Why Every Industry Can Experience Social Learning Success

• 3 min read

Think social learning doesn’t have a place in your industry? Think again!

There are plenty of myths out there about social learning that have recently (and thankfully) been busted. For instance, despite nomenclatural similarities, social learning does not have to be facilitated via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

One of the most concerning misconceptions about social learning is that it can only be successfully applied in certain industries. The nature of social learning as a practice means that this simply isn’t true – everyone can participate in social learning and, in fact, probably already has benefitted from social learning activities.

Social Learning: A Corporate Construct?

Perhaps the root of these concerns is that social learning is a concept that stems from the corporate eLearning space, maybe to “disrupt” traditional learning models or to appeal to the influx of millennials in the workforce. Contrary to popular belief, social learning is not new. It’s been around as long as humans have been learning. In fact, learned behavior is an important part of evolution.

The roots of the term “social learning” as we know it in business today stems from social learning theory, a behavioral theory which has origins in the mid-twentieth century. Albert Bandura, a psychologist who has contributed heavily to social cognitive theory, argued that “learning is not purely behavioral; rather, it is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context”.

Although social learning has always happened in the workplace, it has grown into a significant part of corporate learning over the past few decades. Methodologies such as the 70:20:10 theory have allowed organizations to start acknowledging its role in the learning process, and new developments in learning technology allow organizations to easily deploy, manage, and measure social learning activities.

Universal Social Learning Success

Social learning has provided a number of advantages for both employees and organizations in a variety of different industries. For instance, it was reported that 45% of physicians at Stanford benefited from using Figure 1, a medical photo-sharing app for healthcare professionals.

Similarly, Vision Hospitality Group, a leading hotel management and development company, experienced success with introduction of their social learning program. Megan Brown, Director of Culture and Talent Development at Vision Hospitality Group, observed “a strong correlation between hotels that are engaged in the Docebo training and high guest satisfaction scores, versus hotels that are still coming on board with the training program.” 

Here at Docebo, we’ve also experienced success with social learning in a completely different use case. Docebo has grown by 433% since 2013. Fast growth has demanded that we find a more effective way to onboard our sales team. Upon implementing social learning, time to onboard for Business Development Reps has decreased by 50%, and time to onboard for Account Executives has decreased by 25%.

Learning Technology’s Role in Social Learning

Highly regulated industries might be wary of introducing social learning. However, the right learning technology can ensure that social learning is directed to the right audiences and helps to maintain compliance. Similarly, learning technology can help to measure and draw insights from social learning, allowing organizations to curate knowledge capital, fill knowledge gaps, and cultivate a culture of learning.

Learn more about leveraging social learning to cultivate a culture of learning in our free whitepaper, Building a Culture of Learning.