05/11/18

As November 7 marks National Stress Awareness Day, we’ve chosen Dealing with Stress as our Module of the Month in recognition of the serious toll it take on our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, with people increasingly feeling overwhelmed in both their personal and professional lives.

National Stress Awareness Day, created by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), is an excellent opportunity for us to take a step back and think about our own mental wellbeing, with a recent survey revealing that 94% of people believe that their stress is work-related.

Recognising this, Mind, the mental health charity, introduced the idea of creating a Stress Awareness Space in the workplace as an area where colleagues can share their feelings, seek advice and support each other.

Our Dealing with Stress module explores the sources of stress including key behavioural and health indicators as well as offering advice on how to effectively manage stress levels in the workplace.

So, for a range of hints and tips, why not check out our Dealing with Stress course for free by clicking here?

Or, if you’d like more information on Mind’s Stress Awareness Space check out their website to access a range of resources designed to help establish areas where your employees feel able to talk, share and de-stress.

05/11/2018 • The MicroLearn Team

Dealing with Stress forms part of MicroLearn’s Personal Development range alongside Negotiation Skills, Decision-Making and Time Management. For more information on these, or any course in our extensive content catalogue email hello@microlearn.com
31/10/18

Over the last few years there has been a significant change in the way we learn, as organisations have embraced learning on the go, recognising that an increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) polices not only delivers a cost benefit but also enables L&D departments to increasingly personalise learning for individual employees.

Research shows that nearly 70% of learners now prefer to use their smartphones to learn on the go, with this irrepressible increase triggering a movement from traditional, and often length, eLearning to microlearning, as it provides shorter nuggets of content designed to meet specific outcomes which can be easily consumed on the move.

At MicroLearn, we recognised that to create effective learning resources for the modern learner, it was essential to take a design approach which focused on short yet informative video-led interventions which provide a high-impact learning experience.

The key to this process was selecting the right video platform, and since choosing VideoScribe, the leading whiteboard animation software over two years ago, our videos have been an essential component of MicroLearn’s success story.

The combination of low-cost solutions and rapid development times means microlearning is often an integral part of organisation’s learning strategies as it provides the Learning & Development organisation with the agility required to meet learner needs at pace. When compared to other forms of media, video-based microlearning shows higher recall and retention rates, which leads to a better Return on Investment (ROI).

Video-based microlearning is both engaging and immersive and when provided as part of the learner’s workflow the applications can be varied, such as:
  • Learning something new
  • Diving deeper into a given issue
  • Solving a specific problem
  • Practicing and gaining proficiency
  • Applying learning to real life challenges

MicroLearn’s versatility enables it to be used for both formal training and performance support intervention, with its ever-growing resource library of modules covering many contemporary topics including Wellbeing, Customer Service, Communication and Social Skills and Leadership and Management.

We’ve also worked closely with clients to help build their VideoScribe capability, running day-long workshops where members of the Creative Team, led by MicroLearn’s Creative Director, Alison Soper shared their experience, knowledge and expertise in using the software to help others create engaging and cost-effective content.

So, whether you’re looking for ready built microlearning or want to increase your capability in-house, MicroLearn can help revolutionise your learner engagement with short video-based learning that encourages curiosity and enhances cognitive processing.

31/10/2018 • Tracy Capaldi-Drewett
10/10/18
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Continuing the new blog series by MicroLearn’s Creative Director, Ali Soper, focused on effectively marketing your learning initiatives to maximise leaner engagement and return on investment, this post explores how to identify your audience, so you can successfully target their specific needs and wants.

An essential element of any marketing plan is understanding who you are targeting, their demographic and expectations as this information will help you to better promote and drive your learning strategy, as you adjust your approach accordingly.

For example, if you were teaching customer service to shop assistants and traffic wardens, you would change your approach for each group to achieve the best results, as they each have different needs to meet.

But how can this be achieved?
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Who are you Trying to Reach?

Well the first step of any successful campaign is to think about who you are trying to reach by asking yourself;
  • What is the demographic of your teams?
  • What makes them get up in the morning?
  • Why do they do what they do?
  • Where are they positioned within the organisation?
  • Do they all work from the same location?
  • What environment do they operate in?

