The Ovsiankina Effect: An Argument for Mobile L&D in the Deskless Industry

Elliott Gibb

Deskless workers are time poor individuals. By nature of being on their feet, these frontline workers are exposed to customers, tackling tasks hands-on without tools such as laptops that management takes for granted.

How then, can we expect these workers to complete their online trainings and mandatory compliance requirements?

Understanding the Ovsiankina Effect

Named after Russian psychologist Sofia Ovsiankina, who first identified this cognitive bias, the Ovsiankina Effect is a psychological principle that highlights the the urge for humans to resume and complete unfinished tasks.

In the context of training and development, this means that employees innately are more likely to complete their assigned programs once they have started (although it may be hard for you L&D leaders to believe!).

Why Do Employees Avoid their Assigned Training?

While the onus of training completion lis with the individual employee, they are not always the pnes to blame for slow completion progress or lack thereof.

For deskless workers in particular, there are 2 reasons why they are not to blame:

Accessibility and visibility.

Traditional LMS software focus on the content curation experience for L&D managers, less so the end-user experience of the employees or target audience themselves. Given the time poor nature of deskless workers, time assigned to complete these training modules fall outside of their working hours.

Couple that with low visibility prompts through emails or high-friction barriers of requiring a separate app to download in order to complete thrainings, its abundantly clear that traditional LMS technologies place the urgency and importance of training far in the back of the minds of employees.

Leveraging The  Ovsiankina Effect to Encourage Training Completion

Mobile technology has become an integral part of our lives, and leveraging this mobile-centric culture can be a game-changer for increasing training completion rates. By aligning training with mobile channels, organizations can make training more accessible, engaging, and convenient for employees.

Here are some strategies to leverage the Ovsiankina Effect and encourage training completion using mobile channels:

  1. Mobile-friendly content: Ensure that the training content is optimized for mobile devices, making it easy for employees to access and complete on-the-go. Bite-sized modules, interactive quizzes, and multimedia elements can enhance the learning experience and keep employees engaged.
  2. Push notifications: Utilize push notifications to remind employees about upcoming training deadlines or new training modules. These gentle reminders can help employees stay on track with their learning goals and promote a sense of urgency in completing the training.
  3. People leaders: Perhaps the most virile method of boosting employee training completion in the deskless workplace is the use of people champions to remind and encourage employees to complete their trainings. For most businesses this comes in the form of supervisors, managers and people champions to bring the urgency and importance of training compliance front of mind.

Improve Training Coverage with Mercu

When thinking about the Ovsiankina Effect, one thing becomes clear: The most important way to get your employees to complete their training is to get them to start.

Mercu leverages WhatsApp and SMS to reach your employees where they already are.

This translate to accessibility and visibility, for all your training and compliance asks.

Curious to see how Mercu can boost your compliance and training coverage?

Chat to our founders today.

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