We all love a snack. Food trucks are fantastic, providing a great pick-me-up and a burst of energy. They offer a yummy lunch and often lead to a sugar rush, leaving you feeling energised and motivated in the short term. They can even help your longterm health.


Digital learning, e-learning, and microlearning are excellent. This is snack-based learning: delivering information in small, easily digestible chunks or snacks, making it convenient for learners to access and retain knowledge. Think Duolingo: quick micro-lessons that enable you to learn Portuguese, Inuktitut, or Nahuatl. It’s fantastic for cognitive learning during your commute to work.


But how long does it last? We are increasingly learning that the quality of the food we eat makes a difference. The same applies to learning programmes. 


In 2019, UK companies spent an average of £1,500 per employee on training*. The Employer Skills survey further estimates that the average employee receives 6.0 days of training a year, much of it focused on induction and health & safety. Much of this training is remote or delivered in bite-size chunks, akin to snack-based learning. We know that digital and e-learning were already on the rise, and Covid accelerated this trend. Microlearning is also gaining popularity.


Are microlearning snacks good for you… or your organization?


Yes, if you want cognitive learning. If there are specific things you need people to know, it’s perfect. They can learn in bite-size elements and have a learning snack between other activities. It actually helps with long-term learning of complex processes.


But if you want to change behaviour, it might not be enough.


So why do more and more organizations assume that snack-based learning is the one and only answer? We believe there are two reasons, both invalid.


First, everyone is busy. No one has enough time. Training is often viewed as a distraction from ‘real work.’ Let’s get it out of the way as quickly as possible, and then we can all return to our core responsibilities.


Second, it is easy to deliver. It makes training departments look good, delivers on KPIs, and can always be included in the annual report to please shareholders.


We believe this type of thinking is misguided and misses the point. It’s misguided because it focuses on outputs rather than outcomes. It misses the point because training does not exist solely to produce a KPI for the training department – it’s for the learners. If you are delivering training programs solely to spend your budget or meet KPIs, then you are focusing on the wrong audience.


Snacks are cheap and easy to arrange. A full meal takes more effort but is much more satisfying and nutritious.


A healthy lifestyle is important, and so is a healthy training lifestyle. Invest in proper meals: three courses with a good dose of vegetables and ingredients that suit everyone. Add in high-quality snacks to reinforce the learning and nourish the learner. And don’t underestimate the power of pleasure: it’s always more enjoyable to have a shared experience around the communal table than independent learning at “al desko”.


People learn in different ways, so you need ingredients that cater to all. How do you adapt your programs to cater to different tastes while achieving the best outcome for learners and your organization?


This is where Archetypical excels. We work with our clients to deliver training that is motivating, entertaining, fun, and enjoyable. We accompany them to ensure the learning sticks. We create memories and change habits. Talk to us to find out how.