The key ingredients for effective employee learning


Microlearning is a new way of delivering content in short bursts, making it easy for learners to fit training into their daily routines. Modules are usually no longer than 5 minutes, this ensures that learners don’t get bored or lose attention. It ensures learning happens everyday, improves memory retention and reinforces learning through repetition.

So what should you look out for when choosing a microlearning solution?

  • One which offers categorised content or playlists. These allow staff to easily find learning modules they are looking for.
  • One which offers feedback to learners as they go rather than all at the end, this reduces the risk of them forgetting any knowledge and is encouraging rather than testing.
  • It should offer analytics, allowing you to see weak areas of knowledge and push microlearning modules accordingly.
  • You should be able to easily edit content so that it is always branded, delivered and ready to go as soon as possible.
  • That it is mobile friendly, the point of microlearning is that employees can learn anytime and anywhere which will usually be on their mobile. If the microlearning app doesn’t look good on their phone then they won’t want to use it.


Gamification is a remarkable tool for improving employee knowledge, however, people still believe it is just a gimmick or a fad. These people are very much mistaken, according to Markc Prensky “students now learn differently than students did even a generation ago” and “you can’t hold people’s attention the way you used to.” Therefore gamification is an essential way to make your eLearning effective!

Here are a few scientific reasons as to why it is such an effective learning method.

People are naturally inclined to play games – It is in our human nature to play games, we find the challenge exciting, winning a prize, reaching the next level or receiving points is one of the best ways to release dopamine in your brain. This is the ‘feel-good’ chemical that is released when you experience something pleasurable. The more users play, the more dopamine they get, which makes it easier to stay motivated.

Competition motivates users – Gamification uses leaderboards, these promote healthy competition which incentivises your users to play long-term.

No letting go When learning is fun, memory retention increases because learners actively participate more, so they are more likely to remember what they have learnt without even realising it.

It takes the boring out of training – If we’re honest not many people look forward to the dreaded words ‘training session’ using games allows you to make training more engaging and interactive. It also means that learning happens daily as opposed to mass one-off sessions which can become boring and not very effective.

Virgin Media use Albert the gamification tool to keep their staff clued up and in the know. Through their own employee surveys, they saw that Albert boosts staff engagement, as the results highlighted that 65% of employees play in their own time, and 97.5% like or love playing Albert.

Mobile learning

Staff perform better – Many studies have proven that when you give people the power and control over their work and responsibilities they perform significantly better. A great example is one from an IT consulting firm, in response to poor financial performance in 2007, CSC Germany, a division of the $17 billion worldwide IT consulting and services firm, at first, took the usual approach of increasing control and efficiency. The result was a further decline. When the division’s leaders did the opposite—relaxed control and gave employees the freedom to do things as they saw fit—the outcome was a success.

Freedom to solve problems – When you allow students to learn on their mobile with a company knowledgebase, microlearning or gamification you give them the freedom to solve problems and boost their knowledge on their own. As learning and development coaches you want your employees to actively engage with their learning and to have a genuine desire to be curious and find out new things. Mobile learning puts learning into the hands of your employees which has been proven to boost engagement and improve results. If staff get stuck or need the answer to something they can instantly pull up information on their phone to help them solve the problem. This saves a huge amount of time for them, making it easier to work independently.

So what do you need to look out for when choosing a mobile learning solution for your company? 

  • Offline working – Allow your staff to learn even when the internet isn’t available to them! This is great because it means on their boring commute to work when they can’t access their personal apps because they have lost connection, they may just learn something new on your company app to pass the time.
  • Simplicity – Mobile devices only offer a small screen space, so it is vital that your mobile learning tool is simple and easy to use. Anything that looks cramped or confusing is going to put your users off.
  • iOS and Android – You may be dazzled by an app only to find out it is only available on iOS OR Android, to avoid this check it works on both so that everyone can use it.
  • Analytics –  This is essential to ensure that you can tailor your material to make it the most engaging it can be. With analytics, you should be able to find out knowledge gaps, find out what’s popular and who has read what.


Other posts that may be of interest to you:

Your employees hate learning and here’s why

How can you become a learning organisation with maximum ROI?

How to tell if your employee learning solution is working

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 11th October 2018