If you’ve hung around this blog long enough, you know that we strongly endorse continuous learning and microlearning for training employees. Those two strategies provide proven, successful ways to educate, and monthly newsletters take advantage of both of them.
The former refers to a cycle of education that repeats itself by continuously introducing new information or reinforcing previous messages. Monthly newsletters embrace that concept better than most other forms of materials because they can be planned out months in advance yet are customizable to current events. If you check out our newsletter topics for 2019, you’ll find a lot of common themes from years past. But what makes this form of continuous learning so effective is that each theme of each month can be tailored to fit specific changes in policies or address relevant issues as they present themselves.
Further reinforcing the strength of presenting information continuously is presenting it in bite-sized chunks (continuously). That’s the idea behind microlearning — an efficient supplement to your overall objectives. Our newsletters feature a few short pages designed to convey messages via brightly colored graphics instead of walls of text. Check out the below example from one our 2017 issues:10_SACCurrent_October2017_SocialEngineering&Phishing_page3
This page illustrates why our monthly newsletters generate so much positive feedback, most of which comes from employees enrolled in their organization’s security awareness program. What’s so great about it?
- First and foremost, it’s easy on the eyes. Boring or cluttered artwork serves as a distraction and will stunt learning immediately.
- There’s a lot of information but not a lot of text. Readers are treated to three different types of attacks, how those attacks are carried out, why they might be successful, and most importantly, what individuals can do to avoid becoming a victim. The article also highlights a few key definitions.
- The information is relevant to the entire organization. BEC scams target lower-level employees but also apply to executives and managers.
Here’s another example, also from 2017:07_SACCurrent_July2017_Malware
Again, it’s easy on the eyes. It provides a few quick stats that highlight the growing menace of malware. The information reaches end users on a personal level. The information applies to everyone in the organization because everyone owns a smart device. The article presents the information in short chunks and follows it up with action items (how to not get malware).
Reminding users of important messages and policies each month in an approachable, fun manner will help you take strides towards establishing a strong culture of learning and security awareness within your organization, as well as leveraging more informal learning opportunities. Monthly newsletters can’t replace compliance training modules or stand alone as the entirety of your security awareness program, but as you can see from the above examples, they provide an excellent reinforcement that your employees will love.
Want to see more of our microlearning features? Download the “Best of 2017” for free! While you’re on our freebie page, browse around and grab some extra posters to hang around your office. If you want more information about who we are and what we offer, feel free to contact us at any time.
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