Microlearning: A Solution to Short Employee Attention Spans

Table of content

Did you know that a person starts to lose concentration after only 10 minutes? That’s why in-house training courses lasting several hours aren’t very effective at ensuring long-term recall. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: mobile training in a microlearning format.

Training at Your Fingertips

These days, it’s hard to do without a smartphone. This small, rectangular device lets us stay in touch with our loved ones, keep track of world events, and escape boredom. We also tend to reach for it whenever we’re sitting idle. 

Mobile training takes full advantage of the smartphone’s appeal to help you overcome short attention spans. Every day, your employees receive a notification informing them of a new training module, which they can complete whenever and wherever they like.

Plus, unlike traditional training courses, mobile training can be accessed whenever the employee is most receptive. For example, if you schedule a company-wide training session at 8 a.m., your night owls may have trouble staying focused!

Discover how technology can bridge the gap between HR and deskless workers

Many Bite-Sized Modules (Microlearning)

If you give your employees a 20-page training document, most of them won’t make it halfway through. Microtraining (or microlearning) allows you to divide one big chunk of information into several bite-sized modules. Each one is approximately 150 words long and has specific learning objectives. You not only keep your employees’ attention, but also maximize the likelihood of long-term recall.

If you’re introducing a new product line, for example, you could create a module for each category (e.g., advantages, features, customer benefits, sales tips) instead of trying to condense the information into a single training course. By doing so, you’ll reduce the risk of confusion or misunderstanding while improving knowledge recall. Your employees will also be more likely to read every line.

Another advantage mobile training has over traditional training is that it creates a sense of anticipation, much like a TV series with weekly instalments. Your employees will be eager to find out what the next module will be!

Discover how employees can overcome learning challenges through training with microlearning

Flexible Learning Pace

We don’t all learn at the same speed. However, during a conventional training session, the instructor has no choice but to set the pace. For some, it may be too fast, and for others, too slow. It’s hard for an instructor to keep everyone’s attention.

Mobile training, on the other hand, adapts to each employee’s learning speed. Each module can be completed in under 10 minutes, whenever and wherever they choose. Your staff can also consult previous training sessions to refresh their memory.

Varied Training

Routine is one of the biggest obstacles to staying focused. An employee who does the same thing over and over again will gradually lose motivation and concentration. To avoid redundancy, microtraining can be offered in a variety of formats (text, photo, and even video) and layouts (different font sizes, lists, bolded words, etc.). Every module feels different, so your employees never get bored.

In addition, mobile training can be used to highlight internal policies, introduce new products or services, share industry news, and more. Once learned, the concepts can be put into practice.

Games to Stimulate Interest

Gamification, or the application of game elements in non-game contexts, is incredibly effective at keeping users engaged because it appeals to their senses and emotions. In a 2014 study, researchers found that mobile learning with game elements was more effective and had a higher motivational effect than both mobile learning without game elements and traditional learning.

Since microtraining modules incorporate games, like multiple-choice quizzes, your employees are more likely to stay interested. If they know the information will be necessary to perform well in the game, they’ll be more inclined to concentrate.

What’s more, the ranking system, which allows users with the highest scores to win prizes, is a catalyst for sustained attention. Your employees quickly grasp the benefits of paying attention to their training.

Learn more on how you can make training exciting by employing gamification

Social Component to Gather Feedback

At the end of a traditional training session, instructors will usually ask for feedback. However, given that the training has already taken place, it’s too late for them to take corrective measures.

With mobile training, you can react quickly to your employees’ comments. How? Thanks to the integration of a social component that gathers feedback from your staff. Depending on the comments you receive, you could add more images, reduce the amount of text, or incorporate more videos.

Read to learn more about how you can deliver effective feedback to your employees

The Key to Success

For mobile training to overcome short attention spans, it must first and foremost be well designed. It’s not enough to simply divide a giant document into sections. 

To achieve your goals and make sure your employees retain information in the long term, you need to establish a real editorial strategy and present your content effectively. Albert’s mobile solution can help you design personalized training to keep your employees attentive and motivated.


Get employee engagement best practices in your inbox.

We’ll email you 1-4 times per month—and never share your information.

Get started now

Engage, train, and align your frontline teams with ease

Albert Talks

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Get the latest news and helpful resources to engage with your workforce.