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Benefits of Mobile Learning Programs for Your Employees

Employee training is a non-negotiable factor in reaching your business goals. An organization cannot grow if its workers aren't growing themselves – and there's no better stimulus for professional development than workplace education. Today's difficult economy motivates many enterprises to cut down on employee training expenses, but they're clearly unaware of the value of employee education to the health of an organization.

The National Center of the Educational Quality of the Workforce reveled in a recent study that a 10% increase in workforce education level results in an 8.6% percent gain in total productivity. (http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/higherprod.htm) This statistic proves that employee productivity is directly connected to the amount of training they receive. Employers who want to grow and efficiently operate their businesses simply must invest in employee training.

Fortunately, today's ever-present mobile devices offer many interesting opportunities for flexible and cost-effective worker education. Here are some key benefits of mobile learning for your employees and organization.

Employees find it easy to learn on mobile

To put it simply, employees like to use their mobile devices and once they see that learning can be as easy as glancing at a smartphone or tablet in a free minute, they'll be motivated to do it on a regular basis. Mobile learning allows learners to access content from any device and any corner of the world. Some mobile learning apps work in offline, so access to the internet is not even an issue. Mobile learning provides a great user experience and it's definitely user-friendly.

Mobile learning delivers key data whenever needed

It's clear that mobile devices are constantly on, connected to the web and within easy reach of employees, helping them to access relevant information at any time. Mobile learning is great for just-in-time (JIT) training – it can be refresher modules on product specifications, pricing details, and other kinds of time-sensitive information. By having all this information at their fingertips, employees can easily boost their performance, improving their decision making processes and ensuring better customer satisfaction. Additionally, mobile learning empowers people – just as stated in the 2012 report Mobile Learning: Driving Business Results by Empowering Employees in the Moment: "Putting learning in the palm of people’s hands — exactly what they need, when they need it — can have an immediate positive effect on the bottom line". (http://www.slashdocs.com/mukrvy/mobile-learning-driving-business-results-by-empowering-employees-in-the-moment.html)

Mobile devices can quickly distribute learning

The mobile age brings greater mobility of your staff and this impacts the ways in which enterprises train their employees. Investing in training opportunities onsite is rapidly diminishing. Many employees frequently travel or work on the move – this means that they spend lots of time without access to laptops or desktop computers. mLearning is a great solution here because it allows companies to easily spread learning materials to employees, full of practical knowledge about many areas of business. The power of mobile learning lies in the fact that it connects employees to all the knowledge and expertise they need, exactly when and where they need it. It addresses any potential learning need at any time.

Mobile learning is flexible

This is a key benefit brought by mobile learning. Flexibility offered by mobile learning solutions can be interpreted in different ways. First, there's the flexibility of time and space, where workers can choose the location and time of learning themselves. Moreover, they're also free to choose the device for their learning, as long as it can correctly display learning materials. The learning itself is also more flexible because it can integrate a wide variety of formats, including podcasts or videos.

Mobile learning helps to save time

This kind of learning will fit into the busiest schedules. It requires less time than instructor-led training or long eLearning programs. Instead of taking an entire course, learners can access training modules themselves to learn exactly what they need to know. This reduces the time which needs to be dedicated to training, minimizing productivity losses. Employees should be equipped with appropriate skills and knowledge as quickly as possible – and this is something that only mLearning can offer. Learners can consume small amounts of content every time, and study it whenever they like.

Improved completion rates and higher retention

Already in 2007, the Mobile Learning and Student Retention Report showed that mLearning brings higher retention rates. (http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ800952.pdf) And no wonder – with its bite-sized or micro-learning approach, mLearning offers a learning environment which makes it easier for learners to initiate learning and motivates them to complete it, fostering their knowledge retention.

Mobile performance support

Today, mobile learning is recognized as a beneficial approach for providing performance support intervention. It's safe to say that mobile devices are a part of every employee's work environment. Delivering performance support solutions directly into their mobile devices, employers are facilitating easy access to information while at work and improving the probability of its usage and retrieval.

Higher engagement in mobile

The 2010-2011 Horizon Report has already shown us the value of mobile learning in fostering learner engagement with the learning materials. (http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2011-Horizon-Report.pdf) Mobile learning experiences are more immersive and countless statistics reveal that a higher number of learners complete courses through mLearning than through traditional training or even cutting-edge eLearning solutions.

Well-defined learning path

Mobile devices offer an excellent measure to help learners see and update their learning path, showing learning as a continuous process. Many employees organize their lives through their mobile devices and by integrating links to these apps, mLearning solutions help learners to save time and accurately plan their learning. This is also relevant to alleviating the impact of the so-called Forgetting Curve which defines the exponential nature of forgetting. According to experts, we tend to forget 80% of what we've learned during the last 30 days. A short training period once a year cannot be expected to hold real impact over employee performance for a long time. Having regular access to a variety of mLearning materials works against the Forgetting Curve and helps employees to make the most from the learning opportunity.

Mobile learning is a solution which brings lots of benefits to companies that decide to invest in learning programs organized on mobile devices. It improves knowledge retention rates, boosts learners' engagement with materials, empowers employees to develop new job skills and appeals to all those talents who are constantly looking for non-traditional learning opportunities to help them grow. mLearning creates a swift learning process which is bound to positively affect employee productivity at an enterprise.

Guest Blog Contributor By-line:
Carol Williams is a team member at Honeybells - a fruit shipping firm from Florida. She has an intense background in mLearning which she combines with her passion for anything tech and mobile related.


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