We have all heard how training programs benefit from social learning by keeping the participants engaged. This is not only true during the learning process. It can also help motivate employees stay engaged as they go back to their daily tasks at work.
However, you need to understand that social learning can also disengage employees from the course. At least, this is true if you cannot meet the important principles that make this type of learning a success. To help you avoid disengaging the participants in the program, make sure that you integrate social learning with the following principles in mind.
It has to be relevant.
First of all, you need to make your social learning activities relevant. You cannot motivate anyone to participate in something that they do not find relevant – especially when it pertains to their work. The activities may be fun but if it is not relevant, employees might lose interest in the training program. After all, the participants in the program are busy individuals. They had to give up time from their daily responsibilities, which is piling up, to complete the course. If you cannot show them the relevance of the social learning activities, they will lose interest in participating.
It has to encourage self-organization.
The thing about social learning – even if it is supposed to be fun, is that you cannot force it on anyone. Just like you cannot force an introvert to enjoy interacting in a bar. They need to learn how to want to get involved in the activities. This means you have to give them room to organize their own learning process. In an ideal social learning environment, instructors and trainers should only serve as facilitators. The trainees should be the ones to organize their learning curve through pro-active conversations. When done this way, the learning can happen in a more comfortable atmosphere while developing a sense of ownership in their own growth.
It has to promote collaboration.
Social learning is all about adding to your knowledge and skills together with your peers. The training should not isolate the learner. On the contrary, it should promote collaboration among the group. While a sense of competitiveness is expected at work, that does not mean they should not learn how to work together. After all, that is what will help the company step to the next level. Social learning is the right method to strengthen this characteristic among employees. This can be done through group chats or even games that will not really turn them against each other – but should encourage them to build scores together as a team.
It has to build trust.
The trust that we are talking about here is not only within the group of trainees but in oneself as well. It is important to learn how to trust the people you are working with. But at the same time, social learning should help train the individual to trust in their own views and be more confident in airing their opinions. As they develop peers and have learners support each other through discussions and activities, this will help boost the confidence of the employee to make them speak out their thoughts. That should allow them to take on a more active role in the company’s future.
It has to be challenging to one’s creativity.
Most of us, act on something because of a challenge. It may be from external or internal forces, but we are usually encouraged to act because we face a certain challenge. This is an important part of the training. You need to integrate this in the social learning activities. This is where trainees are encouraged to not just wait on what will be given to them, but to understand what they need to learn and explore on it. Allow them to be creative in this exploration. That way, the different participants of the training program can inspire each other to think out of the box when it comes to the learning process.
With all of the principles in effect, the social learning in your training course should successfully engage all the participants instead of disengaging them.
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