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Social learning: A brilliant workforce transformation
Nishant Muralidharan | Bengaluru | Wednesday, 27 July 2016

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Organisations follow a structured way of learning, be it seminars or employee gatherings. While we are in no way discounting these traditional methods of learning, the impact of social learning is immense. 

By nature, human beings are social animals, and what has transformed us since the primitive ages is, learning.

By ‘learning’, we are not talking about classroom learning or the structured way of learning. What we are referring to is the natural way of learning, or rather, the social and informal way of learning.

For instance, do we need to teach a newborn how to cry? No, it’s a natural process. As babies grow, they ask questions to acquire knowledge and understand behaviour.

The same rule applies to an organisational environment as well.

Yes, organisations follow a structured way of learning, be it seminars or employee gatherings. While we are in no way discounting these traditional methods of learning, the impact of social learning is immense.

In an organisational setup, social learning always existed, but now we have added a new meaning to it, thanks to technology. In fact, social learning technologies have had a huge influence on several enterprise core processes — from recruiting, to training and developing talent. Besides, results are quickly measurable because social technologies have a direct and obvious effect on performance.

Latha Raj, transformation leader, IBM Analytics is a strong advocate of the same. She uses a Mettl-powered webinar platform to spread her share of insights on something we have come to call social learning.

“We’ve all heard of the 70:20:10 model,” Raj states. “For me, however, 100 per cent of my learning was derived from my interactions with peers and leaders.”

There is no denying the fact that organisations need to shift to newer forms of learning. A software or an app, for instance, comes quite handy. Developers will need to understand:

1. Who they are addressing in the market

2. Who their clients are

3. What user experience will be derived from the product

These are commonly known points, true. But these are also inspired from delving into the mind of the consumer. This form of learning is often more interactive than traditional, and a lot meatier in terms of satiating the hunger pangs of knowledge.

Of course, transformation lies in the core of our DNA, and social learning more than extends beyond the organisational walls of a particular geographic location.

Raj mentions how she extensively replicated some of the best practices from their Irish team in Canada, and those from Canada into India, creating a network of learning primarily through socialisation.

This gene, however, is only triggered via organisational culture. Raj stressed that it is important to empower employees, to help them think more like entrepreneurs than ordinary salaried professionals.

However, for any change to trickle down generations, as with ‘social learning’, there is an imperative need to start young. When global enterprises, among other organisations, begin to connect with students and ideate their plethora of opportunities . . . that is when the ball starts rolling.

Harness that potential with zest, and we’ll soon have in our hands a strong army of entrepreneurs leading the march.

(The author is senior associate – insight marketer, at Mettl. He is currently developing content around psychometric assessments and has previously published a book in the fantasy genre titled ‘Tempestatem’ in 2015.)

(An HR Industry Promotional Initiative) 

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Wednesday, 17 August 2016

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