Creating Bite-Sized Learning Programs: The Benefits and Trends

There is no question that the average small-business owner is busier than ever. You have many responsibilities. These include managing your employees, growing your business, and keeping your shelves stocked. As a business owner, you have certain obligations to yourself and your employees. One of these obligations is doing everything you can to keep your business growing. This means providing yourself and your employees with appropriate professional development, which is vital in keeping employees’ skills sharp and your business thriving.

Finding time to engage in professional development can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there are ways that this can be done, even if you have a busy schedule. One such example is bite-sized learning.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is bite-sized learning?

The idea behind bite-sized learning is simple. Demands on your time are increasing, and attention spans are shrinking. As such, professional development and training have to shrink into small, “bite-sized” chunks. At the most, these lessons should be no more than thirty minutes, but fifteen minutes is closer to the ideal. You and your employees can then take these training courses at moments in which you can fit them in.

In the past, training seminars and all-day conferences have been the norm in the training industry for decades. However, as advocates of bite-sized learning have noted that the average business owner is far too busy. Distractions and other demands on time prevent making such an approach work.

Need proof of that? Consider this: The average person checks their mobile phone six to seven times an hour. Every one of those moments represents a distraction and a break in attention. There is little doubt that this number is higher for busy small-business owners and their employees.

This means that small-business owners must reconsider their approach to training. Bite-sized learning, when done right, can make this form of learning much more feasible and impactful.

What related concepts should you be familiar with?

For bite-sized learning to be successful, it must fulfill a few basic concepts:

  • Bite-sized learning must be brief—usually no more than fifteen minutes. This allows the information to be impactful, and it makes relatively few demands on someone’s attention.

  • It must be “bite-sized” and broken into chunks that are easy to start and stop. This respects someone’s time and makes it easier for them to start and stop content if they are needing to come back to something due to time constraints.

  • The training must be accessible. This means it has to be mobile-friendly. Employees should be able to complete training during brief moments of respite.

  • Employees must be able to utilize an e-learning module. This module must track progress and allow that progress to be monitored and reported.

  • The phrase “bite-sized” should not be confused with representing a sacrifice in quality. The learning and training must still be useful and relevant to an employee’s line of work.

Why does bite-sized learning matter for small businesses?

Simply put, small-business owners and their employees are busier than ever.

These demands on our time come from more than just attention challenges represented by mobile devices. Small-business owners tend to lack the employees that larger corporations do. This means that they are a living embodiment of the phrase “doing more with less.” As a result, small-business owners often do not have time to keep up with industry trends or sharpen their skills.

This is simply untenable for small-business owners like you. You understand the need to offer robust professional development. Indeed, one survey shows that as many as 88% offer training to employees. However, offering these services has become an increasing challenge to business owners.

Bite-sized learning can make this easier. It can allow for professional development to be completed in a shorter time frame. If done right, this training can be easily started and stopped. This respects a busy employee’s schedule and allows them to engage in learning and training at their own pace.

What action should a small-business owner take next?

Determining what steps to take in order to create a useful and robust professional development program can be a challenge. There are ways that you can create such a program for your business.

First, ask yourself these questions: Where are the knowledge gaps in your business? What do you need your employees to learn, and where can they pick up such skills? There are many ways to find this information. Professional organizations for your industry provide one such example. You can also consult with your local Chamber of Commerce. The Internet will likely have a slew of available resources.

As a small-business owner, be sure to discuss training options with your staff. This, in addition to an honest survey of your business’s own needs, should help identify areas that will be helpful to train.

Once these steps have been completed, you will want to find a provider of training. This provider should be able to give you the content you are looking for in a bite-sized format that you need. There are a wide array of training programs available. As such, you will want to conduct extensive research to find the program that best fits your needs.

Every business has different needs. You will want to find the one that combines the right content, meets your technical specifications, and comes at a reasonable price.