How to Engage Deskless Workers Through Micro-learning

Deskless workers now make up 80% of the global workforce. That’s around 2.7 billion people working outside the traditional office environment and independent of conventional workplace norms. That’s also 2.7 billion employees who, compared with the traditional 9-to-5 workforce, need a new approach from companies in the way they communicate and learn.

Organisations across the world are faced with the challenges of keeping their frontline employees safe, protected, motivated, and engaged. Their jobs are often busy and fast-paced, leaving little time for on-the-job training – classroom sessions and seminars take employees away from the front lines for too long.

Since customer-facing employees (often in non-desk bound working environments) don’t always have the capacity to be trained using time-intensive methods, businesses need to reconsider how best to deliver the knowledge necessary for them to be successful in their jobs.

The solution is simple: micro-learning.

Micro-learning is a form of continuous learning that breaks down larger pieces of information into small, bite-sized chunks of content in multiple different formats, sometimes delivered repetitively over time. Compared to classroom training or once-off training exercises, micro-learning is proven to increase retention of knowledge and drive behavioural change. Micro-learning lessons can be completed in minutes, often from anywhere. This type of training can be used across a variety of industries and can be adapted to serve many needs.

The number one benefit of micro-learning is that it is convenient for the learner – lessons can be slotted into a busy work schedule and the learner can engage whenever and wherever it suits them.

Micro-learning in this scenario is best delivered through a mobile app – such as Surge9 – since people are accustomed to reaching for their smartphones during brief periods of downtime.

Mobile micro-learning is perfect for combating the “forgetting curve”, a scientifically proven concept that states 79% of new information is forgotten within 30 days. Micro-learning is often constantly reinforced, meaning that new information is repeated and retained much more efficiently.

Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting


Lessons are designed to cover a single topic at a time, so that learners aren’t overwhelmed by new information. This removes distractions and allows learners to give the content their full focus, which increases the rate at which they reach full comprehension of the subject matter. Shorter lessons with fewer key topics are easier to digest as well as easier to recall. Additionally, these micro lessons can be completed in the flow of work, meaning employees don’t have to leave their posts.

In today’s corporate world, scalability is crucial – the rollout of learning across an organisation can be time-consuming and costly, especially if employees are spread out across multiple locations and not bound to a desk, such as frontline workers. Short mobile employee training is the most effective way to share process changes with an entire workforce quickly. In this way, training isn’t bogged down by classroom or face-to-face training sessions. It delivers only what is needed where it is needed.

Mobile learning is a big money saver in terms of travel and time spent away from work, and the shorter content is also easier to build and rollout. A mobile training platform (Surge9) designed to help create, manage, and administer micro-learning makes delivering training quick and cost-effective.

Consider the following example. A mine is a multifaceted operational organisation with hundreds of employees from engineers to machine operators to maintenance staff, this can be extended to any contractors who work on site. All employees and contractors have to comply to strict Occupational Health and Safety regulations and mandatory refresher training – so that everyone is continuously informed of and adhering of the processes and procedures on the mine. Since it’s not always possible for these employees to leave their posts for in-person training, a mobile micro-learning solution is essential.

Through a mobile app, each of the mine’s employees can receive the necessary training in bite-sized chunks in the brief periods of downtime between performing their duties. These micro-learning chunks can be rolled out to everyone at the same time and can be repeated as necessary to reinforce the learning.

Having a mobile app that supports micro-learning allows the freedom to educate all of an organisation’s employees quickly and consistently.


Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we have helped organisations implement winning microlearning solutions!


Written by Rob Ewart


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