As an HR professional, you understand there are numerous benefits to social learning (employees gaining knowledge from one another rather than in a structured training setting). It’s more flexible and cost-effective than traditional learning methods, encourages engagement and participation, and improves collaboration. What’s harder to understand is what tactics HR professionals can use to improve social learning at work.
In a webinar with HCI, Chris Nekvinda of Cannon Financial outlined how HR professionals can improve their workforce with social learning. As Director of Global Learning, Nekvinda helps clients use social learning at work to bridge formal and informal training initiatives and to solve problems like changing workforce demographics.
Whether you’re building a social learning strategy from scratch or, more likely, you’re trying to create a new strategy using the tools and processes available to you, Nekvinda’s action plan will help you harness the power of social learning at work.
Formalize The Informal
Social learning tools are inherently less formal than Learning Management Systems (software that delivers training programs). However, you can add structure by assigning activities, like commenting on a video post to help it gain traction in your community, or answering a question that another employee has posed.
Drive And Encourage Participation
If someone asks you a question via email or chat, request that they post the question in your social learning platform so others can see the answer going forward. This will serve as a good reminder that the social learning platform is the company’s central information hub, and it may also cut down on redundant questions–future learners can see if their question is in the platform before asking a co-worker.
Use Videos For Skill Development And Coaching
With 85 percent of the U.S. internet audience already watching videos online, it makes sense to deliver educational content in a format your employees enjoy. Ask new employees to record and upload videos of themselves to ensure the training is working and that they are “visually, verbally and vocally aligned with the company”, explains Nekvinda.
Senior Leader Group Participation
When launching a social learning initiative, have a senior leader model the required assignment as an example. If you’re asking employees to upload a pitch video, for example, include an example of their boss doing the same assignment.
Create Shared Experiences Through Groups
In large organizations, defining groups like new hires or two-year employees can help form connections between people who might not otherwise interact.
Though the right tool is essential in a successful social learning strategy these tactics can help ensure your social learning strategy succeeds.
For more info on how to improve social learning at work, you can view the full webinar or download our ebook Knowledge Management and Training: Why Social Learning Works.