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With members of the Millennial generation becoming the largest cohort in the modern workforce, the opportunity to rethink how you handle corporate training needs is ripe. Millennial employees are significantly more tech-savvy than previous workers, and that means companies can approach them with learning methods and modules that are more readily automated. There are a number of benefits that organizations can accrue from this new workforce, and many of those advantages arise from the easy deployment of mobile learning applications.
While most major companies utilize some form of computerized training methods, these have typically been built around terminals in physical locations. This calls for a major investment in infrastructure to support such systems. They also frequently call for long-term maintenance, and they frequently require a degree of training for management types who are asked to oversee new hires as they access training terminals.
One advantage of dealing with anyone from the current generation of workers who grew up with mobile phones is that you can reasonably expect them to have a screen available right in their pocket. Instead of sitting them down at a terminal in a side room, an experience that can be dull and somewhat degrading, you can ask them to download the training app or simply go to a mobile-friendly version of the training website. Simply freeing up a room for other uses can yield significant cost savings.
Mobile interfaces tend to be more intuitively designed than terminal-based systems. Thanks to touchscreen technologies, clunky interactions such as looking at a screen, typing a number and pressing enter can be simplified to swiping left or right. The relative ease of pressing on a picture or an icon can speed up the entire process, allowing trainees to move through modules more quickly. This generation has also been thoroughly trained in the use of touchscreen electronics, so you'll also likely spend less time walking them through the ins and out of how a specific system works.
If a worker wishes to go through a learning module on their own time, it may be possible to accommodate them in this new model. While companies do need to be careful in handling how the time investment is dealt with in terms of pay and overtime, the ability to get workers on modules when they have a little downtime during their personal hours can be very beneficial. This level of engagement can also give workers a stronger sense that they belong at a company. By giving them a chance to invest their time in gaining skills, a company can offer raises and promotions that help lock them in, discouraging the practice of job-hopping.
Putting in the time to go through a learning module at a terminal means that many of them have been built to be performed in fairly specific timeframes that are often onerous. A module that might take 30 minutes in a work environment may be broken down into 6 chunks at five minutes each. This ensures that test takers will be fresher when they do each section. Likewise, if something comes up, they can get to a stop-point much faster, allowing them to disengage from the learning module and deal with work issues as they pop up. Such an approach can be especially beneficial at jobs that often have a "hurry up and wait" element since workers can turn to the mobile learning app to kill wait time on the job.
Constructing mobile learning apps into games can make the entire process more engaging. Millennial workers have been acclimated to achievement-based systems. Companies can leverage this ingrained reward system to drive workers to go acquire skills in order to unlock new achievements.
Built-in learning stations at workplaces tend to be disengaging, especially in terms of content. It's often important to keep noise levels down to not interfere with other workers. Similarly, many systems are very aged, and they often just don't support dynamic multimedia presentations.
Anyone with access to a modern phone can view content on a media platform that is for more impressive. If a tutorial video needs to be viewed by workers who are learning, it can easily be embedded in the app. Should there be noise concerns, employees can be instructed to use headphones. The platform supports a range of options, including discussion forums, podcasts and simple simulations.
Apps for workplace learning can be configured to accommodate multiple users acting in unison. A multiplayer game, for example, could be used to provide lessons about the importance of teamwork. Performance can also be reviewed, allowing companies to identify which Millennials might need some help and who might be the next generation of leaders.
At Designing Digitally, Inc. we work with organizations to maximize the benefits of 4 specific to their workforce. Contact our Learning Solutions Specialists to discuss opportunities to engage your training audience with mobile learning.