These questions are essential as it’s only when you understand the background of your target audience, for example their job role, age, length of service etc, that you’ll be able to market your learning initiatives, as the answers will influence both the message you share and the way in which you implement your plan.
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What Motivates Your Audience?

Don’t assume that one approach will work for everyone though, especially when you have a diverse team made up of both in office and remote workers.

Take time to consider what motivates your target audience, what will reach them and what makes them tick.

If you have an idea for internal marketing or for the learning strategy itself, don’t go in blindfolded! Instead, ask your target audience what they think as they’re a fantastic soundboard for working out what will be most successful among the team.
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What Approach Should You Take?

Once you understand who your target audience is and what motivates them, you can use this knowledge to determine the approach you’ll take to market your learning initiatives.

Perhaps, the best approach would be to reach your staff through a series of creative emails, regular newsletters, in-office posters or perhaps a social media campaign would be most effective?

Understanding the medium that will best convey your message is essential for ensuring a successful campaign, although to ensure the message is reinforced, it’s also important to vary the approach from time to time.
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Always Ask for Feedback

Finally, don’t rest on your laurels, once the campaign has begun make sure you get involved and ask lots of open-ended questions to gauge how both the marketing and initiatives are being received.

Remember, if you ask closed questions, such as whether they like receiving emails, you’ll likely get simple yes/no responses – instead, ask them what they think and why.
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To learn more about asking effective questions, check out this infographic all about the art of questioning, which explores the six key types of questions recommended for use in both your personal and professional lives.

Don’t forget to revisit the previous blogs in this series, which look at positive impact of creating a marketing plan for your team and the need to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time) goals to help you execute your internal campaign with flying colours.

10/10/2018 • Ali Soper
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09/10/18

We’re pleased to announce that MicroLearn will be an Official Supporter of the next MemberWise national conference, Digital Excellence 2018, taking place on October 31, 2018 at the Park Plaza London Victoria hotel.

Digital Excellence 2018 is the association and membership sector’s leading digital focused best practice conference, attended by over 500 delegates, it delivers digital transformation related educational content for senior membership and association professional conducting member facing roles at all levels.

So why attend?

Well, if you’re looking to action effective digital transformation, to optimise and enhance your current/future online member facing digital presence, to establish membership sector digital trends and network with professionals who share similar responsibilities then this conference is for you.

Throughout the day, more than 50 digital/membership experts will deliver half-hour seminars focused on digital transformation, that will include interactive audience-led Digital Hack sessions, online focused best-practice sharing discussions and a key note session featuring high-profile membership body case studies such as the British Medical Association, Federation of Small Businesses and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The conference will explore key digital transformation focused priorities including process and system change/replace, increasing online new member acquisition, improving existing member retention and optimising digital member value as well as increasing online engagement and enabling sustainable online development and growth.

MicroLearn’s Commercial Director, Tracy Capaldi-Drewett said: “As MicroLearn’s bite sized digital learning is well recognised for its high level of engagement, we are really excited to see how it could bring additional people development value and member retention options for the sector”

For more information on the conference, the speakers and to book your place online visit www.digitalexcellence.live

09/10/2018 • The MicroLearn Team
04/10/18
Q3 Releases
The MicroLearn Team have had a productive summer, creating eight brand new courses to boost our existing off-the-shelf catalogue to over 130 titles, more than tripling the library since our launch in January 2017.

As we’re dedicated to creating content learners actually want and need, listening to clients is a vital part of the creation process. Over the last few months, we’ve had several requests for a variety of new courses including Whistleblowing, Right to Work, PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard), Bribery & Corruption and Insider Trading.

Forming part of our Social & Corporate Responsibility range, Whistleblowing explores the legal protection offered to those who come forward, Bribery & Corruption looks at the variations in legislation around the world and the impact on international organisations, while Right to Work discusses how to establish an employee’s right to work in the UK.

We have also created a brand-new Finance range, including PCI-DSS which looks at what thieves are targeting and how compliance with the standard can combat card theft, and Insider Trading which explores both the legal and illegal definition of the term and how it can impact an organisation, a market and an economy.

