How Mobile Learning Boosts Employee Engagement
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5 Ways To Achieve Staff Engagement Through Mobile Training

The Towards Maturity Benchmark Survey is an ongoing study based on responses gathered from over 6,000 organizations and 40,000 learners since 2003 [1]. One of the most important conclusions they’ve come to regarding learning is that mobile learning is transforming training in the workplace.

And L&D teams across the globe are using mobile-based learning platforms to deliver training that employees can complete quicker, with the added benefit of improved information retention .

But can mobile training also boost employee engagement?

This is important because engaged employees tend to perform better, stay longer and generally bring more to the table. They want the company to succeed, not just because they rely on their salary, but because they actually feel involved in the company’s mission.

Now, with the obvious importance of employee engagement established, let’s get back to boosting staff engagement through mobile training.

5 Ways Mobile Learning Increases Employee Engagement

We know what you’re thinking. Mobile phones! The very same sources of temptation that pull employees away from their work with carrots like Candy Crush and Instagram. And here we are, encouraging you to hand them the gadgets that will tank their productivity. The cheek of it!

But maybe you’ve got it twisted. Maybe, if an employee wants to be unproductive, they will be. Tools aside. It doesn’t matter whether you lock them in a training room with good old-fashioned pen and paper, or hand them the latest smartphone and send them home to work. An engaged employee will be motivated to learn, and mobile learning will promote employee engagement. Here’s how this cycle works.

Employees are more likely to feel engaged when their working and learning experiences offer flexibility, personalization, collaboration, real-time feedback and opportunities for practicing new skills. And all of this can be achieved through mobile learning in the following 5 ways.

1. Increased Flexibility

Ah, flexibility. The pot of gold at the end of everybody’s rainbow. How do we know people want flexibility this much? Because they’ve said so. In a recent study by Werk, 96% of employees said that they need flexibility. Today, employees want to choose how they work, how they learn and when they learn. And mobile training offers just that.

You see, the great thing about mobile phones is that they’re, well, mobile! This means that training content can be accessed and completed in the employees’ own time and at their own pace. They can choose to learn when they feel motivated and focused and are in an environment that best suits their learning needs. Plus, being able to work through information at their own pace is less stressful for most employees.

2. A Personalized Learning Experience

Today, employees are looking for more than rote learning: They’re looking for a personal experience. Something easily achieved when mobile learning goes hand-in-hand with microlearning. That’s bite-sized chunks of training that can be accessed by the people who need them most when they need them most.

Like a basket of ingredients, microlearning enables employees to snack on the bits of content that are most relevant and helpful to them in their jobs, and skip all the rest. The result? A personalized training experience tailored to each employee’s specific learning needs, while also supporting organizational learning objectives. Of course, these bite-sized learning chunks are often made more engaging with gamification elements and multimedia, like infographics and animated videos.

3. Collaboration And Effective Communication

Connection is a human need that has stood the test of time. We first need to feel socially connected with coworkers before we can feel a sense of belonging and engagement. So, improving staff engagement through mobile training means leveraging smartphones as a tool for collaboration and communication in learning.

Chat groups and forums enable employees to learn together, share ideas and exchange experiences. Calendars, push notifications and reminders provide timely communication to employees on the devices they’re already checking every 10 minutes. And this keeps all employees in the loop and on track towards completing their required training.

4. Recognition And Immediate Feedback

Many studies have explored the connection between employee engagement and feedback. One, in particular, found that 58% of employees believe that more recognition would improve their engagement [2]. After all, we’d all like to go home after a long day’s work feeling like we made a difference. That’s why real-time recognition, and feedback, is key when it comes to increasing staff engagement through mobile training.

Mobile training often includes features that enable frequent knowledge checks. This allows employees to gauge progress and identify areas where more time or practice is needed. Gamification features, like badges and leaderboards, offer immediate recognition for achievement. And peer-to-peer ratings and reviews for particular tasks or assignments create a more personal opportunity for feedback.

All-in-all, mobile learning creates an environment of quick feedback and recognition, which makes employees happier and more likely to engage fully in their work and learning.

5. Opportunity For Real-Time Practice

The human attention span is dwindling, and, in 2013, it was at – a meager amount of time – 8 seconds. You probably haven’t chatted to any fish recently, but the chances are that they can focus their attention for longer than you can. Why are we telling you this?

Because a reduced attention span means that employees are easily distracted when tackling long lectures or pages of training materials. In fact, daydreaming will probably lead to them remembering little of what they’ve heard and read. Worse still, they won’t remember what they should be applying to their jobs, or how.

Fortunately, mobile training is well adapted to limited attention spans. Employees get to access digestible chunks of training (only the chunks they need) and immediately apply their new knowledge and skills in the workplace. By designing mobile courses focused on job-based knowledge, employees can learn, practice, reflect and repeat before there’s time for their minds to wander.

Conclusion

Employees today want to work for a company that offers empowerment, freedom, and opportunity. They also want to use their smartphones 20 times a day – so let them! Stop raising eyebrows at phones in the workplace, and start increasing staff engagement through mobile training. Give employees the autonomy to learn the way they want, when they want.

References:

  1. Unlocking Potential: Releasing the potential of the business and its people through learning
  2. A Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace
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