8 Best Practices to Improve Your Mobile E-Learning Platform Results

Employee Engagement

Has this ever happened to you? You walk into a store and ask a question about a product. You’re trying to understand how it works or how it’s different from a similar product. The salesperson picks up the info page standing next to it and starts reading the information you already found online. Beyond that, the salesperson has no insights to offer. How likely are you to buy? According to eLearning Industry (an E-learning industry association), “almost 80% of consumers say that sales staff with thorough product knowledge have the biggest impact on the shopping experience.” But as the report points out, “products and features are changing all the time. So, how do you get staff from different locations and shifts into the same training room, at the same time, whenever a feature changes? The short answer: You don’t. Instead, eLearning Industry suggests using a mobile e-learning platform that enables bite-sized learning at flexible times is the way forward. Employees need to be well-trained to be engaged and constantly improving. But too often, retailers or hospitality outfits rely on static LMS systems and or decades-old training methods. These solutions don’t work with a young workforce that’s primed for digital learning. 

Retailers can modernize their training solutions and improve CX by rolling out digital communication models that emphasize interactive and multimedia-driven education that make training more accessible for the employee and more timely, fun, and engaging. Digital engagement platforms like Atobi enable exactly this.

Today, we’ll cover some best practices towards building a mobile training program that increases employee satisfaction, customer experience, and profitability in retail.

1. Set & Track Training Goals for Your Mobile Training Program

As with any program you implement in your company, start your journey by asking why it even matters. What do you want to achieve?  

  • Higher employee engagement and retention?
  • Save money and/or increase ROI by moving from traditional training to a mobile e-learning platform?
  • Prove the value of employee training to business results so that you can get a more extensive training budget from the c-suite?

Once you know your “why,” reverse engineer how to make it happen and set KPIs, such as training completion rate, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, cost savings, sales increase, etc. To boost mobile employee training success, create a plan for how often you’ll track and analyze progress. Don’t wait until the end of a quarter or a year. You’ll want to monitor what works and what needs improvement on an ongoing basis. At the same time, design a process and mechanisms to keep employees accountable for training. It will be a lot easier if you can help them build internal motivation for training completion. So let’s talk about getting them excited about the doors training can open for them.

2. Make the System Part of the Culture

One of the concerns in developing a mobile training program is that employees won’t actually learn when left on their own. But, thankfully, there are many ways to boost mobile employee training motivation and accountability. “Within learning-centric organizations, where upskilling is encouraged and available, employees are more likely to experiment and innovate. In environments where relevant training is at every employee’s fingertips, workers aren’t limited by missing skills and can fuel the crucial innovations that drive successful businesses forward,” explains Inc. Once you provide that access to upskilling, make learning an essential part of your culture from the very beginning – your hiring process. Emphasize it in your job ads and interviews to weed out prospective employees who aren’t into a mindset of development and growth. Invest in onboarding and initial training. Check out this free guide on our blog for training retail employees in a way that increases engagement.

Of course, the candidates who become employees need to find a culture of learning in the workplace. Therefore, make development one of the central values you emphasize in internal communications. Plus, create opportunities for employees to share insights with each other on a regular basis. It will likely improve performance. “In high-performance organizations, employees share knowledge with their colleagues at a rate four times greater than that of workers in lower-performing firms,” according to the Association for Talent Development. A few ways to accomplish it in your organization:

  • Start company meetings by having each employee share one insight they learned this week.
  • Use a mobile e-learning platform that allows employees to post insights on an internal company feed and interact with their colleagues’ posts.
  • Create opportunities for team members from different departments to learn something together or work on a project as part of the training. They will each bring a different perspective that will enrich the other person’s skill set.

3. Show Employees How Training Makes a Difference

In a survey of over 2,000 employees, 9 out of 10 said they value meaningful work more than traditional job perks. Many are less likely to quit their job when they get to do meaningful work, reports the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Unfortunately, not everyone feels that their work in retail makes a difference. But, as you analyze the numbers and read the testimonials in management, it’s easy to see how taking that extra breath in a challenging situation and practicing empathy helps. Want to boost mobile employee training enthusiasm? Show them how their work makes a difference. 

  • You can show them the numbers, such as: This employee improved his communication skills. Now that customer that once came to the store asking for a refund keeps coming back to buy more. 
  • You can also show them the more profound impact they can have, such as: Let’s say an employee took the time to simplify aspects of camping and explain equipment usage to a customer. The customer walked away, believing he could camp on his own. Now the customer keeps going camping, finds new confidence and new friends, and has transformed his life. And let’s say you know this because he also keeps coming back to buy more camping equipment. Share it with your team!

4. Show Them What’s in It for Them

Show you value your employees: If you’re never recognized for great work, what’s the point of doing it? Retailers can often sideline employee recognition, leaving hourly workers feeling like their efforts aren’t valued. If retailers want loyal and engaged employees, they need to show they champion these qualities. That means moving beyond broad, generic announcements and the occasional one-on-one feedback session to a more dedicated approach. Retailers can do this by implementing tools and resources that create direct channels of top-down outreach, enabling positive feedback to be efficiently shared across an organization. Use real-life customer examples to build trust with your employees. Simultaneously, show your employees what’s in it for them. First, share the quick rewards employees can enjoy by consistently spending time on your mobile e-learning platform, such as:

  • A case study about a fellow employee who improved sales skills and doubled her sales bonus.
  • The bonuses, rewards, and recognition you intend to provide to employees who meet specific learning goals.

