Training collectors, especially those who have been working at an agency for a period of time, is a great idea. But the idea of having to take them off the collection floor and take time away from being on the phone to train them, especially as the industry is heading into its busiest time of the year, is not something that many agencies love to do.
In a webinar sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning, a pair of industry experts discussed the concept of microlearning, which delivers targeted content in short bursts that not only takes less time than traditional training, but also helps boost memory retention.
The attention of span of individuals is shortening, noted Roger Weiss, who is the president of CACi and also runs The Collections Coach, making the concept of microlearning even more relevant and important to companies in the credit and collection industry.
Weiss, who was joined by Debra Ciskey for the webinar, pointed out that microlearning is not the best tool for every situation. Microlearning works best when trying to teach simple, straightforward topics.
“Microlearning modules concentrate on one very specific skill or topic or behavior that you want your agents to learn,” Ciskey said. “Microlearning links new training to previous training and through experience, using past learnings on the job that will open up your students’ minds to subsequent training. It reduces resistance to training because it links to the experience that your learner’s have had previously. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in training sessions where the students come in with their arms crossed, daring me to teach them something. That doesn’t occur with microlearning because they’re excited about the training because they know it’s gonna be a short, very meaningful experience.”
When incorporating microlearning techniques into a training platform, it is important to remember the most effective underlying adult education techniques, Ciskey and Weiss pointed out. Those are:
Making it Memorable
The 90/20/10 Rule
Review & Repetition
On top of the techniques and using microlearning, the pair shared other tips to help collectors be more engaged during training to boost retention and awareness. One such technique is using a cliffhanger by foreshadowing what is likely to come in the next session. Television shows have perfected the use of cliffhangers at the ends of episodes and seasons to keep people on the edge of their seats until the next episode airs.
“It gets your students again excited about about the learning because they already know a nugget of what they’re going to get in the next session, and they just can’t wait to get to get there,” Ciskey said. “Now, you know, you don’t have to use sessions in a particular order and they still link because they use the common techniques as well.”
Getting individuals excited and engaged in learning is a huge step in proving the value of microlearning, Weiss said.
“I learned a statement early on in my career that was given to me by one of my role models, Nick Di Giovanni: Is the juice worth the squeeze? And that’s where microlearning learning comes in,” Weiss said. “It provides time-effective and cost-effective solutions. The juice is worth the squeeze. There’s an ROI on it. If they learn it in short, fast, repetitive, frequent bursts you’re going to feel those impacts that much quicker.”
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