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Sean McPheat

MTD Training

Managing Director

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How Google’s micro-moments are influencing the design of L&D solutions


Ever heard of a micro-moment? It’s the latest and greatest from Google’s marketing division but it does have linkages with training and development. Let’s first remind ourselves what a micro-moment is and then let’s discuss what it means for the L&D Professional.

What, exactly, is a micro-moment?

In their, ‘Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile’ white paper, Google explain the three ways to capture consumer’s attention in the tiny moments that make up a mobile-dominated day.

These are to, ‘be there’, ‘be quick’, ‘be useful’.

It’s all focused around how people consume information through their smartphone and that this information does not need to be planned or scheduled.

These “moments” are actually fragmented interactions on a “I want” basis.

For example;                                                                

“I want to know how to…”

“I want to learn…”

“I want to do…”

“I want to go…”

In terms of brands it’s about them “being there” when these moments are called for and the same can be said for learning.

How do you consume learning?

Think for a moment about the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you learn on a daily basis.

What was the source?

You might have come up with learning from experience, seeing someone in action, getting feedback from someone or you might have turned to Google or YouTube to find out exactly how to set up your outlook email on a smartphone!

80-90% of learning comes from informal methods such as the above and 10-20% can fall into the formal, scheduled courses and methods.

The L&D micro-moment

In terms of equipping our staff with L&D micro-moments how are we providing our staff with the opportunities to receive just in time microlearning opportunities?

We need to be providing easy-to-access, easy-to-consume and easy-to-implement micro-moments for when our staff need them rather than have them scheduled into their diaries.

The question is this:

“How can we offer our staff the right solutions and deliver them to the device that they use the most (i.e their phones) to answer the questions that they may have on their mind at any time and in any situation that they may have day or night?”

We need to be offering the ultimate resource to help answer training needs such as:

  • “I want to be able to delegate better.”
  • “I want to learn how to overcome objections more effectively.”
  • “I want to know how to deal with maternity cover for a member of my team.”
  • “I want to be able to use excel more effectively.”
  • “I want to find out where our HR department are located.”

Is microlearning the answer?

Well, yes and no.

It all depends on what your definition of microlearning actually is.

Let’s turn to Wikipedia for the usual definition in these matters:

“Microlearning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities. Generally, the term "microlearning" refers to micro-perspectives in the context of learning, education and training. More frequently, the term is used in the domain of e-learning and related fields in the sense of a new paradigmatic perspective on learning processes in mediated environments”

As mentioned above microlearning is frequently associated with e-learning that is made up of short one to five minute video learning segments.

In reality however it is any piece of training content that can ‘be there’, ‘be quick’ and ‘be useful’ during staff micro-moments.

Therefore that content could consist of a video, a PDF, infographic, game, audio, article or quiz.

Are you micro-moment ready?

Are you currently offering your staff an on-demand content library of just-in-time, bite-size, learning content so employees can go to in these micro-moments and receive instant knowledge gratification?

Or are you leaving the informal learning opportunities in your company up to Youtube or Google search to provide the answers for your staff?

Oh, and any solution you do provide needs to be accessible through a mobile too.

Having to log onto a desktop to find an answer does not fall into the “be there and be quick” categories!

Time for reflection

Now’s the time to review the L&D solutions that you provide to cater for the micro-moment.

Just how are you catering for this?

In a time-poor, attention-deficit society supplying solutions for the micro-moment could be the answer with providing your employees with exactly what they need and when they need it rather than having training and development that is done to them and for them all of the time.

And if you are unsure as to whether some of your L&D initiatives are micro-moment ready just take the simple Google test with what those solutions need to be.

Remember they need to “Be there”, “Be quick” and “Be useful”

Author Profile Picture
Sean McPheat

Managing Director

Read more from Sean McPheat

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