#4 Ways to boost social learning in the workplace

social learning

We increasingly use technological tools such as online platforms or social networks to simplify tasks or find answers. This technological irruption in our daily life has motivated companies to implement means to promote new learning strategies, such as social learning. 

Do you want to know more about it? This article will discuss how technology can boost social learning, its benefits in the digital context, and how to create a social learning strategy to offer your employees more efficient and significant training.

Fundamental aspects of social learning

This learning process is peculiar: it includes the social component within learning itself. But, to understand social learning, we must first comprehend the social learning theory. This theory, presented by psychologist Albert Bandura, explains that learning takes place through observation and imitation and that different mental states, such as motivation, attitudes, attention, or emotions, play a significant role. 

Social learning theory states that behaviors can be learned directly by observing and interacting with others or indirectly by watching these behaviors through television programs, books, or any digital media. In addition, it remarks that rewarded actions are more likely to be imitated than actions that are usually avoided or even penalized. 

Based on this theory, social learning is an approach in which people acquire knowledge and skills through social interaction with their environment. The process steps are observing, repeating, and refining the behavior. 

Considering all this, if we people learn from everything around us, this also applies to technology! Nowadays, the source of our knowledge is not only other people but also social networks, forums, blogs… In the corporate context, e-learning platforms are ideal for developing a social learning strategy. Companies are already aware of this, which explains why more are integrating this type of learning into their training programs. 

In fact, according to LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2020, 36% of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals believe that social learning will continue to have a positive impact within the next 5 years. 

training needs

The 4 pillars of social learning

Not every behavior nor knowledge we observe is learned immediately. Certain factors play an essential role in the success of this learning model, and Albert Bandura mentions 4: 

  1. Attention: Social learning requires attention; the more novel or engaging the teaching model, the more attention it will get from its learners. 
  2. Retention: The ability to store information so it can later be used to respond to similar situations. 
  3. Replication: After attending to certain information and retaining it comes practice. In this learning model, repetition reinforces knowledge, improving the internalization of what has been learned. 
  4. Motivation: For social learning to be successful, the individual must be motivated to imitate the observed behavior. Remember what we mentioned about rewarded and penalized actions? Human beings feel comforted when rewarded in some way, and experimenting with these motivators can be effective for learning. 

The importance of social learning within companies in a digital world

The current corporate context is ideal for implementing social learning due to the omnipresence of digital domains. These allow employees to share knowledge or skills quickly and efficiently rather than relying solely on traditional or individual training methods. It also opens the path for collaboration and exchanging ideas and experiences, which they can apply in various situations and contexts. 

Technological changes are outpacing the ability of organizations to adapt to them. To successfully tackle this reality, it’s imperative to adopt innovative learning methods such as social learning, accelerating employees’ acquisition of knowledge, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and enabling the company to remain competitive in an increasingly digital environment. 

Benefits of social learning for companies in the digital context

Social learning allows users to actively participate in training instead of exclusively receiving the content without further involvement. By including collaborative tools, this model promotes the development of skills such as teamwork, leadership, and collaboration, all essential in the workplace! Other benefits of social learning are: 

Better communication, collaboration, and motivation 

Social learning improves communication and collaboration among colleagues since these actions are much easier driven through videoconferencing, webinars, or live chats. It allows employees to share skills, knowledge, and information, all contributing to developing an environment of continuous collaboration and improving motivation. 

Increased learning speed and accessibility 

Traditional learning methods have grown obsolete: what’s trending now is learning in modern, virtual, and dynamic environments, which employees can access from any device – anytime, anywhere –. Social learning improves the accessibility and speed with which they learn new skills and knowledge. 

Efficiency in decision-making and problem-solving.

By allowing employees to access a dynamic learning environment, such as an e-learning platform that engages them, a culture of continuous learning will be generated, enabling employees to make decisions and solve problems much more quickly and effectively. Not only will they learn faster and more comfortably, but they will also be able to develop best practices in their work.

Foster soft skills development

Social learning is the ideal learning system for acquiring soft skills, such as leadership, problem-solving, or assertive communication. These soft skills will be developed effectively through observation, participation in discussions or debates, teamwork, and practice. 

In this sense, Learning Management Systems (LMS) are precious tools for developing soft skills through social learning: they offer modern communication and collaboration tools that enhance learning.

#4 Solutions to boost social learning in your company using technology

1. Use technological tools to enhance the learning experience

Encourage social learning in your company by using an LMS, which will help you create an online learning community where employees feel free to share their knowledge and help each other.

This software is ideal for creating and tracking your training program. It’s also perfect for incentivizing social learning through e-learning content, such as videos, images, and simulations. In addition, you can schedule training activities in virtual classrooms, live webinars, discussion forums, and much more. 

An LMS allows you to centralize and manage all your training resources in the same place, facilitating the exchange of documents and files. Additionally, it provides access to statistical data, which helps track the employee’s performance and identify their learning needs: this way, you can measure the impact of the learning initiatives and make modifications to your program when needed. 

2. Create e-learning training programs

To promote social learning in your company, you can create e-learning training programs by designing various activities such as projects, debates, or group discussions. All these actions lead the professionals to acquire soft skills and resolve conflicts. 

Your training program must include relevant content for your audience, attractive learning resources, and creative ideas that engage every employee, considering that these have to be aligned with the organization’s goals. If you want to know how to implement a successful e-learning training program for your company, read this article and discover 9 key elements.

3. Encourage communication and knowledge exchange among employees

Collaborative spaces such as forums, blogs, or virtual classrooms enhance communication among colleagues. To accomplish this, create engaging content and exciting group activities that encourage participation from your audience. This allows your employees to share their thoughts and comment or have a vote on the content they’re receiving, so they feel part of the project and also learn from each other. 

4. Gamify learning

Do you want to implement social learning and enhance the results of your training program? Then you should gamify learning. Some gamification elements, such as challenges, rankings, or badges, are ideal for motivating employees. These will make them get involved and complete the assignments. 

In addition, games enrich social interaction, make way for collaboration and foster healthy competition among professionals. To know more about this, read our article on gamification in corporate training.

Boost social learning with IsEazy LMS

IsEazy LMS is much more than a learning management platform. With it, you can implement your social learning strategy with various tools that will allow you to communicate, manage, and evaluate your training.

Surprise your professionals with collaborative training that will captivate them:

  • Easily include inviting and dynamic content to encourage their participation. 
  • Forums, blogs, and virtual classrooms: establish collaborative spaces, and enhance communication.
  • For them to feel part of the project, allow them to vote, share and comment on content. 
  • And much more!

Are you ready to offer a unique learning experience? Try isEazy LMS for free, and take your training to the next level.

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