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How to implement social learning into your organisation

Leeds, UKLearning NewsNetex

There’s been a lot of excited talk about social learning and how it can shake up and revolutionise our workplace training programmes. But what is it, and how does it actually fit in to our L&D strategies? Netex share their ideas about social learning – what it is, how it adds to learning culture – and using their social learning tool, Learning Cloud Share, as an example, they explain how social learning can be implemented into an organisation.


What is social learning?

Social learning is the sharing of content, ideas and information, and is very similar to how we learn in our everyday lives. We’re always doing it, always passing on useful videos, links, pieces of advice to our friends, family and colleagues who need it. We don’t necessarily have to turn to an expert anymore to find out the answers. That is social learning.

We even do it in the workplace, but it’s so natural that we don’t recognise it as learning. The instructions you shared about functionality in Excel, or how to animate PowerPoint? That’s technically social learning, and it’s this learning approach which organisations are wondering about, asking themselves what it adds to their organisation and, importantly, how they can go about implementing it.

Social learning and learning cultures

Social leaning can also play a part in creating a positive learning culture. It puts learning at the heart of an organisation as it demonstrates a love of learning. It also encourages lifelong learning, and acknowledges the diverse range of skills in the company and encourages them to be shared. It connects departments who may not share a learner journey, and asks people to collaborate on learning, and continue learning outside of formal settings.

If this is the type of collaborative learning culture you’re looking for, then social learning may be what you’re after.

Find the right tools

But for social learning to work, you need the right tools. Using our social learning tool, Learning Cloud Share (Share for short), as an example, we’ll explain how it can be implemented into your organisation.

But first, what is Share? How does it work?

Essentially it is a tool to share content. Inspired by platforms like Spotify, it is based around playlists. Employees can create playlists and populate them with any content. So, as an example, imagine someone wanted to share insights into time management and productivity. They could set up a playlist and add helpful articles, podcasts, links to relevant books, websites – anything that they deemed suitable. To share the playlists with others, they simply make it public, but if they decided to make a personal playlist for themselves, then they can keep it private.

It allows conversation and dialogue, as learners can comment on the content or contact the authors of the playlists. If learners like an author’s content and want to make sure they don’t miss out, they can ‘follow’ them, ensuring they always see their latest shared playlists. As you can see, it ticks boxes for collaboration, sharing, and continuous learning.

How you can implement it into your organisation

What isn’t discussed enough is the flexibility of social learning. It can support your L&D strategy in a number of different ways, and using Share, we’ll show you how.

Enhances workshops

It can bring an extra dimension to formal training or workshops and is a useful way to encourage continuous learning. If a training lead wants to take the learning further, Share playlists could be created and populated with content that the learners could read following the completion of the training. Or, similarly, a playlist could be populated with content that could be read before the training begins.

Showcases employees’ valuable skills

It can be used to showcase your employees’ abilities and skills. Every company will have some experts, whose insights and skills will be valuable for upskilling others. By assigning them as authors so they can create playlists, Share easily allows them to share their insights with the company.

Fills in an internal need where there are no resources

If you find yourself lacking internal resources, social learning can be great for quickly filling in that learning gap. Populating a playlist with relevant content can provide easy access to ‘just in time’ learning that can quickly teach something, rather than the learner having to complete an entire course to gain the information.

Can be open to all

This is potentially daunting prospect, but one that would demonstrate true social learning. Through tools such as Share, you can give all your employees the ability to create their own playlists and share content they think would be beneficial to others. It will create a truly collaborative learning culture, and one that demonstrates trust – trust in their ability to contribute, and as a result will illustrate how valuable they are seen.

If you are curious to find out more about Share, please visit our website, or watch our quick video.