Social Learning - Paving the Way for Learning Continuity in the New Normal


There is no doubt that the current health crisis has altered our day-to-day lives compared to the pre-pandemic era. Millions of employees across the world were suddenly thrown into a situation where remote working became the de facto way of operating. According to a survey by Gartner Inc. 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home.

The Rise of Social Learning

Employees have a natural tendency to connect, interact, share knowledge in their workspace. This holds true even when they are scattered miles away from their co-workers with whom they shared their desks. It was evident as the use of communication apps sky rocketed such as the famous ‘Zoom Boom’. The video conferencing platform reported a spike in their daily users from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020. Professional social media platforms such LinkedIn saw a rise of social learning hubs where users have been frequenting to share ideas, knowledge, and tips and tricks to work during the pandemic. In March 2020, Facebook also reported a surge of 1000% than the previous month in group calls over Facebook Messenger and Instagram combined.

These social behavioral patterns are enough cues for your L&D team to acknowledge the numerous benefits of having social learning capabilities in your Learning Management System (LMS).

Boosting Employee Morale

With the rise of uncertainty and change, it’s natural for employees to experience bouts of anxiety and low morale. First timers working from home might often feel off-balanced with the mandated quarantine and remote working policies. In such scenarios, social learning features in your learning platform such as live chats, social streams, and private groups can play an important role in keeping your employees’ spirits high and helping them stay connected to feel a sense of purpose within the organization. Distribution of eLearning training content through the learning platform covering topics on mental health, work from home etiquettes, and more can help teams to significantly thrive as they alter the way they work and live.

Encouraging Team Collaboration

Social learning tools in your learning platform such as instant polls, screen capture, audio, and video sharing, discussion boards can create flexible, easy-to-use forums for employees to post queries to their co-workers, seek responses, share, and comment. In general, these tools can be leveraged to start new conversations about anything from philosophical outlooks to processes and procedures. Social learning enabled LMS can supersede the benefits of traditional learning in a remote working environment. For example, learners can recommend or discuss a particular module they enjoyed with their colleagues via discussion boards all while cozing up on their couches. They can send quick social messages and more through group chats while doing their dishes. Social learning tools lend solutions to enhance the mode of communication that can spark ideas and opportunities for employees to grow professionally.

Supporting Performance Through User-Generated Content

An important feature of a social learning enabled LMS is user-generated content capability. When your teams are working remotely, devoid of any interactions, it can be highly encouraging and engaging to hear of their co-worker’s wins. For instance, one of the sales reps closed a huge deal navigating through difficult rounds of negotiations. A social learning solution can allow you to tap into their wealth of knowledge by means of him or her sharing what all challenges they faced and the winning strategies applied to close the deal. You can facilitate this knowledge share through functionalities such as Add & Share. Handing the reins of the learning platform to your in-house SMEs to create valuable content based on their expertise and experience can serve to be a more powerful and relevant method than most masterfully crafted courses. This social learning way of sharing knowledge elevates learner engagement, ultimately upskilling your workforce, thus improving your overall business performance.

Gamifying Learning

Gamified socialized learning platforms can be a great driver of learner engagement. Employees can experience and share the joy of winning points, badges on completing their learning pathways ahead of everyone. Seeing peers being rewarded can encourage employees to have a healthy appetite for inclusion and competition. Employees will be more interested to deep dive into the content course for which their team members picked up an award on completion.

In Conclusion
With the pandemic forcing your workforce to operate from the confines of their homes, employees are evidently seeking ways to connect with their peers and continue with their professional learning.

As employees don’t have to commute to work, they have more time to focus on professional development. It's worthwhile to include social learning capabilities in your learning platform for them to adopt continuous learning into their new professional way of working.

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