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Top 8 Benefits of Microlearning for Enterprise Teams

• 6 min read

The way today’s employees are learning is changing. The digital age, visual learning styles, and the need for a more proactive learning experience have combined to create a need for just-in-time learning with bite-sized, digestible modules that allow your teams to learn at their own pace. That’s where microlearning enters the equation, and the potential benefits of microlearning courses are immense. 

Employee training of any sort is crucial in today’s business environment. After all, studies show that 93% of employees stay longer at companies that invest in career development. Meanwhile, businesses with high learner engagement see productivity increases of up to 15% compared to their peers.

But the right training matters just as much. According to one survey, nearly half of all employees express dissatisfaction with traditional training programs, demanding more innovative and immersive corporate training instead.

Taking an interactive and bite-sized approach to your training can significantly enhance the learning process, creating better employee engagement while getting the right skills across in less time. Let’s dig into the advantages of microlearning—right after defining what microlearning content actually entails.

Microlearning, defined

At its core, microlearning is a learning method that breaks information into small nuggets. Designed for modern learners, microlearning modules are on-demand courses designed for short availability and attention spans. They break out training content into bite-sized chunks that can shorten training sessions to account for evolving learner needs.

Microlearning, at its best, helps your employee development integrate into the workflow. Unlike traditional learning methods, which tend to be planned separately from the daily workflow, micro-courses can easily be completed within breaks in that workflow and without major disruption. That level of integration drives many of the core benefits of microlearning discussed below.

1. Improve learning flexibility

First, and perhaps most importantly, microlearning allows your employees to become more flexible in how, when, and where they learn. This is a primarily online learning approach, with short courses designed for particular learning objectives. Quick modules, quizzes, and reviews are available digitally, regardless of where they currently spend their time.

The result is an approach in which your employees can learn new pieces of information relevant to their specific job in short bursts. This is a departure from the big time commitment typically associated with traditional e-learning. Whether they’re remote or in the office and have just five minutes or an hour of availability, your teams can easily learn something new to develop their skills without a massive commitment.

2. Enhance knowledge retention

When it comes to employee training, gaining new information and skills is only the beginning. Retaining that information matters just as much, and one of the core benefits of microlearning consists of the ways it can accomplish that feat.

First developed by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1880, the “Forgetting Curve” is a mathematical formula that shows how quickly learners forget information. It estimates that learners forget up to 75% of what they learned within the first few days of learning it.

Because of its short-burst nature, microlearning can help to improve that information retention rate. Short modules, after all, are easy to reiterate or build on. Meanwhile, visuals like infographics and gamification can make it even easier to retain newly learned information and maximize the impact of the initial training.

3. Ease e-learning integrations

Discussing the benefits of microlearning is impossible without talking through its online nature. Microlearning courses are almost by necessity e-learning courses. They help employees develop new skills in a virtual environment.

Of course, not everyone in your organization may be familiar with online training. While it might be innately familiar for millennials, the same may not be true for Gen X or older members who are more comfortable with traditional, in-person sessions.

This is where microlearning once again triumphs over traditional e-learning. Because each module is short, easing your enterprise teams into the concept becomes more straightforward. Completing a single module is much less of a hurdle, helping each participant familiarize themselves with the learning platform even as they learn and retain new skills.

4. Streamline the onboarding processes

All employee training ultimately has to start at the onboarding stage. After all, newly hired employees have to learn the job, company, and relevant skills from the ground up. Even customer onboarding can benefit from a learning approach that is easy to implement and participate in.

Of course, onboarding can also be an overwhelming experience. According to the Association for Talent Development, information overload is among the core reasons why newly employed hires quit quickly. That makes microlearning a natural fit for onboarding. Among all learning strategies, it is the least intrusive and least overwhelming option to provide new knowledge to your new hires.

5. Close important skills gaps

Because of its bite-sized nature, microlearning also helps personalize the learning experience. Especially in larger organizations, it’s easier to create individual sessions and modules specifically designed for a particular team or needed skill when those sessions and modules are designed to be quick hitters. That, in turn, allows your enterprise organization to close critical skills gaps. Those same gaps might have otherwise hampered productivity and efficiency across the team.

Take your digital marketing team as an example. Each team member will likely need to be familiar with the nuances of building and running online, multichannel communications campaigns. Not aligning on the skill level can make it more difficult to build these multichannel efforts. That ultimately requires more input and work from everyone involved. Through the right microlearning experiences, your teams can get on the same page more easily and work together toward the best possible outcomes.

6. Improve the relevance of learning outcomes

The ability to close critical skills gaps leads directly into another core benefit of microlearning. You gain the ability to focus on more relevant outcomes of the training programs your organization puts in place. At its best, this is a system where everything your teams learn connects directly back to their job and the skills they need to thrive. And once again, the reason for that relevance comes down to its customization possibilities.

Every microlearning module can meet the needs of individual participants through custom design. Larger training courses may be built not linearly but as tree hierarchies in which employees can choose the right path, all while easily jumping between sessions. That, in turn, builds an environment where employees want to learn. They know that the outcomes of the investment they make in the process will ultimately benefit their jobs and their careers.

7. Save costs from time-consuming trainings

Make no mistake: training your employees is a significant investment. The right training will have substantial ROI, but the investment will still exist. With that said, evidence suggests that moving from traditional training strategies into a microlearning environment can significantly decrease the learning and development costs you must account for.

According to a 2023 report and study, the average company spends about $950 per employee on corporate L&D. While that investment is significant, it actually represents a 21% decrease from 2022, when the figure surpassed $1,200. That this comes at a time when more companies are prioritizing their L&D suggests that the ongoing move toward microlearning environments is paying significant dividends.

That conclusion makes intuitive sense. More flexible, relevant, and shorter training will cost less than extensive, multi-hour classroom sessions. Increased information retention means fewer large sessions to keep everyone on the same knowledge level. Ultimately, microlearning drives cost savings even as it drives up the ROI of your L&D efforts.

8. Create a continuous learning culture

Last, but certainly not least, the benefits of microlearning combine into the potential to create a learning culture for your organization. The process is simpler, more relevant, and can more easily integrate into your teams’ workdays. So the hurdles to training are getting smaller. Also, because these short sessions can easily be gamified, employees become more engaged and motivated to complete their training.

The result of that shift is an opportunity to build ongoing upskilling and reskilling opportunities. A corporate culture that naturally integrates learning also makes it easier for your employees to continue growing and building out their competency levels. The result is a more skilled, versatile, and trained workforce that’s ready to drive the enterprise forward.

Leverage the benefits of microlearning with the right system

Of course, all of the benefits of microlearning we have discussed throughout this guide are only theoretical. To make them come to life, they need the right learning management software (LMS) in place.

The best LMS systems are designed for microlearning. In fact, they’re comprehensive microlearning platforms that allow enterprise organizations to easily set up learning modules and strategies their employees will want to engage with. Through mobile learning and even social media, flexible delivery can become a core part of building a learning system designed for engagement, knowledge building, and retention.

Microlearning as a concept is, in many ways, the future of corporate L&D. But it’s only possible with the right system in place to implement the vision it promotes. An LMS like Docebo can become that system, creating cost-effective ways to train and engage your workforce. Book a demo today to get started.