While remote work is a wonderful and inevitable development, it also features inherent challenges. For example, think of when your team needs to complete a mandatory training course. In the past, you’d have to schedule a meeting, make sure everyone was able to attend, and reserve a meeting space in which to hold the training. For companies with remote workers, this has been rendered just about impossible. Enter microlearning.
Microlearning is the practice of providing instruction in smaller, manageable portions as opposed to longer lessons. It’s a format particularly well-suited for employees that telecommute. Let’s take a closer look exactly why microlearning is the answer for training your remote teams.
Benefits of using microlearning for remote worker training
You can engage a global workforce
With the onset of remote work, you can place team members all across the globe. Less important than your team members’ physical locations is the skill set they bring to your company.
Microlearning allows you to engage your team members no matter where they work. By keeping your information in smaller units of information, you can distribute it via email or some other shareable form of IT platform (i.e. SharePoint or GoogleDocs). With more traditional forms of in-person training, you’d have to deliver the information when you had your entire team gathered together. With remote workers consuming it according to their own schedule, microlearning allows for more flexibility.
It can accommodate different time zones
As noted above, your team isn’t going to be conducting the training at the same time. You could have a team member in New York, California, and London all responsible for learning the same content.
Microlearning is better for teams in varying time zones because it’s dependent on the user completing it as opposed to the user being available at a set time.
It can accommodate different languages
When your training courses are organized in larger chunks of content, it may be difficult to translate to accommodate your team members who speak different languages. This gets a lot easier with shorter courses. It’s less of a hassle to configure when the information is stored in smaller chunks.
Shorter courses allow learners to easily complete them around working hours
Your team is busy. Along with your training, they also have a set of daily responsibilities to complete. With smaller-sized courses, it makes completing your course during their normal work day much more manageable. Longer courses may impede the flow of work. With the shorter courses, they can budget their time to complete it throughout the assigned time period.
How to use microlearning to improve remote worker training
Identify training goals
Before you begin your training period, it’s important to have your team’s goals in mind. Microlearning helps you create more manageable goals for them. For example, with a longer course, you may have to give them a single deadline to complete one long block of training requirements. With a series of short courses, you can create a series of deadlines that allows your team to continually hit any training milestones.
Create complete and cohesive courses
Once you’ve identified your goal, you’ll need to craft a training course to help you and your team meet it. Microlearning is a perfect format for creating a comprehensive course with multiple components for remote workers.
With a single course, you run the risk of packing too much information into a single session. That decreases the chance your team will retain the information and use it effectively going forward. With a series of shorter courses, you can cover more information without creating a mental burden on your team members. They can pace themselves as to how they process the information, thereby allowing them to learn more over a longer period of time.
Make content easily accessible
By including less information in a higher number of courses, you make the content more accessible. Having the content in bite-sized portion increases the odds your team will know where to go to find the information for reference. When your content is buried in a longer, cumbersome module, reaching back for it after the fact may prove harder to do.
Using a Learning Management System
Microlearning is a great format for your training courses, and using an LMS to execute your microlearning courses will allow you to create personalized training path for each member of your team.
Not every team member will learn at the same pace or with the same training style. In fact, not every team member may want to take your training courses in the same order if the order isn’t regulated for a specific reason.
With microlearning, you can create a customized training path for each member of the team depending on how they learn, how fast they work, and precisely what training course they’re responsible for completing. You can also tweak the metrics for each team member - certain members may have differing training requirements. Because microlearning allows you to break the training up into smaller pieces, it’s easier to substitute different components depending on what’s relevant to that particular team member.
Additionally, having a personalized training path will help you keep your remote workers accountable. You’ll be able to track the completion of their training path when you’re not able to check in with them every day at the office. If they are ever stuck on a certain part of the training, you can follow up to see where they have questions to help push them to completion.
The bottom line is that microlearning is a flexible, customizable training format that suits remote workers perfectly. When your team members are in disparate locations, they can process the information in your training courses - included as part of a personalized plan tailored to their needs - in shorter bursts that are less mentally draining and time-consuming than longer, traditional courses.
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