While there are many things you can reasonably teach employees during onboarding, some of the most important skills and techniques will always be learned best from other people in the company. In most jobs, there’s information employees will need to reference every once in a while that you can try to teach them during training, but that they’d really be better off learning at the moment they need it.
It’s well known that 20 percent of learning is formal and 80 percent is informal, yet companies spend 80 percent of their training budget on formal learning and only 20 percent on informal learning.
In a recent study, 55 percent of top performers said that over half of the learning they do for their job is informal. “If I’m in this world of social learning,” says Bill Cushard, head of training at ServiceRocket, “if I can ask questions and discover people in moments when I need them, then I can perform my job well.”
He’s not the only one who thinks so. In a survey by Microsoft, 39 percent of people said there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplace and 31 percent said they’d be willing to pay for social tools themselves to help foster more collaboration.
Even if the decision makers in your company haven’t figured out how important social learning is, your employees already know. If you aren’t giving them the tools they need to benefit from the knowledge of other employees, you’re missing out on a lot of potential.
To learn more, check out our eBook, “Knowledge Management and Training: Why Social Learning Works.” It delves into six methods for more effective training and why better knowledge management is so important in enabling employees.