In our series of blog posts published last month, we wrote about how microlearning can be used effectively to deploy competency-based training and achieve learning objectives at the workplace. We continue to build on this topic and write how microlearning can be used with a learning outcomes-based approach to reskill and upskill your existing employees and help them excel at work. This blog post will examine the challenges involved in reskilling the workforce and how microlearning can assist. We will conclude the blog post with a detailed analysis of a Microlearning project deployed by a leading AI enterprise to reskill their employees and customers.
Table of Contents
Why is it Important to Enhance the Skills of your Workforce?
There are no two ways to go about this topic. Upskilling and reskilling of employees is an integral part of the growth story of any successful organization. An organization that fosters a strong learning culture and trains its employees to work better and equips them with new skills is an organization that is most likely to witness the growth and have a lower rate of attrition. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, customer expectations across industries are changing, social media has now made business and customer interactions direct, and for the whole world to see. In such a scenario, organizations must invest substantially in training their employees to help them do their tasks with finesse and offer a great customer experience.
Barriers and Challenges in Upskilling and Reskilling the Workforce
When we talk about enhancing the skills of the workforce, there are two terms which sound very similar, but are different. Reskilling signifies teaching new skills to a learner. Upskilling denotes the enhancement of the pre-existing skills of the learner. Both upskilling and reskilling employees have their own set of challenges. Some of the key challenges and barriers are listed below:
- Resistance to change, learn a new skill, and take on additional responsibilities
- Lack of time in the midst of busy work schedules
- Challenges in hiring relevant trainers and creating effective learning content
- Lack of a proper platform or app to deploy training
- No incentives or motivational support for employees to complete the training
- Budget constraints that force L&D teams to work with outdated or substandard training content
- Mismatch and disconnect between the L&D team and senior management in an organization
Solutions for Upskilling and Reskilling the Workforce
The following steps can be followed to help train your employees.
- Identify the gaps in the skills of your employees
- Designate senior employees in the organization as mentors to guide those who need training
- Hire a trustworthy and reliable vendor to design and deploy the training content
- Alternatively, if you have an in-house team to design and deploy the training content, opt for it
- Fix proper achievable goals and learning outcomes that you can measure on completion of training
- Consider providing incentives for those who perform exceptionally well in the training program and show a marked improvement in the way that they work after the training
- Look for options to train employees in the flow of work to minimize time spent on separate training sessions
- Use microlearning to deliver a cost-effective training to reskill and upskill your employees
- Use employee feedback to update and refresh the training program, as required.
Why Microlearning Works as a Good Solution for Upskilling and Reskilling Programs?
We have covered this in earlier blog posts as well, wherein we have elaborated how microlearning works as a great way to train employees. The key points hold good for reskilling and upskilling programs as well. They are listed here again for your reference.
- Microlearning is easier and faster to design and deploy
- Works as a cost-effective solution
- Can be easily updated based on learner feedback
- Works effectively when used to train employees in “the flow of work”
- Also works as an ideal learning solution for self-paced learning
- Can be designed as a responsive learning solution that works seamlessly across different devices
- When deployed via a learning app or on a mobile browser, even by sparing 10 to 15 minutes a day, learners can acquire new skills over a period of time through microlearning.
Use Case of Microlearning to Upskill and Reskill, as Deployed by an AI Enterprise
A leading technology and software company specializing in Artificial Intelligence and automation solutions had a specific requirement. They had a vast body of classroom training content which they wanted to digitize and convert into online learning content, and deploy internally to train their employees, channel/sales partners, and their customers or end-users. In a way, this was a prime example of a scenario wherein employees had to be reskilled and upskilled, and end-users had to be trained afresh to learn how to use the A.I.-based solution provided by the company.
A project of this magnitude would take anywhere from 10 months to 2 years to complete and deploy. Origin Learning was commissioned to create high-quality eLearning and deploy the same on its proprietary learning experience platform Fractal LXP. Rising to the challenge, Origin helped the client to switch to a completely online learning model in about five months.
Origin deployed an instance of its Fractal LXP for the client and steadily updated the portal with online training content as soon as it was approved by the client. With the integration of Zoom within the LXP, training was simplified, and learners could interact with trainers directly too.
Where Did Microlearning Play a Part?
Based on the abundant classroom training content available, Origin’s content team helped create 68 microlearning modules. These were deployed for learners across seven different roles within the client’s organizational hierarchy and their customers.
The content was customized in different formats for employees and customers. There was a clear customized learning path with specific learning outcomes mapped for each module. Four virtual labs or vLabs were created to provide in-depth and comprehensive practice opportunities that allowed the learners to familiarize themselves with the product. The client was able to reduce the dependency on product engineers by hosting all the training content online and this also resulted in significant savings. From a customer perspective, product adoption rates improved and the enhanced online training content served as a great tool for product advocacy as existing clients recommended the product to other people who then expressed their interest in trying the product.
Salient Features of the Microlearning Modules
The microlearning modules were designed with the following philosophy – “Just enough, Just for me, and Just in time.”
Each module focused on one key learning objective for effective retention of learning and maintaining learner engagement.
The modules were categorized and arranged to meet the requirements of seven specific learner groups or roles and the content was delivered in a multi-format model. The training comprised eLearning, podcasts, videos, guided virtual lab sessions, and reference documents. A multi-format learning approach helped engage the learners to a great extent and helped the learners complete all the modules on time.
The modules were delivered at spaced intervals via push notifications on the Fractal LXP and motivated learners to complete the modules assigned to them on time without constant prodding by the L&D team or their managers.
The client was able to effectively provide and deliver training, and this resulted in over 400 active learners in the first six months of deploying the microlearning-based training content to reskill and upskill the learner ecosystem. Further, the client was able to save close to USD 3 million with this approach to training.
Please watch this video to learn more about this project.
At Origin, we specialize in designing microlearning-based training programs for a wide variety of clients and training needs. If you are looking to reskill or upskill your employees, channel and sales partners, or customers and end-users, do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.