When it comes to delivering a similar experience within the workplace, for HR and learning and development professionals, that ease of learning in our private lives can be at once inspiring and frustrating.

In fact, leading global research bears this out. In its 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte found that 84% of HR and business leaders say learning is one of the top five issues they are contending with in the workplace. And the heat is on: employees are driving companies to deliver consumer-like continuous learning opportunities, tailored to their individual needs. Today, smart companies are putting learning at the center of employee engagement and culture.

The next quantum leap in business learning is making learning a truly mobile experience. HR teams recognize they need to align business learning practices to how people learn personally to stay relevant.

This blog series is intended to spotlight four unique approaches to mobile learning that can deliver BIG benefits to individuals, teams and organizations by making learning even SMALLER.

Want to make your business learning “YouTube-easy?” It won’t just be millennials thanking you. The value-add of mobile learning is resonating from the board and baby boomers to managers and new hires

Good Things Come in Small Packages: Micro-Learning

First things first: what mobile learning isn’t — it isn’t making all of your existing training content available through a smartphone or tablet device. In fact, it could be counter-productive to your efforts to ask your people to pinch and expand dense amounts of content through a small 2.5 x 4.75-inch screen.

At its most effective, mobile — or micro — learning is used for at-the-moment training — for quickly closing skill or knowledge gaps. Which, in our quickly changing world, is becoming ever more valuable across the spectrum of corporate learning: including on-the-job, social and formal training. For example, consider on-demand troubleshooting tips for a technician dispatched to a customer site, or short “bites” of role-level insight for a retail clerk to take advantage of during downtime to learn new aspects about the inventory at his or her store.

As these examples show, for successful mobile learning, the content needs to be scaled to the task, not just the device. It needs to be short, simple and easy to understand. General rules of thumb for micro-learning:

  • Replace detailed papers with short bullet points
  • Replace telling with “showing”
  • Replace words with images
  • Replace multiple versions of a concept with a “single view of the truth”
  • Replace lecture with interactivity

While the move to mobile will mean learning and development teams will need to review their most critical content and streamline or rework it, there is a silver lining: training content for mobile learning doesn’t need to — and shouldn’t — come just from the Learning and Development (L&D) group. Some of the highest impact informal learning can come from peers and subject-matter experts within the organization and can be as easy to share as uploading a video to YouTube.

Want to learn more? Check here each Thursday, May 19 through June 23, where we will share weekly examples of Mobile Learning in action.

Do you have a favorite Mobile Learning example? We’d love to hear from you.