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TikTok-Style Training: L&D Fad or Our Future?


TikTok needs no introduction, but we’ll do it anyway. 

1.9 billion global users. The highest-grossing app of 2023. Used by 20% of people aged 18 and over worldwide. 

The biggest social media apps can all be tied to a content consumption trend. Facebook put the individual first. Twitter introduced microblogging. With Instagram and TikTok came the rise of visual, mobile-first content - and the use of social media as a search engine.

Newer social platforms like TikTok aren’t just entertaining. They’re educating, too. 

So much so that this trend has moved into the L&D space. We’ve seen corporate training formats develop in a way that’s increasingly parallel to social media. What started as online ‘e-learning’ built to improve personal career tracks turned into video- and mobile-first learning. More recently microlearning formats that are invisibly embedded and device-agnostic have entered the scene. 

So, is introducing TikTok-style training into the employee experience a good idea?  It’s certainly forward-thinking - TikTok is the second most popular app for Gen Z, who will make up 30% of the workforce in 2030 - but is it just a fad or something that’s here to stay?

Let’s dive in. In this blog post, we’ll cover why TikTok for corporate learning is more than a trend, and where you should be taking inspiration from to engage, and educate, your workforce. 

Time to get started. 

Why Tik-Tok style training is more than just a fad

First of all, why is TikTok-style learning the future of employee learning? Is it not just the latest thing in the long line of corporate training formats we detailed above? 

The answer lies in what work looks like today. When we think of an employee we tend to think of a traditional office-based, desk-bound worker - but today’s reality is more diverse than that. Alongside office-based employees, we have frontline workers: the people who make our food, help us in shops, deliver our packages, and look after our elderly. 

These workers are short on time and often on the go. They regularly work on tasks that have to be done precisely and at speed. They need learning experiences that work with their day-to-day and blend seamlessly with their workflows. 

Training that’s delivered on a desktop or as part of a corporate training day isn’t feasible for a varied workforce. Looking to how consumer behavior has changed post-smartphone - plus, how the incoming Gen Z consumes content - will help us to meet the needs of all employees, no matter their working setup.

Take the Temco Logistics workforce, for example. The business’s L&D Director, Dan Drenk, describes how his team is meeting its needs today: 

The demographic of our workforce is 90% 20-40 years old. Most folks in that age group are either on Instagram, TikTok or something similar. We want to lean into that and be able to give content to folks in a way that’s easy for them to digest, in a way they’re used to seeing. 

And that’s where TikTok-style employee training - short-form learning on the devices workers already have access to - comes in. 

How should frontline worker training mirror TikTok?

When done well, the benefits of TikTok-style training for an on-demand workforce are huge. Mobile-first learning videos are more engaging, shareable and cost-effective. 

They have the potential to appeal to a global workforce. 43% of the global population is bilingual, and videos can quickly be localized with AI to make sure every worker can understand them. 

Plus they speak to every learning style, no matter how common or uncommon (65% of the population are visual learners, but just 5% are kinaesthetic learners, for example). Visual learners can watch, audio learners listen to a voiceover, and kinesthetic learners can pause and repeat the content while they try the task out for themselves.

Let’s find out how to use TikTok-style training for frontline workers.

Video-first content

TikTok’s proven that video content is the way to go (think of all other social media platforms rolling out copycat features to reap the rewards). 

It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to create. Everyone on TikTok is a creator (more on that in a minute) which means users are used to lower quality footage. In fact, it works in your favor: it seems more authentic, and therefore more relatable, than anything too slick.

SME-generated teaching

As promised, more on user-generated content. TikTok is part of the creator economy - and corporate learning should be too. 

As Josh Bersin says: 

At least 70% of all training in your company comes from your own people, not professional teachers or instructional designers. When you “unlock” these subject matter experts and various people to build content, your training experience is supercharged.

Temco Logistics is a great business to learn from here:  

“We’re trying to run an influencer campaign with our workforce - the content just happens to be training. We’ll get more engagement that way, and it’ll be passed around colloquially” Dan explains. 

“Folks are more inclined to come back and look for more if they enjoy what they’re watching” he adds.  

Asking SMEs to create instruction videos and share them is much more collaborative, and feels more personal. It’s also far more efficient. There’s no need for the middleman to spend time learning about a task and figuring out how to teach it, when you have someone who naturally excels at it at hand.   


Microlearning is a learning method that delivers information in short, bite-sized bursts. Doing so is proven to increase knowledge retention, as the content is far more digestible. 

It works particularly well for today’s frontline workforce, who often have to do a certain task precisely and quickly. A Tiktok-style video tutorial based only on one task allows the worker to embed learning into the flow of their work, rather than having to treat learning and working as two separate entities. These short videos can cut training times in half, and boost staff productivity too.  

Guides (5)

Microlearning also works best on handheld devices, like tablets or mobiles, (again, mimicking the users’ usage of social media in their spare time) which is key for frontline workers who aren’t desk-based.

Interactive learning

TikTok is interactive - users swipe through videos and engage through comments and likes. Making your training just as interactive increases employee engagement, and allows you to make sure that it’s working. 

For example utilizing brief in-lesson knowledge checks or quizzes keeps the learning experience active over passive, and makes sure the learning is paying attention. 

The more you can interact with your users, the more you can build a relationship with them and stay relevant. Active participation is particularly important to frontline workers, who might not have the in-person social hub of an office and often spend long days alone.  

The personalization of learning

By making learning unique to your business, and introducing workers to other people who do the same thing as them, you’re building your company’s brand. Again, this is particularly important for workers who might not otherwise feel connected to the business on a day-to-day basis. 

UGC content is a big part of Temco Logistics’s strategy. Dan explains: 

We’re trying to show as much of the workforce as we can to as much of the workforce as we can…It just gives folks perspective on how big and broad the organization is.

The more engaged a worker is with a brand, the more likely they are to commit to the onboarding process and beyond. And as a result, you’ll experience: 

  • Increased sales 
  • Increased customer satisfaction ratings
  • Fewer incidents 
  • A higher intent to recommend from customers 

Plus, lower turnover and fewer first day no-shows, and workers that become more productive - faster.

TikTok-style training: final thoughts

The world of work has changed, and as learning and development leaders it’s our responsibility to change with it. There are more types of employment than ever before - but rather than try to appeal to each and every type of work, we can instead take inspiration from our people’s personal lives and integrate macro trends into our training programs. 

TikTok-style learning should be part of corporate learning as long as video-first mobile content is part of social media. In other words, it’s here to stay. 

The businesses that adopt social media-style learning for their workforces will come out on top. Want to find out what that looks like in practice? Watch our product demo video.