David Rodeck

The Benefits of Mobile Learning for Your Employees

Mobile technology is one of the biggest tech advancements of the past decade, and it’s transformed the way we live. There’s a good chance you’re reading this on your phone right now. Your employees use their mobile devices in nearly every aspect of their lives — but has their workplace training gone mobile?

If not, here’s how your organization can take advantage of mobile learning.

What Is Mobile Employee Learning?

As the name probably indicates, mobile learning is studying a subject through some sort of mobile, electronic device such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone or e-reader. Rather than taking a class in a physical location at a fixed time, students are free to access their materials from anywhere and typically at any time they want. Some examples of this type of learning are:

  • Online courses, including interactive ones where people can respond to questions

  • Videos, slideshows and seminars, such as a financial literacy program

  • Flashcards

  • Educational apps and games

  • Social learning platforms, where people can share their results and collaborate with other students in the same course

How Can You Use Mobile Learning in the Workplace?

  • Ongoing training and compliance. Are you having trouble finding times when all your employees can attend workplace training? With digital learning, you can set up courses that people can take at their convenience throughout the workday or at home. The courses can have test questions at the end that allow you to check that your employees have properly understood the information.

  • Employee onboarding. You can speed up their onboarding process for new hires by having them work through the new training materials at home or during pockets of downtime in their first couple of days rather than scheduling them for a dedicated block of training time. You could also include videos welcoming them to your organization.

  • Developing new skills. Whether it’s learning how to use new technology, picking up a second language or improving their sales abilities, employees can use mobile training to develop new skills that make your business run better. Whenever they have a spare 15 minutes, they can grab their device and put that time to good use. As an added bonus, encouraging this kind of training and development could help reduce turnover.

  • Regular reminders and performance support. Changing employee behavior takes time and, in most cases, more than one class. Mobile apps give employees learning aids that they can regularly check as they work through a new task, such as operating an unfamiliar customer relationship management system. That way, employees won’t have to contact their supervisor or technical support for help.

What Are the Advantages?

Mobile learning encourages your staff to absorb their employee training when they’re most ready to learn. A 2018 LinkedIn report found that roughly 60% of employees prefer studying at their own pace. Digital training lets them do just that.

Since there is such a variety of types of mobile training, employees can pick the style that serves them best. Some may like to watch a video, while others might prefer reviewing flashcards at night. This also saves you the hassle of coordinating multiple schedules for a live class.

This style of training can be an especially good fit for millennials and members of Generation Z, who have spent nearly their entire lives using mobile devices and are more likely to think that a mobile training program fits their existing habits and preferences.

What Are the Drawbacks?

Though mobile training can have many advantages, it’s not a perfect solution. You need to trust that your employees will study properly on their own and won’t skim through it while they’re distracted. When employees are in a live training, there’s social pressure to pay attention. Mobile learning takes a bit more faith.

These classes also depend on having internet connectivity. If the internet falters or an employee is stuck in a Wi-Fi dead zone, they could get blocked out of their training. And with so many different options available, it can take some planning at the beginning to figure out which ones will be the most useful.

When you factor in these issues, it may be best to combine mobile learning for broader training with formal classes for your most important compliance and workplace lessons. About 90% of organizations already use digital training in some way, according to LinkedIn’s report. As this technology continues to innovate workplace education, it’s worth seeing what’s out there for your workforce.

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