September 22, 2019
Social Learning Revolution: 5 Reasons To Incorporate It Into Your L&D Strategy
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September 22, 2019
Social Learning Revolution: 5 Reasons To Incorporate It Into Your L&D Strategy
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Why You Need To Incorporate Social Learning Into Your L&D Strategy

Social media started out as a networking tool, allowing people to connect online. It grew into a marketing channel. This seemed inadvertent in the typical user’s eyes but was part of the platform creators’ strategy all along. Now it has become a tool for training and workplace development. But why should you incorporate its features for L&D activities? And how can it help your team build teamwork skills and facilitate peer-based feedback? Here are a few notable reasons why you should consider social learning for your online training program.

  1. Enhances Communication

In the typical ‘rat race’, staying late scores more points than arriving early. It’s an accepted though ineffective metric of work ethic. And it’s the same reason people send (and reply) emails at 3 in the morning. Outside of wanting to be perceived as ‘productive’, we all have our own email patterns. Some of us start the day with emails, others schedule it as the final task of the day. But we all have a reflexive response to mobile notifications. It’s almost Pavlovian. By incorporating social learning into your online training program, you are assured of real-time responses. For example, employees will automatically receive notifications on their device when a new training tip is shared to the page. Or someone leaves a comment (AKA feedback) on their post.

Social learning can substantially enhance communication on your team by providing an active channel for communication of messages – aligned to skills – that ebb and flow with the topics that most interest your team at any given moment. As increased screen time continues to dominate our offices, those water-cooler gatherings and informal huddles that once provided a relatively sure means of spreading new ideas and vital policies with the viral flow of office chat, can be difficult to recreate. Social learning channels provide a powerful and viable replacement. They also lend an architecture that can support various levels of tracking – in order to provide leaders and managers better visibility into the frequency of those conversations and the topics to which they align.

  1. Improves Team Collaboration

The same principle makes it easier to facilitate group training. Social learning tools provide solutions to enhance the modes of communication among teams. Tools like video sharing, audio sharing, instant polls, question posting, screen capture and more can create an easy to use forum for conversations about everything from philosophical approaches to process and procedures. When it becomes easier to send a quick social message and more likely to find a quick reply in the same forum, the opportunities for collaboration begin to expand substantially.

You can easily send targeted reminders to discourage procrastination and missed deadlines. Trainees can quickly text each other questions or ask online instructors for guidance. During group work you can assign everyone a task and discuss who does what. Assessment can be done in real-time, giving trainees immediate feedback regarding their online training activities. A social learning LMS can also enable types of training that aren’t possible using traditional training media. For instance, trainees can use group chat to have a class meeting while everyone is cozy on their couch. You might be studying while doing the dishes or putting the kids to bed. In which case, a smartphone is easier to juggle than a laptop or tablet.

  1. Imparts Soft And Interpersonal Skills

We have a special relationship with our phones and an ingrained sense of phone etiquette. It’s why so many of us have a subconscious ‘phone voice’. If you’re unsure about yours, ask someone to call you from a hidden or unknown number. Record the call, then play it back, listening to how you sound before and after they told you who was calling. This aspect of smartphone use (particularly social media) can help trainees practice their EQ. With email and text-based training, a lot of nuance is lost. One of the top social learning benefits is that nothing gets lost in translation. Trainees can use voice notes to convey tone, and emojis / memes / Gifs to express subtle sentiment. This makes it a better tool to practice interpersonal interaction.

  1. Uses Peer-Based Support To Reduce Costs

We’re all complex individuals with a wide array of talents. Some of our skills may not seem valid, especially to ourselves. But, for example, the person in the office everyone goes to when they’ve had a rough day? They’re probably a natural listener. The one we all invite to non-work events and parties? They’re charming and charismatic. The one we ask for restaurant suggestions? They’re outgoing and highly social. These are all personality traits that can be useful in the workspace. And because they’re not the kind of thing you put on your CV, they can be overlooked.

In a social learning space, however, these qualities can be spotted, nurtured, and shared. Your resident socialite could tell you how they rate hotels, which could make you a hit as a client guide. Your suave colleague could give everyone tips on making friends with strangers – essential for sales and customer care. In short, a social learning LMS allows for skill-sharing across the board.  There are potential additional values if your social learning LMS includes functionality like skill-mapping, in order to allow learners and administrators to quickly find those skill-aligned experts within your organization, and to better understand which skills are hot topics at the moment for your teams.

  1. Gets Employees More Engaged

The kind of EQ skills I’ve just listed could feel awkward to your team. Especially if they were the focus of a slide show or classroom session. But they feel natural in a messaging app conversation. Or in a group collaboration setting. That’s what makes social learning such a powerful training tool. It’s light and informal, which makes trainees more engaged and receptive. It’s easier to respond to a gif or meme than to raise your hand and answer a question in class. With social learning everything feels casual and fun, giving your eLearning course more staying power and getting online learners invested. When that happens they are more likely to stay with your organization, and you retain your top talent. Instead of having to pay to hire and train their replacements.

Sometimes, making things a little less formal makes all the difference. And it’s not necessarily about sidelining protocol. It’s more about comfort zones and familiar spaces. In online training, social learning is like Dress-Down-Friday.

As you consider whether or why you should make social media a part of your online training program, it may help to make note of these five core benefits. It improves communication, enhances collaboration, helps develop soft skills, raises engagement levels and cuts costs. Experiment with it today and see the difference in your team.

These are just some of the social learning benefits that a collaborative LMS can offer. If you’re ready to invest in a platform that facilitates peer-based feedback, look no further. Adobe Captivate Prime streamlines social interactivity, making it easy for your team to share online training experiences, insights and skills.

For more details, please write to Adobe Captivate Prime team at captivateprimesales@adobe.com.

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