There is no doubt that Corporate Learning has a strong social element to it. Learning occurs through social interactions across conference tables, in cubicles, over coffee breaks and at the water cooler. The power and reach of social interactions for learning cannot be overlooked, but the big question is: Is there a way to structure it better to enhance the learning experience? The answer is ‘Yes’! With the help of technology, it is now possible to facilitate social interactions and derive meaningful learning across geographical boundaries and diverse audiences.
However, it is important to note that social interactions cannot be forced. So, before starting a social learning initiative, identify individuals or groups who have a genuine shared purpose, need, or interest. If they find a shared ground, only then will the actual learning take place. A powerful social learning strategy is through sharing experiences.
Even though most experiences are personal, there is a lot of learning that can be derived from them as well. Learners do not have to do any background study or extra work for sharing, so they are more open to the concept of sharing. Experiences are gathered during the course of work and are often lost. But they can be transformed into learning instances for fellow learners. In addition, sharing behaviour is a source of pride in one’s work and accomplishment. So this type of social sharing comes most naturally to most learners. There are various ways to encourage social sharing and derive learning from it.
Sharing experiences is not a new way of learning, but with technology the scope of sharing increases manifold. This mode of learning works for most industries and verticals, but sales and retail are sectors where it has been especially successful. Sharing is a natural behaviour and it aligns with the preferred way that most learners choose to learn. The best benefit derived out of it is that the learning is not forced and hence, immensely impactful.