5 Ways Microlearning Can Improve Employee Learning

By: Bob Paulsen on June 20, 2017


New buzzword alert! If you follow the mobile learning space, you’ve probably seen that microlearning is the new hotness. We all know it’s not learning by reading text off the backs of paramecium through a microscope. This style of learning makes small bits of information available to your employees, often at the point of need, so they can learn in the moment and keep going. Here are 5 ways microlearning benefits your staff:


This is what the “micro” in the name means. The point of micro-learning is that it can happen in less than 5 minutes. While there is a time & place for leader-led instruction, the advantage of micro-learning is it’s brevity. It’s not meant to be a deep dive, but to augment those teachings.


Micro-learning doesn’t make sense on a desktop computer in a back room somewhere. Mobile technologies have advanced to where it’s feasible to hold or mount a device on the sales floor or cooking line for employees to learn wherever they are.

Performance Support

Performance support and microlearning go hand-in-hand. If you’re not familiar, performance support is the practice of delivering the right information at the right time, at the moment of need. When your employees are on the cooking line, they don’t have time to take a break and go watch a video or read documents. When the support documents are right in front of them, they can get the work done in the middle of their flow.


The mobile technologies that make microlearning viable also enhance the experience by enabling easy social sharing. The gamification and sharing of lessons and personal progress helps reinforce the information learned and can foster discussions about processes, further establishing the details. When employees have the ability to record and annotate video and other documents with their mobile devices, they can send that to store managers or corporate trainers with feedback about processes. This opens the feedback loop and encourages dialogue instead of having the information flow top-down, which can lead to frustration among line employees.


We’ve mentioned video a few times, and for good reason. Every mobile device had the ability to record and store a lot of video files. Video is processed in our brains differently than text, and it’s much easier to process visual information than when reading a block of text. For these reasons, it makes sense to have micro-learning videos be your main training delivery system. Text and illustrations have their time and place, but video is best for micro.

Keep in mind, too, that when we learn something, the rate of retention drops off astoundingly fast, dropping to 30% recall in only two days! Microlearning acts as a booster, re-upping the lesson and eventually contributing to habit formation and quicker recall of details. 

For more information on how to modernize your training, download our latest eBook: Power Your Employee Productivity With Performance Support

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