Before I get to talking about corporate social learning, I just wanted to share a bit of background.
Growing up in a Jewish home, social learning seemed a bit obvious. Whenever we learned in school, from a young age, a portion of each day was spent learning in pairs or small groups, with the idea being that we could feed ideas off of each other, thereby strengthening both of us. Two is better than one, the advocates of this type of interactive learning might say.
Obviously, the idea that there is a clear benefit to learning with others – social learning – is not a new idea. Educational theorists and psychologists have been saying this for what seems like the beginning of time. Yet in the past few years, we’ve done seen a sharp growth in the interest of corporation social learning, that is bring the idea of social learning into the workplace, in order to train new and existing workers, build teamwork, create a more engaged workforce and improve employee performance.
Let’s look at a few tips for corporate social learning, some secrets if you will.
The first tip has to do with knowing what the term really means, which is a group learning process, involving cross-participation of those involved, in a corporate environment or to a corporate scale in size. It’s organizational learning with a guarantee of business environment and bigger scale, really. That said, the first tip is to be sure that the social aspect of the training is hammered home in everyone to mean that as a group, they must work together and interdependently to achieve the end result, and nobody must be left behind. This team spirit is important to the point of being critical.
Second, a lack of engagement is a bad thing, and ensuring engagement is another way to ensure that the team player attitude is held up strong. With engagement through gamification or through other means, the desire to help one another and see the group succeed for greater reward will reinforce the team mentality that they must also take back with them into their daily work alongside the new learning.
So, focus on engagement, and gamification is probably the best way to do this. It was invented first for training, and I’ve talked a lot about gamification in detail, which you can easily find elsewhere here.
Finally, one of the biggest things is to make sure that you do needs evaluation more than just upon commencement. As training changes the dynamic, so may it reveal other flaws or positives in those involved. This also means that roles and dynamics in the group must also be reevaluated and sometimes redone as these reassessments are done. Do not treat the system as static once in place, because a group of people is a living, dynamic super organism.
Corporate social learning is all about understanding people. It involves personality compatibilities, self-centrism and group-centrism and how to balance these. It also involves pure leadership and being able to inspire the people to the effect needed through practicing what you preach as well.