Have you ever watched your favorite band perform live and thought, I really wish I could play guitar? Thanks to the explosion of free content and the popularity of sites like YouTube, you can borrow your neighbor’s guitar, pull up a how-to video, and start teaching yourself how to play guitar in a matter of minutes.
We are living in an era where new skills and information are only a click away, and this has fundamentally changed the way we learn both as consumers, and as employees. Based on internal research, we believe a majority of learning takes the form of informal knowledge sharing in a peer-to-peer setting. And thanks to new learning technology, we can provide employees with a similar consumer learning experience in the workplace.
There are several benefits to developing a peer learning program at your company. First and foremost, you’re unlocking a wealth of employee knowledge. It is likely that many of your employees are already experts in a specific skill and train others continuously (we all know someone who is constantly called on to teach sales people the secret sauce for getting a stalled prospect to reengage), especially in onboarding situations. Just think if you could capture that information once and share it with your entire workforce exactly when they need it?
Peer learning allows you to identify where knowledge gaps exist, so you can task the right people with closing those gaps in an engaging and efficient way.
Besides saving everyone valuable time and resources, peer learning allows you to capture institutional knowledge that might otherwise disappear when an employee changes positions or leaves the company. Recorded training materials can also strengthen the accuracy and understanding of the content—for example, when watching someone’s video on how to input customer information, you might notice that the simplified process for address verification isn’t widely used across the company. So you could record a video and insert short quiz questions to help colleagues check that they understand correctly.
In short, peer learning allows you to identify where knowledge gaps exist, so you can task the right people with closing those gaps in an engaging and efficient way. This in turn can increase accuracy while cutting down on errors, which ultimately helps the bottom line.
To get the creative juices flowing, here are seven tips for initiating a peer learning program:
Sometimes, the best way to encourage your employees to share what they know is to show them how simple the process can be. Once they’ve mastered creating their own content, you can take it a step further with new Workday Learning functionality that enables interactive video. In my next blog post, I’ll share a video that will show how this is done in action.