Strategies to Promote Social Learning in the Workplace

Regardless of how instruction will be delivered, L&D professionals need to be mindful of how their learners will interact with the content they are presented. Social learning is an approach that leverages interpersonal connections to facilitate knowledge acquisition and skill development. Collaboration, interaction, and shared experiences are emphasized within the instructional experience. This approach engages learners in discussions, group activities, and projects to provide opportunities for them to share their expertise with others and while learning from their peers. Social learning extends beyond traditional face-to-face class delivery of instruction to also include online platforms and learning communities to support learners’ acquisition of knowledge and skills. Here are a few ways that L&D professionals can leverage social learning in their workplace.

Create a learning culture that values socialization

The best way to encourage your employees to participate in social learning is by creating a learning culture that values socialization! If you want your employees engaged, it is important to foster a workplace culture that values learning, teamwork, and collaboration. Social learning can be cultivated most effectively within organizations that dedicate time to it and create spaces that encourage employees to interact with one another. Organizations can demonstrate their commitment to social learning by creating opportunities to recognize and celebrate employees who work together and share knowledge.

Facilitate peer to peer learning

A big part of social learning is the development of relationships over time. Organizations can support opportunities for employee learning exchanges by developing structured mentoring programs, cross-functional teams, and special interest groups. L&D professionals should consult with individuals who oversee employee development and human resources functions in the organization to see how they can create or grow these programs.

There are lots of opportunities to integrate social learning into a variety of employee development programs. For example, organizations can facilitate the formation of communities of practice where employees with similar interests or roles can come together to share experiences, best practices, and insights. These and other social learning initiatives can help create a sense of belonging and shared expertise to support organizational goals.

Leverage social learning LMS features

In today’s remote and hybrid world, social learning can no longer be limited by geography. Utilizing learning management platforms, such as Litmos, can enable employees to network and communicate with one another. These platforms support employee learning needs while providing a shared virtual space for all members of an organization to share knowledge, ask questions, and collaborate on projects. L&D leaders can use learning platform features, such as forums, leaderboards, simulations, and the curation of relevant external learning resources, such as articles, videos, and webinars.

Host learning events

Organizations can formalize opportunities to promote social learning by offering workshops and webinars that focus on topics of interest. This provides a structured opportunity for employees to learn from experts within the organization or guest speakers and engage in discussions.

Promote informal learning spaces

L&D in the workspace is often comprised of a variety of learning experiences, both formal and informal. Organizations can encourage their employees to socialize and learn from one another by dedicating physical and virtual space for employees to meet, collaborate, and exchange ideas. Online discussion forums or communities of practice can provide employees with virtual space they need to engage in conversations.

By implementing these strategies, organizations can create a conducive environment for social learning, enhancing collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees. Two or more heads are always better than one!