Training and development has been an important aspect of enterprises for decades starting from new hire orientation to on-going training on new products, policies and reinforcing company's vision and mission. Traditionally companies set up these programs using web based LMS platforms for employees that have access to computers and kiosk based LMS platforms for employees that do have access to computers (retail stores, service franchises, restaurant franchises, quick-serve franchises, manufacturing and healthcare). While these platforms have worked in the past, they are not that effective. First, the mundane formats and the fact that you need to sit in front of a computer for long periods of time make it a tedious experience for employees. Second, for those employees on the go, kiosks present a limitation especially for on-going training programs.
However, there are two trends that can help revamp the learning and development landscape in the enterprise - mobile phones and millennial workforce. Combined with content that is engaging, this presents an awesome opportunity for enterprises to deploy their employee training and development on mobile. So lets see why mLearning (mobile learning) technology can be more effective in creating a highly skilled and engaged workforce.
Mobile and the new workforce: As we discussed in a previous blog post, every employee today has access to a smartphone today. On top of it, the new workforce consisting increasingly of millennials have grown up with these devices. Mobile also on the other hand gives access to those who are not in front of a computer all the time. So reaching employees on the go like sales, hospitals, retail, manufacturing and franchises will be easy especially on an on-going basis. According to an IEEE research paper on Use of Mobile Learning Apps in the Workplace, employees were spending more time in the Apps even outside the work environment, felt that the process was enjoyable, liked the flexibility and wanted the mobile learning program to be expanded.
Engaging formats including media: On mobile you can create engaging formats with questions that include audio, video and images. Since the mobile Apps are native, media gets streamed so users don't have to download the media before starting to watch or hear it. For example, a question can ask the employee to watch the video and then answer a question based on what he/she watched.
Once the employees have answered all the questions, you can immediately show them the results of their answers. Optionally if needed, employees can retake the quiz.
In addition to these quizzes, you can also create buzz-feed type of quizzes or what we call "what am i" where based on the answers the user picks, you give out a result. This format allows you to educate employees on things such as what they should do or would like based on who they are.
Gamification with points, incentives and leader boards: Just creating content isn't going to cut it with the new generation of workforce. There needs to be some extrinsic motivation for the employees to participate. You can incentivize using points so when an employee completes certain task, they are given points. Later these points can be redeemed for rewards. You can also give out coupons on completion of a certain task or set of tasks. Lastly, you can create leader boards which rank employees based on not just how many answers they've gotten right but the amount of time in which the quiz was answered. You can also add number of submissions into the mix.
The bottom line is that learning and development is changing, and if you have not started moving away from your legacy systems, it is time you should. If you are looking for technology platforms that can enable mlearning in your enterprise, you should check out our hubEngage employee engagement and communication platform which offers all the above features and more.