Among the more than 300 sessions at the 2017 ATD International Conference and Exposition there was an emerging theme that couldn’t be ignored — microlearning.
This hot topic involves delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts with defined learning objectives, that intersects at a time a skill is needed.
While the concept of microlearning is not new the ability to effectively deliver this type of training and tie it back to measurable outcomes is now the new frontier. It is today’s technology that is making this style of learning more attractive to the connected Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z workforce. Why is it important to reach this workforce more effectively? By the year 2020 50% of the entire workforce will be 40 or younger and a majority of them have been “plugged in” since infancy.
Here are six key takeaways you’ll want to address to be able to effectively incorporate microlearning into your organization.
Think forward. Are your great ideas today still going to be great tomorrow? Strategically align your training content with the company's upcoming goals and think about where your organization will be five to 10 years from now and how your training is moving you toward that goal. At Network, we are ever working to evolve our staff with the latest trends in media. We talk about everything from the latest announcements in digital ad serving to how we retooled an interactive client experience on an association client’s expo floor.
Think outside of the classroom. Meet your learners where they are. This doesn’t just mean on multiscreen platforms but take time to jump into their space and workflow process. This will help you understand how to best get your content delivered. Microlearning takes this to the next level by applying the idea of connecting with the learner at the actual time they need to learn a particular skill. It’s hard to distinguish where one role starts and another stops as “Networkers”. We often work collaboratively to elevate each other over challenging sales and product hurdles which makes learning and winning as a team much more fun!
Be agile in your learning design. Are your organization’s offerings the same as they were two years ago? Two months ago? At Network, we are always evolving our sales technique to adapt to the ever changing media landscape, often working with our association sales teams in one-on-one or small group sessions allowing for a nimble response.
Keep content short. Think about what your learners need to know right now. You can do this virtually, one-on-one, or even by using your smart phone’s camera. Each week hours of personalized training get delivered to our sales professionals at Network in short 15-30 minute meetings, and it’s during this time that our coaching techniques are applied to live client scenarios to formulate a win-win outcome.
Address tech and security of content. There is no shortage of technology solutions in the market. Assess your needs and budget, and get your technology staff on your team so your learning content can be accessible. Start with a basic learning library that is accessible and searchable. Google Drive is a great free tool to get you started, and we love it here at Network!
Get leaders on board. Support from the top down is great and absolutely necessary for success — no one would disagree there. It’s that next level of leadership that you should spend some time getting to know. As Network expands our sales management bandwidth, emerging leaders have the opportunity to gather insight from our veteran managers and open up the door for new perspectives from our newest talents. This collaborative relationship has been invaluable to the development of content that ultimately drives results and success.
Splicing sales and product training into a sales person’s busy schedule isn’t easy no matter where you work, but chunking it into microlearning pieces can make training more effective. And for us, it’s worth the effort in order to consistently deliver on our association client’s expectations.
Interested in learning more about Network’s talent development strategies that drive our successful sales effort? Schedule a call today.