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Social Learning Platforms Are the Future of Developing Talent

Home Business Magazine Online

Social learning platforms use social learning technology to drive employee engagement further.

By Nellie Wartoft, Founder & CEO — Tigerhall

Social learning platforms that allow employees to leverage the power of group learning as they grow professionally are the future of enterprise learning. These tools allow employees to develop relevant learning in real-time, decentralize knowledge by making it available to everyone, and make learning more engaging by utilizing the technology employees have come to familiarize themselves with.

A recent survey from Brandon Hall Group reveals that 73% of companies expect to increase their focus on social learning, and over 60% hope employees will interact with learning resources daily.

Why social learning platforms are the future of continued education

I was drawn to social learning out of personal frustration. In high school — and even into college — I was the student who never understood why we were studying the Pythagorean theorem or memorizing the periodic table instead of learning real-world skills that businesses need now.

Like almost everyone entering the workforce, I found I was still unprepared for everyday workplace challenges. But when I was able to meet with company executives for more intimate one-on-one meetings in coffee shops, I learned more from them than I did in my formal education. That’s when I started thinking about the concept of social learning.

Social learning platforms offer this new future of continued education for three reasons, beginning with the development of relevant learning. It takes universities years to incorporate formal curricula, and corporate education takes six-to-twelve months to turn out online modules.

In today’s world, you can’t afford to be that slow. You need relevant learning content that addresses what’s happening now. I call this the Happening-Capture-Deliver ratio — the time between when something happens and when content captures that and delivers it to the right audience. With social learning, that ratio is instant because people share information in real-time.

Another reason why social learning platforms are the future of continued education is their ability to decentralize knowledge. With our world moving faster and faster, we cannot allow knowledge to remain the property of central institutions like universities. Through social learning, we decentralize information by learning from each other.

In addition, social learning platforms make knowledge available to everyone. Unfortunately, most university degrees are only available to the people who can afford them or are willing to take on a lifetime of debt. According to data insights on debt incurred from seeking higher education, even two decades after borrowing money to attend college, the average graduate still owes around $20,000. This should not be the norm.

Finally, social learning utilizes advances at the forefront of consumer technology. Many companies offer learning on woefully outdated customer relationship management (CRM) platforms employing 20 or 30-year-old technology.

Recent statistics reveal that Americans spend, on average, 5.4 hours on their phones each day. People aren’t assigned to spend time on social media or even offered incentives; they do it because it offers them a chance to connect with others and engage with the world around them.

Social learning platforms incorporate the elements people love about consumer technology — such as personalization, discussion forums, video-sharing, gamification, and AI recommendation engines — and use them to engage employees in enterprise learning.

Social learning platforms leverage human connection to keep employees engaged

Social media platforms are the future of learning because they get employees excited about sharing their expertise and learning with their colleagues. When Cisco adopted social learning, for example, the company reported 98% employee adoption after one year, and its employees generated 80% of the platform’s content through social interaction.

Social learning platforms engage employees with the interactive tools so popular on social media. Discussions, comments, and polls offer people a voice, while feeds and notifications keep them involved in real-time conversations. These platforms provide spaces where employees connect, share knowledge, and become engaged in their work. They answer questions from coworkers who need help and collaborate with colleagues with similar career goals. The more people who engage on the platform, the more valuable the platform becomes.

Social learning platforms deliver relevant learning

Social learning platforms empower organizations to make learning relevant. For example, leadership is able to better curate the content their employees learn by choosing specific modules or lessons that address the challenges they are facing at the moment. They may also create their own instruction that is relevant to their specific organization.

Additionally, social learning focuses on the needs of individual learners by engaging employees with content, tools, and resources based on the goals they list in their profiles. Everyone encounters a highly personal learning path because the platforms’ AI algorithms recommend learning opportunities specific to each user’s profile and past interaction with the content.

Relevant social learning proves remarkably effective. For example, when Comcast employed social learning on guided sales training, their retail specialists achieved a 40% increase in productivity and a 60% increase in sales.

Social learning platforms keep learning convenient

Today’s employees are extremely busy, but the “bite-sized” content on social learning platforms is powerful, concise, and easy to digest. This format allows employees to tackle training at their own pace.

Social learning platforms are also mobile-friendly and easy to use on any device. Instead of being restricted to learning at their desks, employees can access information anytime and anywhere.

Social learning platforms offer the world an entirely different way to learn and approach the process of credentialing. These platforms provide higher engagement with content, and real-time application of workplace knowledge compared to the learning management systems businesses have used for the past 50 years, leading to increased adoption by employees as a result. All we have to do is shift the ways we’ve historically approached learning to better reflect how we naturally consume content today.

The post Social Learning Platforms Are the Future of Developing Talent appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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