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Practice Makes Permanent: Microlearning on the Go 

A Retail Organization Uses Short Simulations to Reinforce Learning

Abstract

A distributed retail organization with a field-based population of district leaders reported challenges with gathering leaders for in-person leadership development workshops due to the demands of the work. Insight Experience developed a series of bite-size, regularly distributed microlearnings in the form of a short simulation product called Insight2Go, which provides reinforcement of success factors developed by the client. The organization, bolstering the microlearning with effective communication from the Learning & Development team and support from regional leaders, boasted high adoptions rates.

I2G_mobile

Challenge

The intervention targeted a population of field-based distributed leaders responsible for leading the managers of multiple retail and pharmacy stores. Most of the leaders in this district-level role were promoted from store-level leadership and, according to the success factors developed by the organization, had learning gaps. As store leaders, they are responsible for the needs and outcomes of one store, but at a district level they must quickly adopt a wider lens of focus with less direct control of outcomes at the store level.

Because district leaders are responsible for geographically distributed stores, this work requires daily travel. The organization’s Learning & Development team received feedback from district and regional leaders that meeting to participate in workshops, whether in person or virtually, was too time-consuming and derailed necessary field work. The L&D team came to Insight Experience with a request for custom, on-demand microlearnings to support leadership development in this population.

Solution

Insight Experience developed a series of targeted on-demand simulations—short and highly relevant—designed for a quick, high-impact experience. The simulations require learners to read a brief overview of a situation, absorb snippets of data or perspectives, and make two to four decisions in a 10-minute learning experience. This rapid-cycle learning provides learners with hands-on practice as well as targeted feedback about their decision-making and outcomes.

LO_I2G

Learning Objectives

The series of Insight 2 Go (I2G) simulations developed for this population was tailored to support and reinforce custom learning outcomes of internally developed leadership success factors, including but not limited to:

  • Customer focus.
  • Recruiting & development.
  • Strategic thinking.
  • Resilience & agility.
  • Diversity focus.
  • Coaching.

Design Highlights

Each Insight 2 Go simulation leverages business metrics (like Net Promoter Score, margin, and employee engagement) that tie leadership concepts directly to business outcomes. All I2G simulations are replayable so that leaders can practice the skill, reinforce the topic, and improve over time.

Learners are awarded a medal based on performance. Medals are paired with tailored feedback to expose the strengths and weaknesses of their decision-making. After the experience concludes, learners can access additional learning and application through a learning portal. Usage data is trackable for leadership analysis.

Insight 2 Go leverages a microlearning platform that delivers a stream of scenarios at regular intervals, which can be tailored to align with business cadence or organizational change cycles.

The platform provides a landing page for easy access to previously released I2Gs as well as a leaderboard to generate friendly competition.

Leaderboard - monitorPictured above: User Landing Page & Leaderboard

Medals- Barchart - monitorPictured above: User Data Analytics for Managers

For this retail client, Insight 2 Go simulations were released to the field monthly. Content selections were mapped to the needs of the population based on typical business cadence and adjusted for market fluctuations or organizational requirements.

History and Results

The high relevance and applicability of the learning topics—along with the strategic and well-formulated outward communication of the internal L&D team in partnership with Insight Experience—resulted in high adoption rates. The internal L&D team worked diligently to build accountability with the field leaders and their talent development business partners to drive consistent utilization. Support and reinforcement from the regional leadership team members (who are responsible for the success and outcomes of district leaders) led to adoption outcomes up to 51%. Regional leaders who reported using Insight 2 Go as a tool for development conversation had higher adoption rates in their region.

The business metric outcomes designed into each experience can be used to assess competency increase across time and users. Examining how these metrics are impacted by leader decisions is a strong practical indicator of progressive performance. Similarly, analyzing medal-outcome data by user over time can show the efficacy of the learning and how well success factors are being socialized in this population.

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