Understanding Micro-Upskilling
October 12, 2022

Understanding Micro-Upskilling

Micro-upskilling: the newest HR fad or an innovative way to approach manager training? Read on to learn.

Efficient and effective learning and development (L&D) is important. In fact, in this market, where it's harder than ever to attract and retain talent, it may just be essential. According to HR magazine, 32% of UK employees changed jobs in the last 12 months because their employer didn’t offer upskilling or training opportunities.

However, knowing what type of training is best isn't an easy task. The working world is changing and manager training is changing with it. Enter micro-upskilling; a way to integrate personalised virtual training into the working week without taking hours out of your day.

Read on to learn more about what micro-upskilling is, how it could benefit your team and how to implement it.


The main characteristic of micro-upskilling is it doesn't take a lot of time. It asks teams to commit just an hour of their workweek rather than two full offsite days. Micro-upskilling adopts a “little and often” approach as opposed to “cramming for the test”.

Often put in the same box as in-the-flow learning, micro-upskilling encourages learners to develop their skills whilst working on the job, integrating best practices into their natural development. Training is no longer seen as a task to tick off, but a stepping stone towards greater professional success.

The benefit to your team

There are three main benefits to micro-upskilling:

  1. They won’t forget the content
  2. It will fit into their schedule
  3. Your teams will actually improve
  1. Within one hour, most people have forgotten 50% of the information they’ve learnt. This rises to 90% in a week. With traditional management training, you’re relying on just 10% of the material to change your teams (not a great ROI). Given the regular touchpoint with micro-upskilling, that’s not the case.
  2. Every quarter it feels like our schedules are getting busier. And when time is tight, the first thing to go is training. By asking teams to commit to less than an hour a week, there’s a much greater chance that the training is completed.
  3. The main reason traditional training is ineffective is because it has no link to “real” work. Training is all theoretical, conducted in a sterile environment with no impatient clients, bossy managers or disruptive coworkers breathing down your neck. And most of the content is forgotten before it can even be applied to a “real” work situation. Micro-upskilling is integrated into the work day so you can practise while you learn.

How do I implement it?

Converting traditional training programmes into a micro-upskilling format is a lot of work. And it may not be something that HR can take on. It is likely best to outsource management training to a micro-upskilling expert, at least until HR have the resources to create a new learning platform inhouse.

Focus on companies that offer long training programmes (think three to six months) with no more than one hour of training per week. Ideally this training would also be virtual to offer your teams further flexibility.


Micro-upskilling may seem like the latest trend in L&D but all signs indicate that it's here to stay.

Try using micro-upskilling in your teams to promote greater retention and improved skill development.