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Bite-sized learning and development programmes that deliver giant gains

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Out of office sign saying 'Back in 50 minutes' I'm busy learning!

September 18, 2023

As the digital transformation of businesses continues to accelerate, the need to respond nimbly to the evolving demand for new workplace skills is becoming increasingly urgent.

 

This imperative has strengthened the case for more cyclical and continuous L&D programmes that promote personal and professional growth and resilience – a trend that’s been expedited by the pandemic.

The rise of microlearning

One outcome of this evolution is the emergence of more flexible online and hybrid study patterns. ‘Microlearning’ has gained momentum as companies look to provide support that accommodates employees with varying personal and professional commitments, and a variety of learning styles.

It’s easy to see how this approach is resonating with leadership teams managing the challenges of a highly distributed workforce. Because it breaks content into digestible chunks, bite-sized learning is simultaneously more palatable and more accessible for remote or hybrid employees with busy schedules.

In fact, bite-sized learning is also believed to increase retention rates, improve engagement and provide actionable insights – all of which make it a useful and efficient way of responding to rapidly evolving business environments and supporting more strategic, long-term L&D programmes.

Flattening the forgetting curve

That bite-sized learning is often considered to be more effective, as well as more convenient, isn’t a new phenomenon.

The prominent German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus was exploring how learned memories fade over time in the 1880s. His visual representation of this phenomenon – the ‘Forgetting Curve’ – shows how retention drops sharply surprisingly quickly immediately after learning without reinforcement.

Unsurprisingly, Ebbinghaus’s research showed that people learn more effectively when information is meaningful to them. But it also revealed key strategies that help individuals retain knowledge – especially the habit of reviewing new information at key moments. This so-called ‘spaced learning’ approach helps to pause and re-set the curve, allowing us to embed knowledge more deeply.

Thoughtfully planned bite-sized sessions can be experienced in exactly this way, encouraging participants to review and implement actions to reinforce memory and prepare the ground for new learning.  There is research to suggest bitesize learning has a significant positive impact on immediate learning and retention of information. They are also cost-effective

Bite-sized learning benefits

It’s easy to deploy

qpeople’s bite-sized sessions have been carefully calibrated to deliver optimum benefits in the shortest time. Because they can be completed in under an hour, they’re easy to fit into a working day – a factor that improves attendance and reduces stress.

It addresses real problems

Bite-sized learning sessions are designed to meet specific workplace challenges, including performance management, emotionally intelligent communication and effective delegation, making it a cinch for L&D teams to match the training to their organisation’s precise requirements.

It’s hyper focused

With just 50 minutes of running time, there’s no room for filler. All sessions are engaging, motivating and empowering. Each provides an excellent time-to-value ratio and delivers a takeaway that attendees can action immediately.

It’s flexible

qpeople’s modular approach allows L&D leaders to co-create the programme that suits their needs. We can offer single sessions, single sessions with multiple deliveries and multiple topics that combine to create more comprehensive learning units.

Improving outcomes

Implementing effective microlearning is not without its own challenges, though. Creating the right number of sessions to cover topics thoroughly, without overloading participants, requires exhaustive planning, as does maintaining a coherent look and feel that resonates with team members across multiple locations.

The devil is, of course, in the detail. At qpeople, we offer bite-sized programmes that are designed to suit synchronous and asynchronous learning requirements, with online, or face-to-face facilitated learning workshops. Our sessions go beyond imparting theory or knowledge; instead, they’re designed to be interactive and pragmatic and are delivered exclusively by experienced facilitators and subject matter experts.

By the end of each session, every participant will have an actionable objective that is tailored to their role, a self-assessment activity to help them explore their learning needs and an opportunity to practise their learning on their own or in learning groups. Material will be available in advance, to ensure the needs of all learning styles are met and links to further self-guided study will also be supplied.

Where to start?

We always recommend businesses begin by carefully auditing their existing L&D provision. Bite-sized learning is designed to provide learners with the knowledge they need most, so by understanding where learners’ performance gaps are, we can better tailor micro-content to address their needs.

Bite-sized learning can help address challenges including:

  • The struggle to retain talent
  • Effective leadership development
  • Aspiring or new managers requiring upskilling
  • Where there are budgetary/time constraints
  • Flexibly providing personal and professional development

We’ll create a roadmap to help keep learners on track – and to elevate them to a more extensive lifelong learning programme, where appropriate – offering learners the freedom to choose the modules that appeal based on their individual needs.

No single session will accomplish everything but will have an impact on a focused area. It’s not just for leaders, the degree-educated or for desk-bound employees. In fact, it can be especially effective for employees returning to learning, as it encourages and supports multiple learning styles – including coaching interventions and self-directed learning.

We’d love to show you how bite-sized learning is one of the most time- and cost-effective approaches to L&D. Contact us to find out more about how we can support your business goals while fast-tracking your employees’ personal and professional development opportunities.

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