The professional world has been changing and evolving, but the pandemic sent that into overdrive. Amid the chaos of the pandemic and the necessity of remote and hybrid teams, building an amazing team is critical now more than ever.
Employee engagement often hinges on employees feeling valued and invested in. They see the value in the work they do, understand the organizational goals, and believe their work contributes to the company’s overall success.
Employee training and development efforts are an important part of not only a business strategy but ensuring employee retention. And according to MRI Network’s research, leveraging training programs can attract and retain top talent.
Unfortunately, limitations in time constraints, disconnected teams, and client demands create limited opportunities for team development. Employees and managers don’t have a lot of time to devote to comprehensive development programs to improve skills and teamwork. In addition, some companies can’t afford for employees to step away from their roles to attend days or week-long training classes.
Why Succinct Learning Helps Teams
Succinct learning, or micro-learning, enhances learning and performance in the most effective and efficient manner using short-form content. Typically, this content can be accessed according to the employee’s schedule, making it ideal for asynchronous teams, high work volume, and time constraints.
In-person and large format virtual leadership training courses often require employees to take inordinate time out of their work schedules to attend, affecting day-to-day productivity and straining the company’s budget. These programs also involve a lot of content to be digested in a short period, leading to lower retention and subsequent application of the learning principles.
Succinct learning addresses these issues with shorter content in easily digestible formats. Employees can take in concepts in smaller chunks which allows time to focus fully on the information for higher retention. The return on investment for the company is also higher, since employees are only taking short periods of time out of their workday for training.
On the employee end, succinct learning improves learner satisfaction with more casual learning settings and methods. Employees can access the courses at the time that works best for them, rather than strict scheduling that can disrupt workflows.
On the company end, succinct learning builds connection among team members. While learning together, team members have a common foundation to grow and improve together and support larger organizational goals.
How to Use Succinct Learning Opportunities
Ready to include succinct learning in your employee development plan? Here’s how:
Enroll the Team in the Development Plan
All training programs start with planning, regardless of the type of learning environment. Speak with training managers, team leaders, and team members to identify gaps and see what should be updated or improved.
It’s important to set goals for employee learning and development. Consider budget constraints, time constraints, and the current skills gaps. Prioritize training areas to ensure that you’re making the most of the succinct learning opportunities to create more effective teams without overloading the company or the employees.
Discern Hardest-Hitting Topics
You’ve identified the skills gaps, so now it’s time to design your program. It’s important to devote resources to the most valuable training needs to meet current goals.
Maybe your customer service is subpar and you want to give your employees more customer support training to get better company reviews and more satisfied customers. Maybe you want to strengthen the sales team’s knowledge to assist prospects better and close more sales.
This is why it’s so valuable to speak with leadership and employees. When everyone is involved in the training plans, you can get a comprehensive view of the skills gaps, organizational goals, and the desired outcomes to align the training with the company’s best interests.
Honor Time Allotted for Training
Your employees can’t focus on training if they’re stressed about their workload. Make sure to honor the time allotted for training to help your employees succeed with the training program without causing overwhelm with other work tasks. Your employees need to feel nurtured and supported with their learning goals.
Conversely, your employees shouldn’t spend more time than necessary with training programs. Courses often include time estimates that you can factor into the planning and budget – excessive time limits your return on investment which is the main reason micro-learning formats have gained so much traction in the training space.
Strategize the Best Learning Methods
You have numerous options for developing employees and skillsets. Depending on the skills you’re looking for, you can combine articles, podcasts, videos, simulations, and group assignments to create succinct learning opportunities.
By understanding the learning culture of your company, you can strategize what method and medium would work best for your team. Would circulating an article and hosting a discussion group fit better with your company than asking them to read a book? Would 10-minute videos be more effective than 30-minute podcasts? Managers will need to discern what types of learning methods align with the nature of their team in order to put together an effective succinct learning program.
Observe and Optimize
Using succinct learning programs might be a new approach for your organization. When you enroll your first learners, start small. Add a handful of employees or a team as a Beta group and let them test it out. You can identify issues or obstacles before the training is implemented across the organization and use these first participants’ feedback as a guide for improvement.
A significant factor in the success of your employee development program is testing, measuring, and adapting. Some development programs will include analytics, but you can also implement your own metrics based on the goals of the team and company. Stay flexible – your employee development program should be viewed as a continuous process with areas for improvement to reach success.
Set Your Team Up for Success
Nurturing your employees’ development and creating a culture of learning at your company not only contributes to the company’s success, but to employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. You’re giving your employees the tools to do their best work and take an active role in the company’s outcomes. When you use succinct learning programs, you free up the time, space, focus, and budget to get the most out of your training and development efforts.