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Lead Your Team Personal Growth

Can Microlearning Help Your Business With Career Development?

man at computer
Credit: SFIO CRACHO/shutterstock

Today's employees crave career growth and leadership development opportunities. If they feel they aren't progressing in their careers, they'll head for the door to find a company where they can grow.

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 87 percent of millennials believe "professional or career growth and development opportunities" is important when choosing a job.

"Organizations that make leadership development a top priority outperform their competitors on key financial metrics, such as revenues," said Dora Gao, product owner at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. "What's more, they excel at other crucial forms of business performance, such as attracting great employees and keeping them on board."

Therefore, companies should make learning programs and development a priority. One program option is microlearning – an approach that provides learning opportunities in short bursts during a regular workday.

"The beauty of microlearning is that it can be consumed even when the learner only has a small amount of time to allot to it, whether that is a 10-minute online video or a one-page online article," Gao told Business News Daily.

According to Summer Salomonsen, chief learning officer at workplace learning solution Grovo, microlearning is a modern and effective approach to workplace learning. It leverages the impact of small learning moments to help employees perform their best.

Traditionally, learning and development is separate from an employee's day-to-day work.

"For example, a manager might take time away from their job for a lecture, workshop or seminar that promises better management skills," Salomonsen told Business News Daily. "Unfortunately, research shows that while this type of learning might feel inspirational or rewarding, it's not very effective."

That's where microlearning comes in. Instead of it disrupting a workday, employees get digestible, focused and compelling lessons right within their workflows, Salomonsen said. Microlearning lessons are typically online and designed to be consumed and applied during a workday. 

"With microlearning, [a] manager can instantly find an engaging five-minute lesson ... and immediately put that knowledge into action," she said.

The next time the manager is faced with the same situation, they can access the same lesson for a fast refresher. This repetition is critical for long-term retention.

Companies spend a lot of money on training every year, but it's a waste of resources if your employees aren't retaining the information. Salomonsen says microlearning is an effective learning method that matches the pace of work while aligning with your business strategy.

"Embracing a microlearning approach is an easy way for any company – large or small – to create a culture of everyday learning," she said.

Gao said microlearning is most effective when the information is relevant and flexible. Employees want to learn things that are relevant to their positions and careers, and they want to be able to access more and different types of resources.

"Learners are willing to spend a considerable time learning and engaging with content, lessons and other learning resources if they know that what they are learning will help them in their current jobs as well as their career development," said Gao.  

Saige Driver

Saige Driver graduated from Ball State University in 2015 with a degree in journalism. She started her career at a radio station in Indiana, and is currently the social media strategist at Business News Daily. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.