One idea has gained popularity among corporate training programs.
As a growing number of professionals work remotely, companies are looking for increasingly creative ways to keep their employees motivated and in the loop, as well as provide them with crucial training.
One idea that has gained popularity among corporate training programs, and is evolving rapidly, is the importance of social learning through technology.
A recent Bloomberg study found that between 70 and 90 percent of workplace learning takes place in informal settings, such as around the water cooler or perhaps during a quick chat in the elevator on the way to or from the office. “Put simply, we learn what we want to learn, and we learn best from our peers in the course of our daily experiences at work,” the study reported.
The question for firms today is how to reproduce this phenomenon among an increasingly remote and isolated workforce. The study found that 87 percent of employees identified social knowledge sharing as essential while only 37 percent felt the same way about corporate training.
The gap can often be generational. While older employees may prefer to learn in more formal settings, such as attending courses or conferences, research has found that millennials overwhelmingly think in terms of digital, collaborative, and self-directed learning both during and outside office hours.
The study estimates that 50 percent of companies already use social learning technology, such as digital community groups or social media platforms, in some way, in a bid to enhance the social learning experience, and two-thirds plan to use it in the future as an alternative to straight-forward emails, or even online courses.
As Marcia Conner, author of the book The New Social Learning, explains: “Organizations need to provide millennials with ways to contribute and connect non-stop. The smart ones won’t settle for anything less — and those who will are unlikely to be the leaders of your future.”