Online platforms have become part of everyday life when it comes to communication, finding answers, and simplifying tasks. This digital transformation has caused many companies to implement new training in line with these changes in behavior, one of which is social learning.
In this article, we explore what social learning is, its benefits, and how to create a strategy for implementing it in your company.
What is social learning?
Social learning is an approach to training which involves acquiring knowledge and skills through social interactions with the learner’s environment.
This process includes observing, repeating and refining. Social learning also encourages collaboration and teamwork as a way of acquiring new knowledge, rather than only using traditional methods such as formal training.
In a corporate context, online training platforms are ideal for developing a social learning strategy and many companies are already incorporating this type of training into their development programs.
Social learning theory
In order to understand what social learning is on a deeper level, it’s necessary to explore social learning theory.
Developed by psychologist Albert Bandura, this theory states that learning happens through observation and imitation, and is influenced by mental states such as motivation, attitudes, attention or emotions. It explains that behaviors can be learned directly, by observing and interacting with others, or indirectly, by observing behaviors through television programs, books or any digital media.
What are the 4 pillars of social learning?
Not every behavior we observe is learned immediately. Certain factors play an essential role in the success of this learning model. According to Albert Bandura, there are 4 key considerations:
- Attention: Social learning requires attention; the more novel or engaging the teaching model, the more attention it will get from learners.
- Retention: The ability to store information so it can be called upon later to respond to similar situations.
- Replication: Repetition reinforces knowledge, improving the internalization of the skill or knowledge.
- Motivation: For social learning to be successful, the individual must be motivated to imitate the observed behavior.
Why is social learning important in companies?
As we have already seen, digital tools are more prominent than ever before, and the workplace is no exception. In this context, they allow employees to share knowledge or skills quickly and efficiently rather than relying solely on traditional or individual training methods. They also open the way for collaboration and exchanging ideas and experiences, which can be applied to various situations.
Adopting innovative learning methods such as social learning is also an opportunity to accelerate knowledge acquisition, foster a culture of continuous learning, and enable the company to remain competitive in an increasingly digital environment.
How to implement social learning?
In order to implement social learning effectively in your company, you must first make a plan. Below are some important steps to follow:
1. Identify learning needs
First of all, it is essential to analyze the learning needs of your company. How? By identifying the skills that employees already have and those they need to develop to improve their work performance and achieve organizational objectives.
2. Establish clear objectives
The next step is to define your company’s learning objectives. Keep in mind that these should be measurable and aligned with the organization’s goals and values. For example, you can set out to improve the collaborative skills of your team.
3. Develop a learning strategy
Once you’ve outlined your objectives, it’s time to design a strategy featuring different approaches and activities that foster learning. To do so consider combining virtual training programs, with collaborative activities, study groups and joint projects.
4. Provide access to resources
You also need to provide your teams with access to educational resources like articles, books and training videos. These resources should be available via digital platforms so that employees can use them anytime, anywhere.
5. Create spaces for interaction
It is also essential to create spaces for interaction. Discussion groups or internal social networks allow people to share doubts and suggestions related to their training.
6. Evaluate and improve
Finally, don’t forget to evaluate the progress of your social learning platform. This way you can measure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
The benefits of social learning in digital work environments
Social learning allows users to actively participate in the training process. 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 to work on through videoconferencing, webinars, or live chats. It allows employees to share skills, knowledge, and information, all contributing to an environment of collaboration and improved 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 accessibility and the speed at which they learn new skills and knowledge.
Efficient decision-making and problem-solving.
By offering access to a dynamic learning environment, you create a culture of continuous learning, enabling employees to make decisions and solve problems much more quickly and effectively.
Foster soft skills development
Social learning is the ideal strategy for acquiring soft skills, such as leadership, problem-solving, or communication since these soft skills can be developed through observation, participation in discussions, teamwork, and practice.
What are the challenges of implementing social learning and how to overcome them?
Implementing social learning in a company can bring with it certain challenges.
Take note of some of the most common ones along with the different ways you can overcome them:
- Resistance from people: it is common for some employees not to want to share knowledge in public or participate in group activities. One of the suggestions to overcome this drawback is to communicate the benefits of social learning clearly. Also, provide adequate training and support so that people feel comfortable and want to participate.
- Low participation: Getting everyone in a company to actively participate in the learning program is extremely difficult, but not impossible. Creating incentives or providing rewards can be extremely helpful in increasing the participation rate of teams and fostering a culture of learning and collaboration.
- Technical drawbacks: The implementation of social learning usually involves external technology. To avoid any inconvenience this may cause, you must provide adequate training and technical support when necessary. It’s also important to choose intuitive and easy-to-use platforms.
- Lack of support from leaders: To ensure the success of your training program, it is essential to call on the support of the company’s leaders. Promote social learning as an integral part of the organizational strategy and invite leaders to actively participate in the strategy.
4 solutions to boost social learning in your company using technology
1. Use an LMS to enhance the learning experience
Encourage social learning in your company by using an LMS. With a learning management system, you can develop an online learning community where employees feel safe to share knowledge.
This software is ideal for both creating and tracking your training program. It’s perfect for incentivizing social learning through e-learning content, such as videos, images, and simulations. You can also 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 an online training program
To put social learning into practice, an online training program is a great way to go. You can design activities, projects, courses and more using digital tools that allow your employees to develop essential skills for success.
Keep in mind that your training program should include relevant content for your audience, engaging learning resources, and creative ideas that engage every employee, while aligning with the organization’s goals.
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? Try gamified learning. Some gamification elements, such as challenges, rankings, or badges, are ideal for motivating employees.
In addition, gamification in corporate training enriches social interaction, making way for collaboration and fostering healthy competition among professionals.
Boost social learning with isEazy LMS
isEazy LMS is much more than a learning management platform. It allows you to implement your social learning strategy with various tools for communication, management, and evaluation.
Impress your professionals with collaborative training that will captivate them:
- Offer inviting and dynamic content to encourage their participation.
- Create forums, blogs, and virtual classrooms: establish collaborative spaces, and enhance communication.
- Allow them to vote, share and comment on content to feel part of the training experience.
- And much more!
Are you ready to offer a unique learning experience to your workforce? Try isEazy LMS for free, and take your training to the next level.