The world of retail foodservice and its suppliers has seen an explosion of new technology in recent years — everything from point-of-sale systems that work with the cloud to mobile payments and ordering to QR codes that help with inventory and food safety monitoring.

All of these — and so many more — advancements make day-to-day life easier for managers, employees, customers and consumers at nearly every step along the way, from production to purchase. But there is one area where utilization of new technologies can make perhaps a huge difference. Training employees on phones and other mobile devices is now a possibility.   

The prevalence of MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses — makes it easy and efficient to deliver mobile training with unlimited participation and open access via the web. And with two-thirds of Americans owning smartphones, according to Pew Research, this web-based training can be delivered right to employees, regardless of time or place.

Taming turnover troubles

In environments that see high employee turnover, mobile training can play an even bigger, more important role. Many times, printed learning materials or classroom settings complete with PowerPoint presentations and quizzes are the go-to training methods. These activities eat up enough time as it is, but throw in repeated training due to rapid turnover and the time commitment skyrockets.

Utilizing a mobile training method, with employees consuming content — like video and animations — at their own pace on phones and tablets can lead to more efficient training and free up managers to perform other tasks instead of leading repetitive training sessions.

Managing millennials

Perhaps an overlooked factor in training is the simple fact that many people entering today’s workforce are just not accustomed to performing a lot of work on paper. Recent graduates — and even older employees who have embraced new tech — do everything online, from taking notes, reading newspapers,  paying bills and applying for jobs.

Printed content, besides rarely being up-to-date, is commonly shunned by millennial workers who are accustomed to digital media.

In fact, many providers of mobile training use that as a selling point. Schoox, a mobile learning management system, says its product can “deliver learning to a new generation that you know lives on their mobile device.” Schoox claims to offer a highly intuitive, social, mobile interface that is designed especially for Gen Y and millennial workers.

Courses can be created quickly and easily to train staff members, as well as partners and even customers. Custom access and assignment rules can be created based on appropriate criteria.

These programs can also feed into today’s social networking aspects of personal and professional life. Many include the capability to allow employees who pass training and tests to post badges on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more.