In 2004, the Motorola Razr V3 was one of the most popular cell phone choices, according to PC World, and touchscreens were unheard of. According to TechCrunch, it's expected that a full 70 percent of the world's population will have smartphones by the year 2020, and the average smartphone owner already checks the phone up to 85 times a day. So what does this mean for your HR or L&D department? Because we have come to use smartphones on such a daily — and really, hourly — basis, they provide a prime opportunity to make use of mobile learning technology to help employees learn faster and retain more.
Key Benefits of Mobile Learning
1. Improved Adoption
When e-learning came on to the scene, it took corporate training and instruction from the HR conference room to the computer lab. Now mobile learning is taking this one step further, putting it right into the hands, literally, of employees. Employees are more likely to participate in training delivered via mobile learning apps when there is a gamification element and they feel that they are able to give feedback and actively engage with other learners. Mobile learning reinforcement is for all generations, but it is especially popular with the Millennial generation and digital natives, who made up more than one-fourth of the overall population as of 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and will make up more and more of the workforce in the coming years.
A screenshot from the Novartis Legal "Talent Opportunity`s Performance” (TOP) mobile learning app, developed by SwissVBS.
2. More Effective Knowledge Retention
Mobile learning apps are an especially efficient tool for corporate learning and development because they allow employees to learn at their own pace and increase overall information retention. Seventy percent of employees in a New Zealand study reported acquiring "new knowledge and skill sets" via mobile learning. Whether this was because employees could do the training on their own time, in small increments, or when they were feeling particularly sharp is unknown, but the benefits don't stop there. A full 55 percent of the study's subjects reported a higher level of satisfaction with work. Happier, more satisfied employees are more likely to be motivated to continue additional training and/or professional development and are better, more effective employees overall.
3. Better Employee Engagement
If you've ever watched an employee sit at a computer to work on a long training module, you know what it looks like when she starts to disengage. Her eyes start to glaze over, and suddenly that stock art poster on the far wall is oh-so-interesting. Mobile learning delivers an easy fix to this common issue. Effective mobile learning delivers information in short, easy-to-digest bits so that employees can come into and out of the interface without having to commit to a long block of uninterrupted time. This means they can simply put the phone down or exit the app when they start to get bored or feel like they've gotten all the information they can handle at that moment. Then, they can come back when they're refreshed without having to repeat material or sit through long videos.
A key aspect of TOP focused on functional and leadership competencies of Novartis Legal employees.
4. The Freedom of a Remote Workforce
Nearly 37 percent of Americans were working remotely at least part time as of 2015, and the mobile learning trends play right into this, giving remote workers even more options for professional development and advancement. Telecommuters are already used to maximizing work time and finding a positive work/life balance and are likely to appreciate the freedom and autonomy mobile learning provides.
The Bottom Line:
At SwissVBS, we know that mobile learning is here to stay and is only likely to increase in popularity and usage in the years to come. Capitalizing on the mobile learning trends and integrating your employee training with this technology can help your business attract the top applicants, help you stay competitive in your respective industry, and help you produce a stronger, more prepared workforce.