Employee Engagement: Better (m)Learning & (m)Learning Better

A company’s success, or ultimately its failure, depends on more than just a great product or service. Truly successful companies all have one thing in common – happy employees.

We’re living in a world where more than 80% of employees report they hate their jobs. That’s an insane number. You can have the most amazingly spectacular gadget, doohickey, or whatchamacallit known to man, and still end up at the bottom of the heap if you’ve got miserable staff working for you.

The importance of fostering a positive employee environment cannot be overstated. While the need is clear, the solution may not be as complex as we think. Understanding the needs and trends of our staff can go a long way in maintaining smiles around the office, and the foundations of a solution may be based in an unusual suspect – mobile.

You mean Candy Crush?

Some companies are reluctant to issue staff shiny new devices like mobile phones, smart devices, or tablets. Employers think these are productivity sucks that waste people’s time with games about candy, social media, or cat videos, but that’s not necessarily the case.

The truth is, if a worker wants to be unproductive they’ll find a way. It doesn’t matter whether you give them a Commodore 64 or an iPhone. It’s the person, not the tool.

Learn from your pocket

Mobile is a perfect match for multimedia in general and learning in particular, and we’ve spoken at length here, and here about the value of including multimedia in your learning offering.

Today’s learners prefer this format, and giving them the option to learn when are where they want a huge advantage. Modern employees crave flexibility, and this extends to their training and professional development.

Mobile devices are an ideal platform for employees to work through microlearning lessons quickly and conveniently with study after study showing the impact microlearning has on employee engagement and content retention. Making required training available on employee’s mobile devices can lead to an increase in productivity of up to 40%.

“Do I have to?”

Mandatory training, a universally detested obligation in which employees may feel as though they’re ticking off a box for human resources and compliance. Few will question its importance, but the reality is it often takes time and effort out of an already busy day.

Bottom line, if you have to make them do, we’re better off making it as comfortable as possible.

But, simply making a course mobile-ready won’t magically make everyone happy, and obviously comes at a cost. Business leaders thinking about how they can get to the root of the problem often consider the financial side of it first, and this is often misguided.

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

In our experience at Clarity International, having a solid learning and development strategy that focuses on mLearning also opens up opportunities for acknowledging changing employee profiles, addressing device preferences, and embracing new tools and technology.

But, that’s just a start. Most employees are not only motivated by money; they’re also seeking development opportunities, flexibility, and a reasonable work-life balance. These are areas can’t be tackled effectively with simple pay increases or bonuses.

Let’s break these down:

     •   Development opportunities

A driver of individual motivation in the workplace is not money or recognition, but the opportunity to grow and develop. By providing development opportunities that include mLearning options, employees can complete courses more quickly, saving the company money.

     •   Flexibility

Though technology enables flexibility, many employees find this hard to achieve thereby presenting a missed engagement opportunity for employers. Millennials in particular believe that flexible work schedules make you happier, and they’re choosing lives that lead to greater balance as a result.

     •   Live to work?

Work-life balance is a notoriously elusive concept. However, mLearning can enable this through benefits such as JIT (Just-In-Time) learning, which ensures access to training and support when one needs it most.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change. (flexibility) – Albert Einstein

With Gen Z primed and ready to enter the workforce, this trend won’t end anytime soon. Modern employees need to juggle work, hobbies, outside interests, education, and family. Consequently, it’s key that learners access content and complete training at the time, pace, and place that suits them.

By 2020, the mobile device will be our primary tool for connecting to the internet, so this also becomes a way to future-proof your business and stay ahead of the shift away from desktop computing.

All smiles

Retaining your most valuable capital – your people – doesn’t have to be difficult, and mLearning benefits are revolutionising the training process. As the rapid proliferation of devices continues, organisations can leverage technological advancements to create engaging learning experiences for their mobile empowered employees.

Starting with mLearning can be a big first step to taking employee engagement to the next level, and an increasing number of smart employers are rising to the challenge by doing just that.

Companies are investing in usability studies to boost Employee Engagement. If you want to learn more about how we’ve helped clients such as BT, TEVA, and Alcatel-Lucent boost their Employee Engagement, have a look at our Case Studies.