The way we absorb information is a tricky subject. Just think about that hit song on the radio you listen to once. The next time you hear it, you instantly recognize the beat, the rhythm, and can even sing along with it. However, when it comes to recognizing an answer to a question you read a week before, like on a test, your brain just doesn’t seem to pull up the answer so regularly.
It all has to do with the way our brains absorb and process information. We are social animals. We evolved that way. We were not programmed to sit down and study in a quiet, boring atmosphere. We’re roamers and hunters and, well, chatterers. Humans excel far more in social environments where they’re engaged, entertained and are having fun. So why has the world been so slow to recognize this and to institute changes in the workplace environment?
Thanks to innovative and engaging methods of employee training, we can explore new ways to train in a social, peer-to-peer, knowledge-rich environment that’s intriguing, entertaining, and actually encouraging for employees.
New Methods of Training for Better Retention
In today’s technology driven age, people are less receptive to by-the-book learning and training methods. This is a fact found across the board, even with children, as statistics suggest that children who watch engaging, entertaining web videos dealing with math (division, multiplication, geometry, calculus) absorb and retain much more of the material. When presented in a fun, engaging, interactive way, the student actually wants to learn; they want to participate. The same can be said with on-the-job training of your employees.
If employees are presented with enticing, interactive training methods that actually explore the imagination and make the learning and development of skill-sets something intriguing, the employees are going to pick up the material faster, retain more of it, and the atmosphere this develops will help the workforce become a more productive force for the company.
Let’s focus on the social learning aspect and discuss how it can benefit employees in multiple ways.
Social Learning: Its Unique Benefits and Implementation
There’s a lot that falls under the banner of social learning. It has to do with using today’s technology and “networking” atmosphere to create more communication amongst your workforce. It also deals in peer-to-peer training, knowledge sharing, and a bottom-up training routine that emphasizes effectiveness in the workplace.
For instance, it has long been the standard that a manager train employees based on the instructions coming from the top-down. Corporate or the head wig sets the standards, and thus they must trickle down – everyone must conform. With a peer-to-peer social learning approach, the actual employees of the company are responsible for helping to train one another. It’s a way of keeping things more “in the family,” so to speak, rather than having a head power dictate rules. This type of knowledge sharing and peer involvement creates enthusiasm in the workplace. Employees want to achieve higher standards; they want to outperform and do better.
Example of a Key Benefit
One of the biggest benefits of this type of social learning is engagement. Engagement, in a social context, is vital for growth and development. The more engaged your employees are with your company and with one another, the more productive they will be. Social learning here places emphasis on different games and employee exercises.
Games can deal with trivia, different apps and polls, training-based games, games that present different statistics in a fun way, etc. Instead of working from the top down, implementing games into the workplace allows for a bottom-up way of learning, where the entire workforce grows together.
Example of Implementation
The implementation of social learning techniques in the workplace can be rather simple. A great example here would be allowing your team to actually train one another in a peer-to-peer format. Using social-based learning and different games, employees can help each other grow and understand what is required in the workplace. This can be extrapolated past the initial learning process and can become a conducive element of the environment. Employees competition against one another in contests writing questions, offering suggestions, choosing the best new project, etc – these are all ways to help your employees embrace the idea of social learning, gaming, and bottom-up learning.
These techniques are often used in the education of students via charter schools and online universities. Employers needing to make a profit have been slow to institute these changes, because there’s always the fear of change in business. But as social media becomes more popular and relied upon more heavily, more and more employers are going to start introducing social learning methods into the workplace environment. Register now for your free trial at www.wheeldo.com