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What is Micro-Upskilling?

If the members of your workforce already possess all of the skills you need, and could ever need, from them, you may skip this article.

If, on the other hand, you recognize some skills and competencies that you desire for your team, read on. You’ll learn about the fastest, most effective way to enhance employee performance: micro-upskilling.

What is Micro-upskilling?

“Upskilling” means learning additional or expanded skills.  Reskilling, on the other hand, involves career change. For example, a machinist who learns to operate x-ray equipment. Upskilling means filling in gaps in knowledge, such as teaching a team new collaboration skills, new software, or improved communication skills. Micro-upskilling breaks down those additional skills into bite-sized pieces. You get the right amount of knowledge to enhance a skill set, but not so much as to overwhelm the learner. An example: an auto mechanic takes a quick course on a new fuel injection system. She’s a certified mechanic. She knows what’s under the hood. Even still, she needs to learn about upgrades to the car’s systems. She practices those new skills. That’s micro-upskilling. In the business world, there are innumerable skills we would like our team to improve, such as:

  • Diversity and inclusion best practices
  • Goal-setting skills
  • Enhanced time management
  • Public speaking or presentation skills
  • Self-study and self-learning
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Management and leadership skills to grow in-house leaders

The list of desired competencies could go on and on. Such a list gets industry-specific. Occasionally, these missing/inadequate skills fall under the heading of “hard skills.” However, most often these are the soft skills that educational programs lack. Businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars, globally, in workplace training trying to teach these skills. Unfortunately, most of those funds get wasted, lost due to poor attention and retention in antiquated training programs.

The Problem with Most Training Models

Most training seeks to be memorable, with an audience of engaged students. Unfortunately, listening efficiency is estimated to be about 25%. Even those who seem engaged can only absorb so much in one sitting. And how long do trainees retain new information? In all likelihood, a few hours. Known as the “forgetting curve,” new material often fails to transition to long-term memory. It’s why you’re unlikely to be able to do high school math and science as an adult. Teachers battle this phenomenon every year. They reteach material taught only a few months earlier.Fortunately, micro-upskilling uses key, research-based educational retention strategies to circumvent many of the problems with archaic, classroom-model learning.

What Does Micro-upskilling Teach?

Micro-upskilling breaks information down into attainable goals. You expand on existing skill sets. Or you develop new skills. You meet learners where they are: on an individualized digital learning platform. Yes, vital workplace skills can be taught via smartphone. It’s not just the phones that are smart; they can make us smarter.

How Do You Get Started with Micro-upskilling?

With a text-based eLearning platform, you can quickly create bite-sized courses.

You teach valuable skills. They instantly roll out to everyone’s personal devices. Learners receive only small bits of information at once, and they gain time to think about the material until the next day’s lesson. This improves attention and retention. Learners receive an ongoing evaluation and receive strategic and succinct reflection questions. You get instant feedback (analytics) on progress. Courses build on top of one another, to rapidly upskill a workforce.

To make matters even more simple, at Arist we offer in-house course creation, customizable templates for common topics, and as much guidance as you could desire on any course creation. Contact us to find out how to get started with micro-upskilling.


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