Employee training has made some impressive leaps over the last couple of decades. With the internet came the possibilities of eLearning. From there, learning technology providers and training managers worked together to improve engagement and get better results. Gamified learning platforms made learning fun again and social functionality ensured that learning would never be lonely again! Now we’re in the midst of another seismic shift in the way we perceive training. It’s becoming less important for learning managers to create clunky eLearning units and push them out to learners every few months. Now, online learning is taking a different, leaner, more collaborative shape and mobile technology is right at the heart of it. Although robust Learning Management Systems will still have their place, we’re about to see a new beast taking over the market. The age of the learning app is dawning and there’s never been a more exciting time to be a learning manager. Here are just a few reasons to add a little ‘appiness to your training!
1. Fit With User Habits
With a projected 269 billion downloads1 in 2017 alone, mobile apps are big news. One report2 saw a 25% increase in time spent on mobile apps worldwide between 2015 and 2016. Although this growth is starting to plateau3, it’s safe to say that in the battle between mobile and desktop, our pocket-sized pal has clearly come out on top4. The trends are clear – if you want a training program that fits your learners and lets them get the most from it, mobile is the way forward!
2. Capture Learner Feedback
It’s always a good idea to find out whether your learners find the content useful or not. Nobody is disputing that. But it’s not always easy to get your learners to give their opinions. However, research has shown5 that in-app survey completion rates can go up by 10% compared to those within mobile browsers. With a learning app, you can finally get the valuable feedback you need to craft the best possible experience for your learners!
3. Improve Retention
Think about the last, colossal eLearning unit you pushed to your learners. Remember how long it took to create, and the tedious back-and-forth of the review process? It would be a shame if all that hard work went to waste. According to Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve, 90 percent of all knowledge with be lost within a week if no attempt is made to retain it. A learning app can let you push out regular facts, tips and quizzes to give your core content a boost and ensure that you get the best value.
4. Learning Campaigns Are More Effective
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that learning can be condensed into a single unit. If you pause for a moment and think about your own experience, you’ll agree that learning is a lifelong process that never stops. This is why you should view the training program as a journey with many steps and challenges along the way – not a once-off event that can be consumed and forgotten about. A mobile training app is a great tool for creating a continual learning process. Your learners could be just a notification away from improving their skills and taking another step towards superhero status!
5. Facilitate Informal Learning
It’s widely accepted that formal learning accounts for a small fraction of everything learned at work. The rest comes from practical experience and interacting with peers. Because the technology wasn’t available, traditional online training initiatives could only deal with formal content. Now, with the boom in social functionality, it’s easier than ever to incorporate an informal aspect into the training. A mobile learning app is your strongest ally when it comes to unlocking the potential of informal learning, letting your learners find the experts with the answers to their burning questions.
6. Capture Intellectual Capital
Picture this: you spend months training an employee and not only do they absorb the training content, but they also add their own unique spin and insight. As much as you might not like to admit it, their interpretation is even more effective than what they were taught. Now imagine that they get a new job elsewhere and they take all of that intellectual capital with them. It sounds frustrating, but in an age of constant job-hopping, it’s a reality that might be all too familiar. If you had a social mobile learning app that let you tap into the genius in the workforce, you could gradually build an organic and relevant training resource that would be yours forever.
7. Improve Communication
It’s been estimated6 that poor communication costs companies, on average, £62.4 million per year. On the other hand, companies with effective communicators in leadership roles outperform the competition by 47% in terms of returns. Good communication is the beating heart of your business and if you want your employees to perform at their peak, they need to be able to talk to each other. You might have forgotten, but the ancestor of mobile devices is the humble telephone – a communication tool. Aside from delivering training material, a mobile learning app can easily become a powerful weapon in the battle against costly misunderstandings!
8. More Autonomous Learning
Unless it’s a terrifying, dystopic future, and the workforce has been replaced by robots, you can’t get away with pushing the same training to everyone. Some people would rather watch a video than read an essay, and some may want to develop their skills in other areas. If you give your learners control over their training, they don’t need to be pigeon-holed into a set curriculum, letting them demonstrate value they never knew they had. With the microlearning possibilities afforded by a mobile learning app, it’s not such a chore for them to try new things and discover new competencies.
9. Learning Is More Immediate And Experiential
Learning is more powerful when it has meaning and context. A lot of online learning demands that learners sit at a desk and click their way through an eLearning unit. This is often far removed from the realities of their day-to-day working lives. If the learning is going to have a real impact, it needs to happen when and where it’s needed most. That’s what’s so great about mobile learning apps – the next learning milestone needn’t be any further than the learner’s pocket!
10. Improve Engagement
The most fundamental facts are often the most important. In this case, the key thing to remember is that your learning assets won’t have any impact if the learners don’t use them. You’ll never win your learners’ hearts if the learning experience is dull, lonely and meaningless. Mobile learning apps are none of these things. If you can give your learners something that’s modern, exciting, social and tailored to their needs and habits, you can finally create a training programme that makes a difference in your organisation!
Mobile technology is going to play a major part in the training initiatives of the future. Instead of clunky, over-complicated learning platforms, mobile apps are set to blaze a trail towards individual and organisational development. All you need to do is find a provider that shares your vision of a better training programme and your mobile dreams can come true! ‘Appy days!
- Number of mobile app downloads worldwide in 2016, 2017 and 2021, by region (in billions)
- App Annie 2016 Retrospective
- Growth in Time Spent with Media Is Slowing
- Mobile and tablet internet usage exceeds desktop for first time worldwide
- Mobile Survey Response Rates: Averages and Benchmarks by App Category
- The Cost Of Poor Communications