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Why is Social Learning the new Watercooler?

• 3 min read

Learn why 73% of the companies expect to increase their focus on social learning

A research conducted by ATD states that “social learning approaches have a 75:1 ROI ratio over web-based training”. So, how can companies leverage this unprecedented opportunity, and why is social learning the new watercooler that every single organization should put in place as soon as possible?

Social numbers and statistics

Man is by nature a social animal. This is why social interactions are crucial at every stage of our life. And when we learn, everything is about interactions: we talk to people, we listen to them. But mostly, “We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction”, as Malcolm Gladwell states in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.

That said, it’s easy to understand why, according to a recent Brandon Hall Group study, 73% of the surveyed companies expect to increase their focus on social learning. In fact, social learning is one of the most effective and efficient ways to unlock and spread knowledge across an organization.

Enterprises and Social Learning

But things are already changing, and they are changing fast. Another report from Bersin unveils that enterprises with at least 10,000 employees spent three times more on social tools than they had in the previous two years. Interestingly enough, big companies seem to be more receptive to these changes. Also because they have huge communities to train, and this is where social learning can really make a difference.

Also, we have to consider how social learning can impact talent retention in enterprises. Since we all are social beings, we also need to feel part of a group. And when we can share our knowledge, by teaching something to someone else, we actually feel part of something bigger. Incidentally, this is also how companies can increase employees satisfaction, engagement and – ultimately – attachment to the company itself.

Social Learning tools: the new watercooler

There are many kinds of social learning tools. We can think about social networks, or software we use every day to interact with people. But we also have a more sophisticated category of these tools. With the “Coach & Share” module, for example, Docebo created an integrated environment where people can seamlessly meet and communicate, But also ask questions, give answers, and rate the value of the whole experience.

This digitalization of the traditional watercooler comes with a lot of benefits. Which is in the first place related to a more efficient and structured way to formalize and spread knowledge: each contribution stays in Coach & Share, and this content is made available to everybody, not just the people standing in the line, and waiting to get their glass of water.

And that’s the trick – companies need to formalize the informal knowledge people across the organization have, and also reward the best contributors, so everybody feels engaged and motivated in sharing their knowledge. Which, at the end of the day, translates into a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce, able to increase the performance of the entire business.How’s your company preparing for social learning? What are the new approaches your company is evaluating or deploying in the training environment? You may want to take a look at our social features, and see how Docebo is changing the way enterprises all over the world are approaching social learning.