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How to communicate the benefits of microlearning


How to communicate the benefits of microlearning

APRIL 10, 2019

Job demands and workforce trends constantly evolve—as do the learning strategies needed to keep workers up to speed. A recent Cornerstone On Demand survey found that in the next five to 10 years, 68 percent of organizations will have to recruit for positions that don’t currently exist and will require new sets of skills. So how can organizations ensure that they’re doing their part to help existing employees stay caught up in this fast-changing world of work?

Learning and development teams know the key role that learning content and technology plays in upskilling employees and preventing skills gaps from forming, but to secure interest and investment from the C-suite, L&D leaders need to prove the ROI of these programs, especially when it comes to emerging learning tactics such as microlearning. Microlearning, an approach that packages learning topics into short, easy-to-digest bits of multimedia, can be up to 50 percent more engaging and 17 percent more efficient than traditional long form learning materials. But it might take more than that to convince your CEO of the benefits of microlearning.

Here’s how to get executives at your organization on board.

Show How Microlearning Is Different

Microlearning sounds like the latest buzzword, but there’s a reason it’s gaining traction. The human brain learns better when information is delivered in small bursts, rather than via lengthy courses. According to a University of California-Irvine study, the average employee works on a task for about 11 minutes before getting interrupted by a call, an email or a co-worker and within that span of 11 minutes, the employee engages in multiple short and quick tasks that average about three minutes each. One major benefit of microlearning platforms is that they are tailored to deliver small chunks of information around one to two learning objectives and designed to fit into the three-minute sweet spot—that’s why they work.

Measure the Impact of Your Learning Program

Even the most business-minded L&D managers won’t be able to determine the ROI of learning efforts if they can’t measure and demonstrate their success. One way to gauge the effectiveness of microlearning is to measure time spent engaging with courses, and map it to career progression. Furniture retail company Raymour & Flanigan, for example, found that its employees had completed 160,000 lessons in 2017 alone, and 70 percent of these employees said their microlearning experiences contributed to their growth into leadership positions. This is a real, measurable metric of success. Key executive roles could take as long as two months to fill and lengthy hires typically result in a steep price tag—empowering existing employees to grow into leadership roles instead of making outside hires saves the company time and money.

Connect Learning to the Bottom Line

Learning and development experts spend their days immersed in learning content and strategy, but too often, they forget that many of their colleagues—including those in the C-suite—don’t automatically understand the value of learning. To make its impact clear, use the metrics and analytics you’ve collected to make the connection between learning and organizational success clear. Can learning ROI impact financials beyond saving on hiring alone? Could it have an effect on revenue? Expect to present a clear case for how microlearning can make real change to a company’s bottom line.

Making the business case for the benefits of microlearning is not as daunting as it may sound—it comes down to targeting your efforts towards business goals and knowing that it’ll take hard numbers to articulate your success to decision-makers. Like all things, it takes practice, but the outcome will be worth the effort.

Ready to see how microlearning can make a difference at your organization? Explore Cornerstone's Learning Experience Platform today.

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