, breaking down complex topics into bite-sized, easily digestible modules that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Unlike traditional training programs that require dedicated time away from work, microlearning modules can be seamlessly integrated into the flow of work, allowing employees to learn at their own pace without disrupting their daily routines.

While the cost implications of microlearning may initially appear comparable to traditional training methods, a deeper analysis reveals significant savings in terms of content creation efforts. The modular nature of microlearning allows for quicker development cycles, reduced resource requirements, and greater agility in adapting to evolving learning needs. By leveraging technology-enabled platforms, organisations can streamline the content creation process further, leveraging pre-built templates, interactive elements, and analytics tools to optimise learning experiences, maximise ROI, and even use AI-driven tools to rejuvenate existing training material.

However, it is essential to recognise that the cost analysis of microlearning extends beyond the creation phase. While the upfront investment in content development may be lower, a higher learning curve exists for learners accustomed to traditional learning modalities. Adjusting to the microlearning format requires a shift in mindset and learning habits, which may entail additional support and resources to facilitate the transition. Nonetheless, the long-term benefits of microlearning in terms of improved engagement, retention, and application of knowledge far outweigh the initial learning curve.

Frictionless learning: driving productivity and performance

One of the most significant advantages of microlearning lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate into the flow of work, providing employees with a frictionless learning experience that enhances productivity and performance. Unlike traditional training methods that often necessitate dedicated time away from work for learning activities, microlearning modules can be conveniently accessed and completed within the context of daily tasks. This integration ensures that learning becomes an intrinsic part of the work process, reinforcing knowledge acquisition and skill development in real time.

The convenience and accessibility afforded by microlearning empowers employees to take ownership of their learning journey, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and self-directed learning within the organisation. By minimising disruptions to workflow and reducing the cognitive load associated with traditional training programs, microlearning enables employees to stay engaged, focused, and motivated to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Unlocking the potential of microlearning for cost-effective training

The shift towards microlearning represents a paradigm shift in corporate L&D, offering a cost-effective and efficient solution to the perennial challenges of learner engagement, time constraints, and budget limitations. While the transition to microlearning may entail initial adjustments and investments, the long-term benefits in terms of enhanced productivity, engagement, and performance far outweigh the costs.

By embracing microlearning techniques and fostering a culture of continuous learning, organisations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth and success in the digital age.

Remember, corporate learning is not about adding more content; it’s about delivering the right content in a way that truly engages and empowers employees. Let’s leave behind the Netflix model and embrace the power of microlearning in shaping the future of corporate learning.

Matteo Penzo is the CEO and Co-founder of zick learn

Matteo Penzo

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