We’ve also introduced a Finance for Non-Financial Managers course which explores the basics of organisational accounts, including how to record trading activity on a Profit & Loss Statement, how to adjust figures to reflect the amount of cash generated in the Cash Flow Statement and how the final numbers will appear on the Balance Sheet.

Continuing our relationship with the Learning Architect, Liggy Webb, we added Great Conversations to our popular Workplace Wellbeing range as it details a variety of techniques for starting conversations in the workplace as well as how active listening, asking the right questions and confidence can make you a great conversationalist.

Finally, we expanded Equality & Diversity with a new Workplace Bullying course that explores the signs and symptoms of bullying, how incidents can be reported and the responsibilities of employers in terms of both prevention and prosecution.

Ali Soper, MicroLearn’s Co-Founder and Creative Director said: “The team have outdone themselves again, releasing an impressive selection of in-demand titles, adding to our expanding library. It’s incredibly rewarding to see our catalogue grow with the input and support of our learners, adding titles which actually help people to work better, safer, smarter and more effectively!”

We’re taking a different approach for our next release at the end of December. As well as releasing new content, we’re revisiting the Equality & Diversity range, one of the first suites to be created by MicroLearn, to overhaul, update and revamp the content in recognition of legislative changes and client feedback.

For more on our extensive course library or to make a topic suggestion, email hello@microlearn.com

04/10/2018 • The MicroLearn Team
03/10/18
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Continuing the new blog series on effectively marketing your learning initiatives internally to maximise learner engagement and return on investment, MicroLearn’s Creative Director, Ali Soper, looks at how setting SMART objectives, can help ensure your marketing plan is successful!

As with any marketing plan, it’s a good idea to start your internal comms plan with the end goal in mind. Think about what a successful learning strategy look like for you, is it enough for staff to say they like the digital content available or are you looking for more demonstrable results?

Well, the best way to do this is to set SMART objectives:
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S – Specific:

Be specific with your goals and avoid woolly objectives.

Remember You need to define the problem you’re solving within the organisation before implementing the strategy. So, why are you creating a learning strategy?

To achieve a solution to a real problem, be sure you’ve narrowed down exactly what success will look like for your organisation.
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M – Measurable:

If you can’t measure your success, whatever that look likes in your organisation, you’ll struggle to manage it!

Set some quantifiable success factors, such as increased uptake numbers, positive feedback form responses or performance improvements (for example, calls taken, reductions in complaints, increased customer satisfaction etc).

It’s a good idea to take a benchmark measurement before the learning strategy is implemented and one at the end, so you can review tangible figures. This can be extremely effective when demonstrating Return On Investment (ROI) to stakeholders.
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A – Achievable:

While you should be ambitious, don’t allow your expectations to go overboard! Your initiatives should be achievable. Nothing crushes enthusiasm like unobtainable targets, which leave you feeling like you’ve failed.

Make sure you have the buy in from high level management – the key people who need to back you and your objectives to help drive success. And don’t forget your IT team!

Make sure your project aspirations are achievable, both in terms of scale and plausibility with your resources to be sure you set yourself up for success.
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R – Realistic:

Be realistic about what you can achieve, with your budget, resource and time scale. Have given yourself enough time to achieve your goals? Have you got the resource required? What resources could you create in house and where could you consider off-the shelf or bespoke alternatives? Is the organisation ready for what you’re looking to implement?
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T – Time:

Time is one of the most important elements, as you’ll need to know when you are going to deliver and implement the strategy?

Establish where the finishing line is if you’re going to measure what you have achieved so far, and if you need to extend the deadline, that’s fine, just make sure you set another delivery date and share this with stakeholders, so everyone is aware of how the plan is progressing. This will keep you focused and allow for solid and useful reporting.

Consider when would be the best time to implement the strategy – by asking yourself which times of the year are the busiest within your organisation, for example the end of the fiscal year or periods with high levels of annual leave, so these can be avoided. You’ll need to time your plan so that it has the best change of successful uptake.
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Why not check out our Setting Objective infographic for more info? We have a whole range of content which covers Setting Objectives, which you can try out for free by contacting hello@microlearn.com for more details.

