The Hawthorne Effect

How to Use Mobile Microlearning to Transform Company Culture

Consider the little decisions you make every day. Do I… 

  • take the stairs or the elevator?
  • eat a pastry or drink a green smoothie?
  • watch TVor go to bed early?

How different would those decisions be if you were wearing a device that recorded your steps, calorie intake or sleep hours?

IT decisions makers that use wearables

Now let’s make it more interesting: Imagine your doctor was tracking your health data.

Most likely, you’d make health-conscious decisions more often simply because you’re being watched. That’s why more healthcare organizations are beginning to incorporate wearables and patient-generated health data. Ninety percent of IT decision-makers that use wearables in patient care consider them a crucial part of disease management, according to a recent study by HIMSS Media.

Researchers call the semi-unconscious motivation the Hawthorne effect, and the same phenomenon could make a huge difference to your company culture through mobile microlearning.

The Hawthorne Effect

What is mobile microlearning?

Mobile microlearning helps busy people, often on the go, acquire new skills through bite-sized lessons on their mobile device. Enterprises can onboard new employees, train their salesforce, and cover virtually any topic through mobile microlearning.

Employees benefit from learning on their own schedule using the device they already love using: their smartphone. The average person spends over four hours a day on their phone, and the average American touches their phone 2,617 times a day.

Consider the smartphone habits most people already have: sharing on social media, taking selfies, texting friends, scrolling down the screen. Mobile microlearning builds upon those existing habits to help people learn quickly. People can learn on their own schedule and tackle small challenges day by day.

The power of one microchallenge

Let’s take an example straight out of Gnowbe’s lesson from the Sales 101 Suite. This particular challenge focuses on perfecting the elevator pitch. Once the student has crafted a one-minute pitch for networking events, the app prompts the student to practice: We’d love to see you in action. Take a video of yourself answering the above, upload it below, then share it! Visit the ‘group’ board to see the elevator pitches from your fellow learners.

The challenge offers both an experiential and social experience, making the lesson extremely powerful and easily doable. Practicing the pitch on video gives the employee a sense of how it feels to say the pitch out loud. They can watch the video and analyze how they look and how they sound.

By sharing their work, they can get feedback from their managers and peers. They also practice sharing something unique about themselves. The one-minute video is an opportunity for a meaningful interaction with coworkers. In a sense, the employee is letting their guard down while putting their best foot forward.

The snowball effect on corporate culture

Incorporating small daily challenges into your team’s existing habits can have a monumental impact on your organization’s corporate culture. By adding external accountability, that extra motivation drives the transformation on a deeper level outside of the mobile platform.

Ultimately, employees have greater confidence in their abilities. Managers understand their employees better by tracking their progress and seeing their work. And because sharing work plays a critical role in Gnowbe’s courses, learners collaborate with their coworkers more effectively.

At Gnowbe, we know that behavior change is possible through mobile microlearning because of the many success stories we hear from our enterprise customers. Our customers track the progress of each employee while they’re in a course, and many report ongoing success after they’ve completed the course.

Here are just a few examples of the documented behavior changes among the salespeople at Navitas, a global education provider that used Gnowbe’s mobile microlearning platform:

  • proactively planning their work
  • recognizing key stakeholders and interacting with them effectively
  • better communication skills in sales conversations
  • overcoming objections

What would it mean for your organization if collaboration and open communication were ingrained in your corporate culture? How would that impact productivity, quality of work output and ultimately, your bottom line?

To learn more about how Gnowbe can transform your corporate culture, contact us today and request a demo. 

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