Microlearning For Employee Onboarding: 6 Key Reasons To Use


Future Of Onboarding For Faster, Smarter Ramp-Up

Companies that cling to outdated lengthy onboarding approaches will struggle to rapidly skill talent. Microlearning offers engagement, personalization, and mobility, unlocking understanding, retaining knowledge, and ensuring new hires apply critical concepts. The proof lies in the data, with results showing 50% higher engagement rates [1] and 35% improved efficiency [2] when microlearning methods are used. Leading corporations now pivot to bite-sized learning for optimized onboarding. The approach also enables updating training quickly and affordably. Simply put, microlearning equals faster, more effective onboarding. Microlearning for employee onboarding no longer remains a nice-to-have, it is mandatory for optimizing human capital capabilities.

The Changing Nature Of Learners

Today’s employees consume information vastly differently than in past generations. Average attention spans have shrunk since the year 2000 from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, aligned to the digital world’s calls for quick bursts over lengthy exposure. On-demand access now fuels expectations, as does interactive and visually stimulating content.

Research shows Gen Z and millennial workers crave learning, but through vehicles aligned to their workflow and faster-paced lifestyle [3]. Lengthy lectures or boring page-turners simply don’t cut it anymore. Instead, learners seek knowledge in condensed formats that deliver it in the limited windows available.

This altered mindset forces a reconsideration of traditional learning approaches. Onboarding programs requiring hours of training no longer resonate. Adaptation is needed to align with modern habits by embracing methods like microlearning. The changing learner combined with the core facets of microlearning set the stage for the advantages possible in this format as onboarding shifts to this short-form medium. The reasons continue piling up when the benefits come under closer examination.

What Is Microlearning? Definition And Key Characteristics

Microlearning refers to condensed units or activities designed to address focused performance objectives. Each micro-module delivers a narrow slice or subset skill of overall learning goals. The defining criteria:

  • Ultra-short
    Usually less than five minutes in length
  • Bite-sized
    Focused on single objectives/concepts
  • Mobile friendly
    Optimized for consumption on the go
  • Interactive Elements
    Uses scenarios, questions, gamification
  • Provides Just-In-Time Information
    Aligned to the workflow

While lengthy courses still have validity for complex topics, microlearning shines by zeroing in on narrow skills gaps [4]. It provides precision delivery in the compressed form modern learners crave. These fundamentals allow microlearning to enhance engagement, lift retention, and fit better with emerging workplace dynamics: key reasons it serves today’s employees better than conventional methods.

Reasons Why Employee Onboarding LMSs Should Switch To Microlearning

The combination of personalization, adaptivity, and bite-sized learning makes microlearning the ideal methodology for keeping employees engaged while enabling them to skill up as efficiently as possible. The old onboarding status quo needs a shake-up and the Learning Management System (LMS) world is certainly headed in the microlearning direction.

Switching to bite-sized microlearning is critical for engaging learners and optimizing onboarding outcomes in the modern workplace. Adopting these design principles positions L&D leaders to drive faster readiness and skills gains. Here are some key reasons why employee onboarding LMSs should shift toward more microlearning:

1. Shorter Attention Spans

With more digital distractions, employees often find it difficult to focus on lengthy training materials. Microlearning breaks information down into smaller, more digestible formats that are easier to complete.

2. Faster Ramp-Up

Microlearning modules for onboarding can be completed quicker, allowing new hires to ramp up faster and start contributing sooner. This improves time to productivity.

3. Improved Retention

Research shows we remember more when learning is spaced out over time rather than delivered all at once [5]. The small bursts of microlearning help reinforce information better.

4. Personalized Learning

Microlearning enables more adaptive learning paths based on individual knowledge gaps or interests, creating a more personalized learning experience for new hires.

5. Accessibility

Microlearning works well on mobile devices so learners can access the learning on the go and it works well with modern remote/hybrid work environments.

6. Reduced Costs

Developing and updating shorter microlearning units reduces demands on Subject Matter Experts and development resources. The costs associated with microlearning are typically much lower.

Adapt Or Fail: Why Microlearning Is An Onboarding Imperative

Microlearning is imperative for engaging modern employees through onboarding programs and achieving faster skills gains. As attention spans fall and on-demand personalized learning becomes the norm, traditional lengthy training modules fail to resonate or drive productivity.

Microlearning’s bite-sized and mobile-friendly approach delivers quick wins through higher engagement, improved retention, and easy accessibility. Employees ramp up faster through microlearning techniques that provide just-in-time knowledge while reducing training costs for the organization. The data and real-world cases prove that once organizations implement microlearning, their new hire onboarding programs can achieve dramatic efficiency jumps. This directly accelerates readiness for maximum impact across roles.

However, companies that ignore this trend and cling to outdated full-course onboarding do so at their peril. Employee satisfaction suffers, engagement wanes, and ramp speed slows. Knowledge retention also drops off without microlearning reinforcement. Ultimately outdated modes lead to loss of talent to more forward-leaning competitors.

The message is clear: microlearning adoption equates to optimizing human capital capabilities. The approach will expand across learning systems as organizations realize accelerated onboarding success. L&D leaders must pivot approaches now or risk skill development gaps that severely hamper organizational goals [6]. The time is now to leverage microlearning and drive productivity gains from day one.


[1] Microlearning & The Benefits

[2] Micro-Learning and Gamification: An Effective Combination for Training

[3] 5 Intriguing Stats on Millennial and Gen Z Workplace Learning

[4] Understanding Microlearning in Corporate Training, Part 1

[5] Design Learning for Knowledge Retention: Strategies to Improve Retention of Learning After Training

[6] Reskill And Upskill: 7 Strategies To Prevent Lagging

Editor’s Note: Check out our directory to find, choose, and compare eLearning Industry’s Top Onboarding Software.

eBook Release: Intellek Deliver

Intellek Deliver

Intellek Deliver – Digital Adoption Platform for employee onboarding software, in-workflow training, and user support. Simplify onboarding, guide software adoption and unlock proficiency with the top employee onboarding Learning Management Systems.


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