How To Use Microlearning To Gain Better Recognition Traction

All organizations struggle with gaining the proper usage of their online programs. It could be HR programs related to benefits or health and well-being, collaborative software tools, or online learning libraries and learning management systems. 

Same goes for getting leaders and employees to access and use your recognition programs on a regular and frequent basis. And then when they do get on to your recognition portal, are they giving effective and meaningful recognition to one another? 

That’s when a call goes out for microlearning! 

American Training and Development defines microlearning as any short piece of learning content delivered to a learner.

Karl Kapp and Robyn Defelice, strategists in the learning and performance arena, spell out in a Training Development article that they often include the following factors in microlearning,

· Microlearning is focused on one to two learning objectives.

· Microlearning is brief and typically between two and seven minutes (some learning professionals think 13 minutes is the maximum length).

· Microlearning is action-oriented in the sense that there is a specific achievable purpose or goal.

This means microlearning would be a perfect option to teach people recognition practices and learn how to adequately use their recognition programs. 

The Modality of Microlearning Is Not Defined

Most people think of microlearning as strictly bite-sized videos or elearning authored content. These days, microlearning can go beyond self-paced elearning courses and videos to also include practical apps, engaging chatbots, an insightful infographic, or helpful brief articles. 

We have found with several of our clients that you must break any article content down into one-minute and three-minute reading length to accommodate the needs of busy managers.

Microlearning simply requires easily delivered learning content that can be quickly put to use and achieves the intended purpose and learning objective. 

In The Flow of Work

There is a lot of discussion these days about providing learning in the flow of work. Learning in the flow of work involves accessing, quickly and easily, an answer or a short piece of learning content while you’re working. Josh Bersin coined this phrase.

Research shows that learning in the flow drives productivity, increases engagement with formal learning, and improves knowledge retention. So, is learning how to give meaningful, memorable, and motivational recognition where you work easily accessible? An ATD study of those currently using microlearning in their organization reported the top benefits were that learners can access it when it’s convenient (41 percent).

Can your leaders and employees draw upon the learning content in their time of need? And is the learning material you have developed relevant and engaging for the learner? 

Long Enough To Learn 

Reportedly, the research says that 10 minutes is the ideal length for most microlearning content. However, video or elearning segments that are between two and five minutes are considered the most effective length of microlearning. The key is making sure that any elearning or video content is long enough to meet the purpose and objectives of what they needed to be learned. 

Most of the videos I produce to teach employees how to use the various functions of their online recognition programs are typically between three and seven minutes long. This ensures we cover all the points and show people what to do. The same applies to teaching people principles and practices for recognizing people face-to-face. 

Learn By Doing Versus Quizzes 

When microlearning content is short and sweet, you don’t have to bother with “proving” learning through quizzing knowledge. Think about how many YouTube videos you have looked up to fix something at home or in the car. The proof came when you were successful in putting the material into practice and achieving the desired result.

This means your content must go beyond the frequently asked questions on most websites and show people exactly how to put principles and practices to use and support applying the learning. 

Reinforce Training with Microlearning

Imagine taking a half-day training workshop on learning interpersonal skills on how to give meaningful recognition to people. Then it is back to work and you only hope you can remember and apply the points you learned in the session. 

Now, think what it would be like to be fed some practical video tips on principles and practices you learned in a weekly email for the next month. You can click on a button at the end of a video if you would like to receive more learning content, or not, and select the frequency of delivery. 

Put these ideas into practice where you work in having your learning and development specialists draw upon the power of microlearning. Recognition practices and the use of your recognition programs will never be the same.

Recognition Reflection: How are you using microlearning in your organization to achieve better usage of your recognition programs?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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