Performance support is any resource or asset accessible at the point of need, so that workers’ performance is improved. A decade ago, performance support was in the form of print outs, checklists, user guides, reference manuals, files, etc. Later, along with technological developments, Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) came into the picture.
But all these resources have their own limitations. Printed manuals don’t have instant search option by keyword for a quick look at what you want. To use EPSS, you need to be in front of a PC, and this may not be always possible. However, laptops are filling this gap to some extent.
In this context, job-aids through mobiles can be effective performance support tools for the new age workforce.
Mobiles with their increasing usage have created a learning culture that fits the pressure filled environment of modern, hi-tech, fast-paced workplaces.
In this background, let’s check how mobile learning offers performance support to the workforce.
1. Minimizing Errors
In areas where employees need to be very accurate and any small error can lead to massive problems, performance support proves critical. Let’s take an example of a service technician assembling a newly upgraded medical device in the hospital.
Any error during installation could lead to irreparable damage as it may cause the loss of reputation to the client, if the device does not function well. In such cases, technicians need to have a quick reference material that is easy to carry and navigate to solve their issues immediately.
Mobile devices can be the best media to support them accurately with what they need at any point of time. They can also seek real time support from the support staff when needed.
2. Updating about latest information
Consider a sales person selling electronic gadgets. In the hi-tech industry, new products enter the market frequently. When the sales person is about to meet a prospect who is considering a competing product yet to be released, in order to pitch in about his product, the sales person needs to have considerable information about the competing product. Such latest updates can be provided easily to sales teams through mobile devices. The sales person can easily access the information and apply it on the job effectively.
3. Mastering complex processes
When companies implement ERP in their organization, the end-users may find it difficult to use the software, despite end-user training. Employees habituated to older work processes will be hesitant and take more time to perform the task with the new software. As the organization mandates the employees to work on it, they experience a tough time and approach the helpdesk frequently for support.
In such scenarios, the training team can develop performance support material and deliver it through mobile devices which the learners can refer to solve any difficulties while working on the new software rather than waiting for the helpdesk’s response.
4. Offline support
Mobile learning not only offers online support and access to information, but also provides offline support to the workforce is constantly on move. Mobile devices have the provision of storing huge amounts of data offline due to the recent technological developments. This feature is most useful to field executives who travel to remote areas with limited Internet connectivity.
Mobile learning can deliver what the workforce needs, when they need it, wherever they are. This offers solutions to pressing challenges via a delivery system that is increasingly aware of what employees are doing and where they are, enabling interventions to be relevant to the context and situation. Instant help could be only a couple of taps away on your mobile.
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