How many times have you had to watch a learn­ing video and found your­self switch­ing off?

Or found your mind wan­der­ing whilst sit­ting in a work­shop, a lec­ture or even (small gasp) a meet­ing designed to teach you a new skill? 

And, how many times have you left that learn­ing envi­ron­ment and not been able to make the changes you were taught, or even remem­ber what was said?

Only 5–10% of peo­ple can…

Making L&D Social: The research  

The major­i­ty of com­pa­nies force feed their employ­ees con­tent and infor­ma­tion as their main form of learn­ing and devel­op­ment. Yet, research shows that this is not the best way for adults to learn. 

We are told that the major­i­ty of learn­ing comes expe­ri­en­tial­ly… the 70%… but, often we are told that this 70 % (Cough Cough Jen­nings) is inac­ces­si­ble due to its social, non-for­mal nature. So, com­pa­nies tend to bypass it and focus on the 20% and the 10%, using con­tent based sys­tems or tra­di­tion­al face to face manager/employee coach­ing methods.

So why do employ­ers insist on sup­port­ing for­mal learn­ing through the use of a con­tent- based LMS? After all, 74% of com­pa­nies are cur­rent­ly using one. 

Research con­tra­dicts the val­ue of this approach. And, if you want to do more for­mal coach­ing (which, let’s face it, is bet­ter than just con­tent), it’s tra­di­tion­al­ly time con­sum­ing and incred­i­bly expensive. 

Now, I’m not say­ing that we should exclude con­tent from pro­fes­sion­al learn­ing because how on earth are you sup­posed to learn some­thing new with­out the theory?

But, how do we keep employ­ees engaged and learn­ing with­out bor­ing them to death and utilise the evo­lu­tion­ary 70% social learn­ing envi­ron­ment?  

‘IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.’ I hear you cry. 

 It’s real­ly not. 

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How to access the social learning environment

The first step is to move learn­ing into the work­place and empow­er your employ­ees to take hold of their own learning. 

You can do this by using video cap­ture rather than video con­tent. If we give employ­ees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to self-reflect and be coached on the real prac­tice of their new skill, the abil­i­ty for employ­ees to embed that skill increas­es to 95% (Joyce and Show­ers, 2012).

By giv­ing your employ­ees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to record them­selves in the work­place, they can mea­sure their own per­for­mance and reflect upon their own learn­ing by ACTUALLY see­ing what they’re doing. 

So, rather than just being told what to do and attempt­ing to imple­ment it, or for­get­ting about it com­plete­ly, (the con­tent, eLearn­ing, blah blah). Employ­ees can learn a new skill, then reflect on how well they’ve imple­ment­ed that skill and allow you to start mea­sur­ing and assess­ing the work­place learn­ing envi­ron­ment. This con­tex­tu­al­izes feed­back and pro­vides a cheap­er more acces­si­ble coach­ing envi­ron­ment that can be com­plet­ed over distance. 

Now this is where it gets real­ly inter­est­ing. Imag­ine you can share the video with a col­league, man­ag­er, or some­one who is just real­ly good at the job, and get them to feed­back on the real prac­tice example?

You can. We’ve arrived in the social learn­ing environment. 

Now we’ve tapped into the in-house exper­tise and found a way to empow­er employ­ees to tru­ly devel­op and show the progress they are mak­ing. And, by mak­ing it social, we’ve found that employ­ees like to do it — enhanc­ing social cap­i­tal and devel­op­ing a com­pa­ny learn­ing culture.

Employ­ees begin to take pride in their learn­ing as it is rein­forced with progress they can SEE they are making.

Have you used the social learn­ing envi­ron­ment for your learn­ing and devel­op­ment? We’d love to hear from you in the com­ments below.

Get your free copy of our white paper, Vision for Learn­ing Organ­i­sa­tions, to explore how you can embed more effec­tive social learn­ing in your organisation.

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The prob­lem with for­mal­i­ty: mak­ing L&D social
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