How Microlearning Can Help In Soft Skills Training
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The Top Benefits Of Soft Skills Microtraining

How do the companies of today support their employees’ softer sides? Sadly, many don’t. Too many companies promote junior staff to management level without teaching them how to manage. Employees are expected to blend into large teams without learning how to be team players. And new hires are trained on the technical tasks of their jobs but aren’t taught adaptability and resilience for when their job descriptions (almost certainly) change.

Why is this a problem? Because 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree that candidates with strong soft skills are increasingly important [1]. While technical skills will continue to evolve at a rapid pace, soft skills like communication, adaptability, leadership, persuasion, problem-solving and teamwork will be the secret weapons employees use to cope with change.

The best response to this growing need for soft skills, however, is not another one-and-done classroom workshop. The true key to learning soft skills lies in microlearning training. This is a self-directed learning approach that delivers knowledge in short, focused, on-demand nuggets of content. Let’s find out why soft skills microtraining is so effective.

Microlearning Leads To Immediate Soft Skills Application

One of the greatest benefits of microlearning is that it weaves naturally into employees’ everyday workflows. It’s easy for employees to find, learn, and apply the information when they need it.

In fact, microlearning is so natural that it takes place more often than we know, even when there’s no formal microtraining program. For example, before his next filming session, a videographer might watch a YouTube video or read an instruction manual to learn how to operate the company’s new teleprompter.

So, if people have a natural inclination to learn on the fly, why not offer them training that’s ready just when they need it most? Soft skills microtraining enables employees to learn and immediately practice new soft skills, and in the actual situations that they’re needed in, too. This immediate application is more likely to result in positive workplace behavior change.

The best part, though, is that this real-time, real-life application is a form of active learning because employees are willing participants in their own skills development. This means that, with the help of soft skills microtraining, learner performance and engagement are likely to increase, or so the research says [2].

Soft Skills Training Using Microlearning Supports Business Results

Some would argue that soft skills development using a microlearning approach is the only approach for the modern-day organization. Why? Because companies today (and their staff, too) are forced to continuously change and adapt to new technologies, processes and customer demands. Microlearning, you see, is the only training approach that is agile enough to keep up.

As business targets evolve, employees choose the specific bite-sized chunks of information that are most important for achieving them. Plus, when microlearning content is convenient and accessible, employees are more likely to engage in the culture of continuous learning your company needs to remain competitive.

But microlearning has another business advantage: it’s cost-effective to keep training up to date. Instead of redesigning an entire online soft skills training program, you can simply replace or update the micro units of content that have become outdated. Voila!

Microlearning Is The Obvious Approach To Modern-day Learning

How long can you stay focused? If you’re a goldfish, you might shoot for 9 seconds. But if you’re a human, like us, you’ll find that 8 seconds is your average concentration span [3]. Wait, what were we talking about?

But shrinking attention spans aren’t the only challenge us humans are up against today. We’re also faced with more noise and distraction than ever before. Ringing cellphones, email notifications, and the chitter-chatter of the oh-so-popular open-plan office make it tough to keep a clear mind and absorb new knowledge.

So, if our attention spans are shrinking while distractions continue to multiply, shouldn’t we be adapting our training methods to be quicker, more concise and more convenient? Shouldn’t we be replacing the lengthy, instructor-led classroom workshop with employee-driven soft skills microtraining?

Yes. Short, sharp and engaging microlearning content, like 3-minute videos on time management and interactive infographics on problem-solving, captures the modern learner’s attention and keeps them hooked for just long enough to learn a new soft skill. According to the National Credentialing Institute, microlearning results in knowledge transfer that’s 17% more efficient, employees who answer questions 28% faster, and 58% of employees who would be more likely to use their LMS because it incorporates shorter lessons [4].

Voluntary Learning Builds Emotional Investment

Perhaps one of the coolest things about microlearning is that it requires the emotional buy-in of employees. Think about it. As a self-directed training approach, employees must decide when and what they learn. And in so doing, they become the captains of their own learning journeys.

Making a voluntary decision to develop soft skills in the workplace puts employees in control, and increases their engagement. Plus, every time an employee learns and successfully applies a new soft skill through microlearning, they experience a small win.

This sense of progress encourages employees to participate in microlearning again and again, and (you guessed it!) again. In fact, according to research, perceptions of progress might even make employees feel happier and more motivated [5].

Conclusion

One-and-done classroom workshops won’t return your employees to work as agile, creative problem-solvers with a knack for conflict resolution. But microtraining will. So, start leveraging this approach and a powerful microlearning platform to bring soft skills to your workplace.

References:

[1] Global Talent Trends 2019 (https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/recruiting-tips/global-talent-trends-2019?trk=bl-po#)

[2] What does research say about active learning?

[3] Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones

[4] Top LMS Features To Drive Employee Engagement

[5] The Power of Small Wins

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