There’s no arguing that training and development is a critically important part of the employee experience. When done correctly, learning opportunities make employees active contributors of the business, boost engagement and retention, among a multitude of other benefits. However, over the past few years, things have taken a turn. The pandemic brought about a shift in the L&D landscape, where teams brought in more digital solutions for dispersed workforces. However, this led to an onslaught of technology and disjointed experiences for learners. Simply put, there are too many systems and not enough time. This has led to low learner engagement. And when employees aren’t actively engaging with training material, their performance is at risk. While this risk is bigger for some organizations than others, the bottom line is still the same: properly trained employees perform better on the job and drive the success of your business.
Science-backed microlearning stands out against many of the learning technologies available today due to its brief, interactive and highly effective nature and can directly combat many of the training challenges L&D teams are experiencing today. Let’s take a look.
Training Challenge #1: No Way To Measure ROI
Since what seems like the dawn of time, training teams have struggled to measure the impact of their efforts. Unlike sales organizations that can easily assess performance based on quota numbers, L&D success metrics are not so black and white. Did this specific e-learning lead to an uptick in customer satisfaction? Did the sales kick-off training session cause reps to close this quarter’s record number of deals? Neither can be directly tied back to training. However, correlations can be made.
Microlearning generates proficiency analytics which give you proof or lack thereof that certain concepts have been mastered by learners. L&D teams can then compare this data to on-the-job performance. Did those that excelled in the microlearning course outperform their peers? If so, you can safely say this training had an impact on business outcomes. Armed with this data, training teams get a seat at the table, earning the L&D function the recognition it deserves.
Training Challenge #2: Low Learner Engagement
Training has become an afterthought for many of today’s employees. This is due to a myriad of reasons that all center around one thing: today’s programs and tools are not learner-centric. They compromise productivity, take too long to access and are not seen as valuable.
Microlearning satisfies learner preferences in a few ways. First, it’s short, sweet and to the point – communicating only the most important information needed for learners to excel in their roles. Second, microlearning questions can be delivered in the flow of work, via the mobile app or everyday tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. This makes training easily accessible and keeps learners engaged and productive. And finally, microlearning makes employees better at what they do and provides them with clear evidence of such. Team and individual leaderboards let them compete with their peers and assess their own progress. And since microlearning shares only the most important information, employees can be confident their skills and on-the-job performance are in line with the organization’s goals.
Training Challenge #3: Compromised Productivity
I’ve already touched on this one, but it deserves its own section in this blog. Before learning technology was available, training was solely classroom-based. Participants would spend hours on end in a room listening to someone talk. While this experience soured the training function’s reputation, the onslaught of tools and technology learners are using today is not much better. Employees, especially those that are quota-driven, prefer to be actively doing the job they were hired to do.
While microlearning won’t replace all of your longer training sessions, it can step in for some, and it can certainly be used to reinforce key information and skills. For example, many of our clients use microlearning for yearly compliance training. This not only prevents having to pull employees away from their work, but also saves the business time and money associated with taking people out of productivity.
Cate Miller, Director of Talent Development at accounting firm Cherry Bekaert says, “In an effort to make our compliance training more effective for our professionals, we converted our classroom-based HIPAA and InfoSec courses to Qstream’s quick microlearning challenges.” This approach took training from upwards of five hours to complete to a mere 9 minutes and they achieved a 99% proficiency rate across more than 1,300 participants.
Training Challenge #4: Employee Turnover & Performance Issues
Employee turnover is detrimental to an organization. It’s costly, hurts morale and compromises continuity. The training function can be a key player in improving employee retention in a couple of ways. First, their efforts have the power to improve employee job satisfaction. According to a report by LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.
Additionally, microlearning analytics can offer a glimpse into individual employee engagement. Those that are happy in their roles and committed to your organization are more likely to engage with learning and development opportunities. Those that are not might opt out of participating. Qstream’s engagement metric can be used as an indicator and the proficiency metrics can pinpoint performance issues, which could also contribute to low job satisfaction.
According to a Qstream customer survey, an increase in employee engagement and retention was the second biggest benefit of our platform, following the ability to improve learner performance.
Training Challenge #5: Hidden Compliance And/Or Business Risk
Compliance-driven industries rely on their employees to follow strict guidelines. One slip up can be catastrophic for a company, leading to costly fines, a damaged reputation and even put peoples’ lives at risk. Still, how can you spot that needle in the haystack – those one or two employees that aren’t comprehending a specific SOP or new regulation?
Qstream’s scientifically proven microlearning shines in high-risk industries, serving the top healthcare, life sciences and financial services organizations. Employee knowledge and diligent application of that knowledge is critical in each of these sectors. Our platform is used to communicate and build knowledge retention on the most important of topics and analytics clearly show where gaps in knowledge and skills exist, so they can quickly be remediated.
Training Challenge #6: Shrinking Value Of Training Investments
Historically, training programs were designed to serve long-term needs, with content that would remain relevant for years. However, in the current environment, the shelf life of knowledge and skills is shrinking. This means that by the time a training module is designed, delivered and implemented, the content could already be outdated. As a result, today’s L&D professionals are looking for innovative, adaptive and more immediate training solutions that can offer tangible value and keep pace with the dynamic demands of the modern workforce.
It’s also important to note that while the LMS is certainly a staple in the learning ecosystem, it’s not the be-all end-all it once was, with many L&D professionals saying it’s clunky, outdated and does not fully satisfy learning preferences.
Microlearning content can be created in a fraction of the time it takes to produce LMS courses and e-Learning modules. These challenges can be launched in the flow of work to communicate information quickly and create a quick and engaging experience for learners. Additionally, microlearning software instantly enhances your learning ecosystem with a reinforcement component that’s missing from traditional systems.
Training Challenge #7: One-Off Learning Events Across Siloed Systems
Many organizations treat training and development as isolated events, often in response to immediate needs rather than as part of a comprehensive learning strategy. These sporadic learning interventions, spread across multiple, often disconnected platforms, create a fragmented learning experience, causing employees to disengage and fail to see the value of training.
When systems are not integrated, it makes it difficult to track and measure learning outcomes and gauge the true ROI of their interventions or to create coherent learning paths for employees.
To address this, L&D professionals are increasingly recognizing the need to migrate towards integrated learning ecosystems that centralize content, facilitate consistent user experiences and promote a continuous learning culture.
Microlearning can easily be integrated into your existing systems, creating seamless learning experiences for employees and giving L&D professionals access to better program performance data. Qstream also facilitates a programmatic approach, helping organizations develop training program strategies that allow for individualized, performance-enhancing learning paths.