Over the last few years, experts predict that learning in small chunks at a time, or micro-learning, will be the primary way that employees learn on the job. This makes sense for a growing number of millennial and Generation Z workers who have grown up with instant information delivered in small bites on mobile devices.
"Fueled by video and mobile technology, micro-learning has been billed as a way to enable today's employees to absorb information quickly and often — between tasks, not while sitting in a classroom or attending a seminar," says Annie Murphy Paul, in HR Magazine.
At Minnesota-based supermarket chain, Supervalu, Vivian Rank, the senior manager of talent management, had to quickly determine the best course of action for employees to learn in their high-speed environment. Rank implemented a successful micro-learning program that's Web-enabled and shares job-relevant training in short snippets like 4-minute videos. Supervalu currently employs 28,000 people
Corporate learning is shifting gears again to accommodate a growing employee population of young workers who prefer to absorb training concepts in micro-learning modules. The human brain is capable of learning in just 5 minutes at a time, according to most recent studies.
In order to make micro-learning more meaningful to the workforce, it has to be, "a training approach that is aligned with the way people live—and learn—today. It's not just millennials—we all have a Google-search mentality now, "says Stephen J. Meyer, President and CEO of Rapid Learning Institute. Essentially, he adds, "The Internet has changed the way we think. We have less patience for preliminaries. We expect to get the information we need now."
There are several ways to make the case for micro-learning at any organization. Will Holland, Founder and President of Expand Interactive, shares that decentralized workforces can benefit from micro-learning. Meanwhile Kim Ruyle, President of Inventive Talent Consulting, advises that the on-demand nature of micro-learning makes it perfect for workers to quickly ramp up their skills. Assistant Professor Pieter de Vries, of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, shares that his research indicates micro-learning is highly adaptable and easy to update.