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Microtraining: The Beginning of a New Era?

Just as schools are adopting a student-centered approach to teaching, so are corporates ensuring learning and development (L&D) is implemented in a way that helps people become more skilled in the future of work. The core of this shift from traditional to modern L&D learning is in understanding what the individual needs to flourish in their workplace. Rather than an umbrella course that teaches every individual the same skill–a skill that may not be important in their daily work routine, or may not be utilized to its full potential-the 21st-century L&D demands capabilities become the focus.

By helping workers understand the skills they need to perform, corporate trainers can develop and deliver training that guarantees long-term benefits rather than being reliant on a set learning model.

microtraining employees

By zeroing in on capabilities and not simply skills, the gap between hypothetical and practical knowledge is covered, which means workers can recognize what capability they need to apply, when to apply it and how to apply it in a specific scenario. Learning this way also allows the training to be delivered in smaller sessions, which allows employees to develop the required skills and get back to their tasks sooner. This wipes out the time squandered in a whole meeting to develop a particular where many of the elements of that skill are not relevant to the learner’s job.

When we think about corporate training & development in the conventional sense, we understand it as ‘meeting based’ learning that involved an employee taking a particular course – either during work hours or outside of their work hours. While this more compartmentalized L&D method has its benefits, we’re also seeing the undeniable advantages of microtraining.

Microtraining allows the learner to catch things in real-time with their usual duties, so that the lessons can also be applied immediately to a project or task. This ‘learning in the progression of work’ requires an update of deep-rooted ideas regarding what L&D should entail. For microtraining to be productive and not repress a worker’s ability to learn while at work, it should make the fundamental assets openly accessible and effectively available at whatever point they are required. Does this mean traditional L&D courses-such as monthly L&D sessions spanning anything from over a couple of days to several weeks- worth of in-person learning-are not essential? Not in the least. There will be a need for this kind of training. After all, this learning method is not the only option. Rapid and bitesized learning can happen as a short video or an infographic explaining how to execute a specific task.

What is microtraining? It could be a two-minute video; a simple training manual on an employee’s desk; a presentation of how to use a new platform. These are various approaches to prepare somebody without diverting them from the job that needs to be done. There will most likely be cynics – L&D luddites who demand that corporate L&D can just happen in a conference room and with the presence of a trainer and other students. However, what they fail to acknowledge is that they are already experiencing microtraining in their everyday lives. The YouTube explainer video that assisted your graphic designer for a time-consuming task? That WikiHow article you read earlier this week?  These are all training tools consolidated into our digitized lives.

Just as corporates shift to digital transformer, so too is L&D leveraging the power of technology. In fact, technology is making L&D easier to manage for all parties involved, and is reducing the time constraints often associated with corporate learning. Here are a few ways technology will play a vital role in the evolution of corporate L&D.

Gamification isn’t a novel concept, yet rather than being a strategy deployed by millennial bosses, today everybody from government departments to Forbes 500 companies are acknowledging the benefits of gamifying L&D. According to a 2019 Gamification at Work study, workers at companies with gamification are more productive (89%) and more happier (88%) at work. Moreover, 83% of workers who receive gamified training are more motivated, while about 61% who get non-gamified training say they are exhausted and inefficient.

The survey also revealed what types of training workers need to have gamified. Corporate compliance training was at the top at 30%, followed by training on products and services (18%) and technical skills development training (16%).

Technology has made it effortless to gamify L&D. Regardless of whether it includes buying a gamified workplace platform stage from a dedicated supplier or just setting up a ‘leaderboard’ that tracks which workers have finished the most L&D modules, you don’t need to blow your entire year’s training budget to gamify training.

Globalization and the digitization on society may offer a range of benefits for the worker, however for corporates, it means tighter margins and tough competition. That means reducing expenses for survival. So how would you align your L&D strategy to the latest trends without making a significant financial investment? It pays to take a holistic view of the scenario.

Learning-whether face-to-face, virtual or hybrid-is an exceptional approach to retail start performers, reduce turnover and improve efficacy. And while it requires a significant amount of financial investment, the profits can make up for the expenditure. As per the Association for Talent Development (ADT), corporates with a strong L&D strategy enjoy 218% higher pay per employee than businesses with no training. They see a 24% higher profit margin than businesses that don’t invest enough on corporate training.

As we’ve seen from coronavirus lockdowns, virtual learning is an invaluable tool, and one that will become a standard in the years to come. When workers learn remotely, it also reduces associated costs and the potential disruptions of face-to-face L&D. You can ‘bank’ the learning content either on location or in the cloud and reuse them for future recruits. This in-house skill is another cost-saver that is ideal for corporates hoping to lessen their L&D expense.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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