Why Peer Learning Works for Different Organizations

By Sean Gordon

Experience has taught us that digital organizations want to front-load their investment in employee and peer learning. But when you go behind the scenes in any company, this front-loading process usually results from extensive strategizing by the leadership team and HR and training/development personnel. The strategy approach helps to ensure that an organization selects the best learning management system for each type of worker and for each project. Complex organizations have many learning systems, which are usually customizable to each group’s educational needs. Smaller organizations may have fewer learning systems, but they still seek ways to customize training to user needs and to a learning process or subject.

Manipulation is Key

Whether employees should feel prepared to offer a new service or to manipulate a software application, the organization’s initial investment must pay off through the use of effective learning systems. If your organization wants employees to share ideas throughout a learning process, they should find it easy to do this within their learning system. The act of sharing information must appeal to their instincts while not requiring unnecessary levels of effort. This is in part because your workers will complete a limited number of steps for sharing before deciding it’s easier to finish a learning task alone. Making it easy for them to share insights could require that your organization adopt a more suitable learning system.

We Want You to Choose What Works!

We’ve found that peer learning works best in organizations that have anticipated the tools that their employees will most likely use. For example, organizations that employ millennials will need to consider their learning needs because they are digital natives. Millennials won’t want to sit in classrooms and learn new information in ways that workers did fifty years earlier. A good system uses digital methods of communication. These methods may not be the most current, but they must be relevant. They have features such as interfaces with social media and collaboration features such as video chat, instant messaging, tagging, commenting, and sharing video content. These are what digital users want to access in any learning community because they will feel connected to others within their organization.

Collaboration Counts

We also like that peer learning is easiest for organizations with most or all digital users who are encouraged to collaborate in numerous ways. It’s easy, for example, for a person to take what he has been learned and record it in a short video. He might choose to make a comment about a topic and then invite others to respond with their own videos. This user can share videos in a learning system based on their user profile. Some users who access his video may be involved in the same learning process, and other users may have access simply to deepen their knowledge of the organization’s latest trends.

Coaching Matters

One way that many employees learn most effectively is when they can access corrective feedback without having to meet face-to-face with their boss. They can get that feedback from their direct supervisor and from more experienced members of their team when the time is right and when away from nosy coworkers. For example, a sales team manager can pinpoint areas of weakness in a salesperson and then share video content with commentary to her profile on the learning management platform. When she goes onto the platform to access the content, she may respond with questions and even solicit input from other members of her team. This level of collaboration enables higher performers to share insights with weaker performers and managers to give feedback to multiple employees through a rapid communication technology.

For this kind of platform to work, employees need appropriate access to collaboration tools and they must be willing to take constructive feedback and implement it in their daily work. For more details on peer learning through video sharing, please contact us today.

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