03/10/2018 • Ali Soper
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02/10/18

October is perhaps the most artistic month of the year, with Halloween’s fun-filled pumpkin carving and creative costume designs a spook-tactular highlight for many. That’s why we’ve decided to make Creativity our Module of the Month.

As well as embellishing our homes in spooky decorations on the 31st, more and more people worldwide are taking part in the imaginative Inktober challenge. First started in 2009 by illustrator Jack Parker, the challenge encourages people to create thirty-one drawings in thirty-one days.

A perfect opportunity to unleash your artistic side, Inktober could be a great way to encourage more creativity in your workplace.

Many art schools teach creatives to start drawing randomly, even if you have no aim, as it gets your brain working and eventually you’ll draw something that sparks a great idea! Within the workplace, this could help to generate new and innovative ideas and encourage your team to think outside the box.

Research shows creativity is now one of the top skills that employers look for as thriving organisations are those that develop creative talents. That’s why we included our Creativity module in the Workplace Wellbeing range, exploring how to encourage creative tendencies, what to do to support creativity and its importance in the workplace.

To access the course for free click here or to see how our other Workplace Wellbeing courses could benefit your organisation, why not sign up for a free trial?

02/10/2018 • The MicroLearn Team
17/09/18

Four months after the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became law, the UK has seen the start of its first high-profile investigation after the Information Commissioners Office announced it was looking into the British Airways (BA) data breach.

The breach, which occurred between August 21 and September 5 2018, saw BA’s security systems compromised by sophisticated hackers leading to the loss of customer data including names, email addresses and credit card information.

The hackers also got a hold of the highly sensitive CVV code, featured on the back of your credit card, which BA insists they did not store, as it’s prohibited according to the standards laid down by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council.

This has led to speculation that the hackers intercepted the information rather than directly accessing data from the BA database.
For those customers affected, it’s recommended that you change your online passwords and monitor your accounts for any unusual transactions, with BA promising to compensate anyone who suffers financially as a result of the breach.

If BA are found guilty of breaching GDPR then the ICO are within their rights to impose a fine up to 4% of the organisation’s annual global revenue, which in this case amounts to £489million. If such a fine is imposed, it would also act as a warning to other organisations for the need to remain compliant with the new regulations.

If you’re still confused about GDPR and what it means for you and your business, why not check out MicroLearn’s Data Protection Range which provides both a comprehensive overview of the regulations and in-depth breakdowns of key components including Lawful Basis for Processing, Individual Rights and Accountability?

Or, if like British Airways you deal with customer’s credit card information, refresh your knowledge with our new PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard) course, which covers what thieves target, different types of security and how to show compliance.

As part of our Compliance Catalogue, we also offer a comprehensive Cyber Security course and a free mini-video (below), which you can share with your colleagues, so you know what to do if your organisation is threatened by a cyber-attack.


For more information about MicroLearn’s courses, or to request a Free Demo email hello@microlearn.com

17/09/2018 • The MicroLearn Team
12/09/18


This new blog series by MicroLearn’s Creative Director, Ali Soper, explores a Step by Step plan to help you to successfully market your learning initiatives internally to maximise both learner engagement and return on investment.

It’s all very well having a great user-friendly learning platform and engaging eLearning content, but if your learners aren’t finding and exploring the digital resources, your initiatives will all have been in vain. To create and sustain successful digital learning strategies, effective and ongoing internal marketing is essential.

To encourage staff to actively participate in your learning schemes, it can be extremely helpful to implement a marketing plan which will support roll out and ongoing promotion ensuring you see return on your investment.

Internal marcoms is about more than simply sending an email to instruct staff to log on to the platform and check out new and existing content. It’s about devising a creative plan which helps to generate a buzz, build advocates & champions, promote new ideas and drive learner engagement within your organisation.

So how do you go about doing this, when time and resource is limited? Well, this blog series is designed to help you design, implement and maintain an effective learning strategy within your organisation, making the most of your content and platform investment.

So what are the steps to successful internal marketing?



