People seem to want things smaller these days. We went from desktops to laptops. We moved from tablets to smartphones. Now we want smart wearables.
The same goes for education and learning. People moved from bite-size things you eat to bite-size things you view or read. We now apply this principle of “short and sweet,” to online learning and other resources for teaching people how to give meaningful and effective recognition.
This became clear to me when one of our clients wanted short and sweet content. Their communications team was engaged in providing managerial resources for learning and applying recognition practices and how to effectively use their online recognition programs.
I want to show you some short and sweet factors that were used to support this client’s initiatives along with some additional ideas.
Short and Long Written Content
As many of you know, I have been writing articles and blog posts about employee recognition for many years. I have tackled various aspects of employee recognition practices and proper use of recognition programs through strategy, leaders, and educational themes.
Our client required written content with short and long reading time frames dependent on the personality type of their various professionals and managers. For example, they knew that some groups of professionals and managers had no problem reading content that took 3 to 5 minutes to read. However, there was concern for the other groups who would likely read only bite-size content, that was no longer than one-minute reading time. Phew!
This necessitated writing abridged content from the more standard-length content. We also included links for people to access the longer content for those who wanted to learn more.
Short, Engaging Video Content
Always consider what the goal is for each video you create.
Those of you familiar with YouTube know that the there are lots of short videos on their platform. So, it is important to remember that video learning content should match the same time length parameters.
Sean Cannel, a YouTuber and video strategist, recommends videos be as long as necessary and as short as possible. And quoted studies that show 6 to 8 minutes is the ideal, sweet spot, video length.
That is why it is important to use a YouTube strategy in designing your learning content to reinforce giving recognition to people the right way. Most successful YouTube creators follow a certain structure when creating content.
For example, the start of successful YouTube videos starts with a hook. A hook is an attention-grabbing question, fact, or promise. The purpose of a hook is to act as bait, to lure people in and explain what that video intends to deliver.
Following the hook is the introduction segment to establish the presenter’s authority and expertise for delivering the recognition content.
Then you deliver the core content about your video. You tell viewers what you promised to deliver. Now you must provide valuable content that the individual can apply and use in their everyday work. Depending on the topic, you may have to create sections or bullet points to make the content easier to process.
After the core content, try to engage your managers and employees through asking engaging questions for viewers to reflect on and take in what they have they learned.
Finally, for the outro piece at the end. Give people a call-to-action or tell them what comes next. You can invite them to take action on a specific step from the content of the video. Give them a link to another helpful video, announce an upcoming webinar, or give a method to sign up for additional content they can download.
Short and Sweet Job Aids
One tool we have found very helpful for managers wanting to learn about recognition quickly and easily, is developing job aids that provide checklists, easy steps, and fillable templates to apply recognition on the job.
Some recognition resources we have developed include: ten recognition starters, how to be a great recognizer, and how to learn the recognition preferences of your employees.
These aids can be easily adaptable for mobile devices. Job aids can help you reduce performance gaps and easily encourage managers to give better and more frequent recognition.
If you have different aspects of recognition practices to promote or simple steps on how to use your recognition programs more effectively, you can even bundle these job aids together in a helpful package to support people.
Short Bite-Size Micro-learning
One of my pride and joys is the development of our online learning program for managers using bite-size, microlearning content that is behaviorally based from our research.
By assessing managers as to their strengths and weaknesses with giving meaningful, effective, and frequent recognition, we can determine which learning modules they need to receive and in what priority order.
Feedback has shown that these singularly focused learning modules impact learners to want to do better at giving recognition to employees. We have also seen that those managers who take more of these learning modules, give better recognition as reported by their employees, and their employees have higher engagement scores and performance measures.
Not bad for content that is no longer than 8 to 10 minutes per module.
By thinking short and sweet, you can start planning your learning and development in a completely different way.
Recognition Reflection: Are you making your education opportunities to learn recognition giving skills shorter than you used to?
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