Second, share the long term benefits, such as how it’s going to help their careers:

  • Explain how specific retail skills, like communication and empathy, are critical to any role they’ll end up doing in their career.
  • Show some of the modules they’ll have access to once they’re done with their current level of training. Explain how these modules can be the beginning of a promotion road within your company.

It’s essential to help them develop internal motivation. That’s because “intrinsic motivators are far more influential than any ‘carrot and stick’ type of approach. Future information leaders and managers should recognize that intrinsic factors play a bigger role in employee motivation and put more effort into creating a culture of respect, recognition, trust, and autonomy when tailoring their management strategies to tap into the emotions of their coworkers. These intrinsic motivators are more important to staff than extrinsic factors such as money,” reveals a St. John’s University study.

5. Keep Employees Accountable for Training Completion

However, to help them build the habit, boost mobile employee training efficiency by keeping them accountable. There are many ways you can keep employees responsible for learning. We covered a couple above, such as sharing insights in team meetings and creating co-learning opportunities with colleagues. Here are a couple more to help you out:

  • Have your mobile e-learning mobile platform send notifications when employees fall behind or skip learning a critical skill. It can even remind them that a team meeting is coming up, and they’ll need to share a new insight they learned. Or that their performance review is coming up.
  • Cover learning in performance reviews. Make it one of the employees’ responsibilities, and link it to bonuses.

6. Offer Microlearning in Your Mobile Training Program for Efficient Knowledge Retention

Once you’ve got accountability and motivation covered, it’s time to simplify your mobile training program so that you can set your employees to success even more. “Cognitive Load Theory suggests that learners can absorb and retain information effectively only if it is provided in such a way that it does not ‘overload’. The more information that is delivered at once, the more likely the students will not learn what is being taught nor will they be able to call upon that information for later use,” explains the eLearning Industry. One of the key solutions to that is microlearning. Usually, that means providing your employees with lessons that: Last 30 seconds to a few minutes each and cover one sub-topic at a time.

Microlearning can help you boost mobile employee training results in multiple ways:

  • Encourage employees to invest any idle time, like when they’re not serving customers, in getting some learning done.
  • Remind them to hop on the mobile e-learning platform whenever there’s a situation at work that requires more skill development. They can check out the lesson they need exactly when they need it.
  • Add an obligatory quiz at the end of each lesson. Keep it short – say, two or three questions. The intention is to identify what isn’t clear as early as possible. That’s one of the benefits of microlearning. You don’t need to wait until the end of a long course to discovering gaps in understanding.
  • Offer implementation opportunities to increase retention. How can employees practice what they just learned?

7. Gamify Your Mobile Training Program to Make it Fun and Increase ROI

Make your microlearning mobile training program fun and gamified. Gamification involves using human psychology, as well as game elements, to affect human behavior. This includes our competitiveness, our need for gratification and feedback, as well as our need to be social and compare ourselves to others. How does it work? The uses of gamification are many. So many that it can be difficult for organizations to determine how exactly they want to use it. To help you along, we have gathered some of the most common challenges and how they can be leveraged using gamification.

  • Anchoring selling habits. A challenge many brands and retailers with a retail division face is anchoring new selling habits. This was the issue one organization came to us with. To facilitate staff learning and habit anchoring, we built the Atobi app focused on gamified training and competitions. We did this by creating 6 missions, each focusing on a core skill in delivering excellent customer experiences. Concentrating on areas such as cross-selling, inspiring customers, and making them feel welcome, the app covered all aspects of the in-store customer experience. Each program was built with engagement in mind. This means training became an integrated part of the workday rather than a forced requirement. 
  • Improve specific business metrics through training. A company came to us with a particular goal; improve mystery shopper results across stores and engage employees. To achieve this, we combined their training practices with our gamification approach. Using the app as a starting point, the in-store staff made and shared short videos. Furthermore, the best were compiled by ATOBI ambassadors and highlighted by management. These videos served two purposes. Firstly, it encouraged employees to both create and share their best practices. This increased employee engagement, as well as interactions amongst employees. Secondly, this practice made the brand experience top of mind. In three months, several thousand e-learning modules, sales actions, and quizzes were completed. Furthermore, among staff using the Atobi app, the mystery shopper score increased by 55%.

Either way, the idea lets your employees make mistakes in a safe environment where consequences are minimal or nonexistent. Then, make the learning experience gamified and engaging so that employees want to keep learning more. As our client, Tommy Hilfiger, discovered, it doesn’t matter how professional your training material is or how beautiful your mobile e-learning platform is if your training experience isn’t engaging. We’re so proud of our team for their hard work to get Tommy Hilfiger to almost 100% training app usage and a 67% increase in sales directly attributed to training.

8. Keep Updating Your Mobile E-Learning Platform

To boost mobile employee training impact, you need to update your mobile training program continuously. Things change – your product, your customer persona, the culture. Plus, over time, you’ll get more and more feedback from your team. You’ll know what they’ll need more of and what’s missing. As you keep updating it, your mobile e-learning platform will gradually amplify your corporate culture message to always be learning and set your team to create products, services, and customer experiences that truly differentiate your company from competitors.

The Takeaway

Overall, knowledge empowers employees. Retail organizations need to leverage employees’ desire for on-demand information by providing communication and training in the palms of their hands through digital workplace platforms like Atobi. In turn, employees new and old will feel more comfortable and confident in their roles, which will raise the bar for customer engagement and reduce unnecessary training and/or onboarding costs. Need help improving your mobile e-learning system? Contact Atobi today.