What is microlearning and why does it matter in manufacturing?

What is microlearning and why does it matter in manufacturing?

Microlearning is a hot topic these days, with companies across the spectrum trying to incorporate it into their training programs. But what exactly is microlearning?

By definition, microlearning is any brief and targeted learning object that spans between 3 to 6 minutes. In other words, microlearning is any bite-sized piece of learning. Some examples of microlearning include:

  • Short instructional videos
  • Flashcards
  • Mini training quizzes
  • Small nuggets of information through email, text, etc. (“word of the day” type stuff)

Large companies like Walmart, Asurint and Berkshire Hathaway Media Group have seen tremendous success by utilizing microlearning in their facilities – including up to a 54% decrease in recordable safety incidents.

Why does this matter for manufacturing?

Who doesn’t love a potential 54% decrease in recordable safety incidents? But is that enough of a reason to make the switch? (We think so, but you don’t have to take our word for it.) Studies have shown that microlearning makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient and produces 50% more engagement with employees.

With better engagement and more efficient learning practices, manufacturing employees can spend less time learning and more time producing, which ultimately increases the bottom line. On top of that, microlearning courses can be produced with 50% less effort, in a fraction of the time it takes to create a traditional training course.

How can you utilize microlearning in your facility?

Putting this practice into place isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem. There are many ways in which you can incorporate microlearning into the daily lives of your employees. The core of microlearning is to make sure the content is small, accessible, and changes frequently so your employees continue to learn.

Question of the day

Pose one training question to your workforce each day. This could be about safety, what the proper PPE is in a certain area, general HR policy information and more. You could even take suggestions from your leadership team on what questions may be good for the facility as a whole.

Try giving this question in a variety of ways:

  • Posted on a whiteboard or digital display.
  • Talk about the question and have a three-minute discussion during a daily standup or meeting.
  • Have the question printed out on tables in the breakroom or lunchroom.

Weekly learning objectives

Come up with a learning objective for each week and tailor your displays, short conversations, or tail end of meetings with information about those learning objectives. Focus on one topic hard for a week and create small bite-sized pieces of information around that topic for the entirety of the week.

Email short videos

Video is one of the most consumed medias at the moment, so why not utilize that to your advantage. Create short 1-3 minute videos and email those out to your facility on a regular basis. If your employees don’t have email addresses, create a station where they can view the video in the facility, such as the locker room, break room, or meeting room.

Utilize a digital solution

There are options out there that can help put a microlearning approach into your facility in a digital manner, such as Noviqu. By having a once-a-day required question, selected specifically for each employee, your microlearning process can run on its own, without the need of a manager to constantly come up with new questions, change boards, etc.

Microlearning may be a buzzword, but the value of changing the way we learn has it’s benefits in time, efficiency and engagement. As other industries continue to utilize this technique and adoption of microlearning in manufacturing evolves, our employees can only get better with time. Plus, there’s always that 54% decrease in recordable safety incidents.