Microlearning For Employees 101: All You Need To Know

Microlearning For Employees 101: All You Need To Know
Summary: Are you interested in using microlearning for employee training in your organization? Then read on to learn how to create microlearning training content like a pro!

Basics About Microlearning For Employees

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, businesses around the world had to send employees to work remotely. However, the need for training is still visible. Corporate workers always require new knowledge or skills to improve their performance. With legacy methods no longer effective and attention spans shortening, microlearning for employee training emerges as a viable solution.

The modern way of life has shrunk people’s available time. Long training courses are no longer effective. They have gradually become irrelevant, time-consuming, and counterproductive. On the flip side, microlearning enables employees to achieve only one specific learning objective in a much shorter span. Corporate learners can quickly fill in their knowledge gaps and upscale their proficiency. If you’re investing in microlearning videos for your business, here's some information that you should not skip. Learn about microlearning’s benefits, the possible obstacles, and how to create cost-effective microlearning training courses to improve online training quality.

What Is Microlearning?

To put it simply, microlearning uses text, videos, eBooks, interactive multimedia, and other materials to deliver skill-based learning and education in bite-sized sections. Microlearning for employee training is always short, averaging between five to ten minutes only. Microlearning is generally used in the corporate environment because it helps employees to learn quickly while performing their jobs.

5 Benefits Of Microlearning In Business

  • Enhances knowledge retention
  • Facilitates easy mobile training
  • Rapidly bridges performance gaps
  • Allows a more cost-efficient solution to online training
  • Boosts morale and motivates corporate learners

Preparation Checklist To Power Your Digital Transformation

Wondering if you are missing something in your preparation to digitize your training? This checklist is just what you need.

1. Enhances Knowledge Retention

Microlearning provides small segments of information that enable the mind to process the information more effectively. Employees receive the exact knowledge they need, thus eliminating redundancies. Corporate learners will be able to absorb and retain the information before moving on to the next training activity or module.

2. Facilitates Easy Mobile Training

Each microlearning video takes only minutes. This allows corporate learners to participate in brief modules or units during their spare time. It optimizes the learning proficiency by incorporating "studying on the go."

3. Rapidly Bridges Performance Gaps

Microlearning videos focus on one key task, skill, or concept at a time. This allows corporate learners to quickly fill their performance gaps. They can target specific areas of improvement instead of having to sit through a lengthy and irrelevant online training session.

4. Allows A More Cost-Efficient Solution To Online Training

Microlearning offers digital learning managers a chance to create high-quality eLearning scenarios, online presentations, or tutorials on a budget. These cost only a fraction of what it takes to produce a full-fledged online training course. Microlearning content is also more condensed and concise. It does not require as much Instructional Design or development time, which is always a major plus.

5. Boosts Morale And Motivates Corporate Learners

Microlearning offers instant gratification. When employees can easily complete the training and acquire the skills or information they need, it increases their motivation. This prompts corporate learners to seek out other microlearning activities.

Common Obstacles When Creating Microlearning For Employee Training

Being short and concise doesn’t mean that creating effective microlearning content isn’t challenging. There are as many obstacles to it as with legacy methods. Here are the common roadblocks you may find along the way:

  • Overloading information
  • Not knowing when to use microlearning
  • Lacking practical application
  • Letting the clock limit your content
  • Sticking to one delivery format
  • Mis-repurposing existing training resources

1 . Overloading Information

Microlearning is all about focusing on a single piece of information only. If you cram too much information into the content, it will turn into a full-fledged course instead of bite-sized bits of knowledge. To avoid flooding your courses with irrelevant information, condense the subject matter down to the basics. Each microlearning resource should only focus on one key learning objective. Don’t try to cover too much ground with your microlearning videos. If you do find the need to include additional stats, facts, or ideas, create multiple, separate, microlearning videos instead of one. Each video should focus on individual subtopics or skills that you think your employees must acquire. This also prevents cognitive overload and improves memory retention, the primary benefits of using microlearning for employee training.

2. Not Knowing When To Use Microlearning

Microlearning isn’t the be-all-and-end-all method for online training. There are certain scenarios where you should not use microlearning. Below are four occasions where microlearning will not be effective:

  • Using microlearning to follow the trend
    Microlearning is indeed one of the most popular learning strategies now. But others using it doesn’t mean that you must use it also. Microlearning only works when it is implemented correctly in necessary situations.
  • Using microlearning to explain complex concepts
    Microlearning isn’t the best format to deliver highly technical and complex concepts to your employees. It’s simply too short to cover long and complicated information. You can’t expect your learners to become experts after going through just a standalone ten-minute microlearning video. When you chunk a topic that requires continuous flow and teach it at intervals, it will not make any sense.
  • Using microlearning to master a subject
    Certain things just cannot be learned fast. Studying to become an exceptional manager or a charismatic salesperson takes much more than a few minutes. Microlearning only gives you enough information to perform well to a certain extent, but not enough to become a master.
  • Using microlearning to replace eLearning
    Microlearning is only a temporary solution to remedy a problem quickly with immediate information. However, it may also hide a larger knowledge gap. This is why you cannot entirely replace other eLearning materials with microlearning. It’s best to use microlearning as a supplement to already learned knowledge.

3. Lacking Practical Application

The main purpose of training is to help corporate learners apply the information they learn in real-world settings. When you’re creating a microlearning course, place the knowledge into the practical context. This adds real value to the content, with clear simulations, branching scenarios, and examples. Focus on what you want your employees to gain and use from each microlearning online training resource.