Well you can’t go wrong by following these:
  1. Set your objectives: Make these SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) .
  2. Consider your target audience: Who they are and what they want
  3. Branding: Make your initiative stand out.
  4. Attention: Think of ways to grab people’s attention andtease your audience so they’ll want to find out more.
  5. Interest: Think of the key messages which will increase interest and address any ‘pain points’ – make them relevant and think of ways to empathise.
  6. Desire: Use these messages so the audience can’t wait to have a go. Create a buzz by thinking about what the audience wants to achieve.
  7. Action: Provide them with ways to try out the digital learning again and again.
  8. Plan and execute your campaign: Keep it interesting and use a diverse mix of approaches.
  9. Do it again and again: How about using case studies, monthly topics, competition? Most of all, keep your approach creative and consistent!


In the rest of this series, we’ll explore each stage of the marketing process to help you promote learning strategies within your organisation. Look out for a new post every Wednesday or contact the team on hello@microlearn.com to discuss how MicroLearn can support your launch and ongoing promotion.

12/09/2018 • Ali Soper


30/08/18

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MicroLearn's Creative Director, Ali Soper, expands on a recent webinar with our partner Synergy Learning, which explored ways to engage busy, modern learners.

It’s safe to say that with growing workloads and increasing demands on time, learners often feel too overwhelmed to even consider making time for training. Yet, as Learning & Development professionals, it’s our responsibility to devise learning strategies which will help our teams to work smarter without wasting time or money.

I recently joined MicroLearn’s partners Synergy Learning to present a webinar session focused on ways to engage today’s busy learners, exploring common learning challenges, how to change learner expectations and the benefits of introducing a microlearning strategy to create a motivated and engaged learning organisation.

The key to developing a strategy for personal and professional development within an organisation is understanding the challenges your learners face. In the webinar, we explored the three most common challenges; not having enough time, training doesn’t suit learning needs and eLearning is just a bit dull!

To kick off the session, I asked the attendees to vote on which of these challenges most applied to their organisation, with the results revealing that not having enough time and feeling as though the training isn’t relevant were the greatest challenges they faced.
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1. Not enough time for training!


Challenge:

With traditional training often drawn out, modern learning needs to combat the idea that for learning to valuable it must be lengthy. Traditional learning, with reams of text and click-next-to-continue delivery, often misses the mark by creating passive, unengaged learners – the last thing we want as content creators!

Answer:

Opting for a microlearning approach allows you to jump in at the point of need, anytime anywhere and explore content that’s bite-sized and accessible. Covering the key points concisely but comprehensively, microlearning resources can save the day!
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2. One size doesn't fit all!


Challenge:

Whether you’re a team of 50 or an organisation of 3000, delivering one, tedious format of learning for all your staff is inevitably going to miss the mark, as not all learners are the same! What’s more, generic training which doesn’t
actually help you improve your workplace skills is always going to feel like a time stealer!

Answer:

Multi-modal content is a great way to offer the right content for different types of learners. For example, video-based resources, interactive components, quizzes, infographics, workbooks and more – it offers something for every team member and every role.
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3. eLearning is boring!


Challenge:

If training just isn’t appealing and doesn’t keep a learner’s attention, they’re far less likely to actively engage with the digital content available to them. Beyond mandatory training, wouldn’t it be great to see a dramatic rise in self-enrolment and completion rates because your teams are genuinely enjoying and seeing benefits from their learning experiences?


Answer:

Select a blend of fun, bright and engaging modern learning which is built not just to be more engaging than traditional training but also to support retention and to help career development.
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We explored the benefits of implementing a microlearning strategy, to help tackle these learning challenges and the growing expectations of increasingly tech-savvy learners by offering bite-sized, relevant and responsive learning resources which are affordable and can be accessed on the go.

Creating and sustaining a true learning culture, where advocates champion your learning initiatives and promote your good work, is the best way to engage learners as they’ll be able to see what’s in it for them! Your organisation will benefit from engaged teams, who no longer view training as a time-stealer but instead see learning opportunities as worthwhile investments for both personal and professional development!

Many thanks again to the team at Synergy for inviting me to join the webinar series. To catch up on the Engaging Modern Learners with Digital Content webinar or any others in the series, click here.

For more on MicroLearn’s mission to improve learner engagement, email the team at hello@microlearn.com to continue to the conversation!

05/09/2018 • Ali Soper
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