4. Letting The Clock Limit Your Content

Yes, microlearning should be brief, focused, and to the point. However, you should not allow the time limit to be your only concern. There are other things to worry about too. For example, think of the scope of the microlearning course. How much information is sufficient for your corporate learners to complete the task or improve their understanding? The main point here is to always provide the essentials they require as quickly as possible.

5. Sticking To One Delivery Format

The delivery is just as important as your content itself. A clear delivery makes the information easy to digest and comprehend. Microlearning should include a good mix of materials to diversify how you convey knowledge. Different learners have different requirements and needs which translates into different learning preferences. Using diverse materials and formats will allow you to cater to those differences, leading to a more effective learning experience.

6. Mis-repurposing Existing Training Resources

At the time of transiting to online training, you may have already developed a library worth of content. Hence, a logical step to take is to recycle these existing materials to create new microlearning resources. However, most digital learning managers struggle to determine what to repurpose and what not to repurpose. They end up adding too much or too little information. To effectively repurpose old materials into useful microlearning resources, you must evaluate the existing content and narrow down the objectives, core information, and goals. Then, spice up the highlighted information with fresh images, templates, and other media formats.

8 Best Practices To Make Effective Microlearning Training Content

To create effective and useful microlearning courses, you must:

  • Stay focused
  • Use microlearning appropriately
  • Know your audience
  • Incorporate elements of experiential learning
  • Recycle old content responsively
  • Diversify delivery formats
  • Use active voice and conversational tone
  • Partner up

1. Stay Focused

To prevent cognitive overload, your microlearning resources should focus on a single subject each. Filter through the information to determine what’s useful to your employees and avoid covering too much ground. Stick to one topic at a time, then provide links for related content. This allows corporate learners to explore subtopics and access articles, as well as other online resources at their disposal.

2. Use Microlearning Appropriately

Consider the type of content and your audience to decide which learning method to use. If the matter requires quick information and needs to be addressed immediately, opt for microlearning. However, not all microlearning for employee training videos follow the same format. You can present your content in different ways, depending on what proves the most appropriate. Available types of microlearning for your consideration are:

  • Interactive parallax-based scrolling
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Static resources
  • Simulations
  • Branching scenarios
  • Podcasts
  • Gamification
  • Social media
  • Geofencing
  • Performance support tools (PSTs) or job aids

3. Know Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is the best way to plan effective and useful training materials. By determining learners’ current level of skills as well as existing knowledge gaps, you can provide exactly what they want to learn. That’s what makes microlearning so effective. Your employees can skip the noise and engage in training effortlessly.

4. Incorporate Elements Of Experiential Learning

Using real-world examples in your microlearning materials will help learners relate to the content. Using actual scenarios and experiences in your storyboards facilitates more effective knowledge retention. However, be careful not to go into too much detail in the examples. Keep it simple and short to avoid unintended distractions from the main concept.

5. Recycle Old Content Effectively

Don’t let the old materials that you spent hundreds of hours creating go to waste. Instead, divide them into small bite-sized chunks for microlearning. But don’t get too greedy and stuff all the information you can find into a single video. Skip the lengthy intro, drop the fluff, and jump straight to what your audience demands.

6. Diversify Delivery Formats

Incorporating different multimedia elements such as videos, infographics, and animation, is an effective way of improving knowledge retention. You can use animation to create a strong impression on the learner’s mind, and audio narration to ensure the retention of information. If you want to use videos, provide learners with the control so that they can pause, rewind, and play the video at their convenience.

Interactive courses are also very effective for microlearning. They allow corporate learners to actively take part in the training process. Simulations, interactive motions, games, etc., help employees practice their attained knowledge and retain information.

7. Use Active Voice And Conversational Tone

An effective microlearning for employee training storyboard should always be in the active voice. This keeps the content clear, simple, and focused. Try to avoid narratives or passive sentences as much as possible. The tone should be conversational to help learners relate to your video.

8. Partner Up

Even with all of the insider’s know-how provided here, making your microlearning materials will still be a daunting task. No one is an immediate expert at anything. It takes years of practice, of trial and error, to produce training videos that your employees want to watch again and again. But why trouble yourself when you can partner up with a trusted provider and have them do it for you? Save your time and effort for other strategic tasks that only you can perform. Leave the microlearning videos for the professional studios.

3 Best Examples Of Microlearning

Let’s take a look at the following three examples of effective microlearning videos.

1. One QBE—Animated Training Videos

One QBE is an international corporation that employs over 14,500 employees in 37 different countries. They wanted to develop consistent internal training materials that employees could easily access from various locations around the world. With their request in mind, we incorporated animation to create consistent training content for One QBE’s global staff. We helped them meet the demands of their mobile workforce and bridge the knowledge gaps among their 14,500 employees.

2. Aviassist Drone Training—Explainer Video

Aviassist set out on a mission to provide aviation expertise to Australian businesses that are trying to use drones. The company contacted us to collaborate on an animated video discussing the no-fly zones in Australia. We illustrated the details of heights and dangerous situations with clear and vivid motions. This helped learners to visualize the altitude, length, or different safe areas to operate drones.

3. Sole Trader Business Example—Business Laws Animation

Law courses are full of abstract knowledge. They can be heavy, intensive, sometimes even dull and boring. We decided to change the delivery method, adding animation with visual metaphors to make the theories less intimidating. We also incorporated the knowledge into daily situations to demonstrate how it should be applied in real life.


Microlearning for employee training is only effective when used in an engaging package that fills immediate knowledge gaps. It’s not the sole answer to all of your training problems. But when microlearning training is delivered consistently, businesses can drive continuous learning, improve knowledge retention, and inspire long-term behavior change.

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Originally published at flearningstudio.com.