Do you find that your employer is resistant to incorporating social learning tools to enhance the business? Maybe, we just need to communicate the value better.
First of all, let’s get on the same page with what ‘social learning’ even means. Wikipedia defines social learning as: learning that takes place at a wider scale than individual or group learning, up to a societal scale, through social interaction between peers.
To be considered social learning, a process must:
- Demonstrate that a change in understanding has taken place in the individuals involved
- Demonstrate that this change goes beyond the individual and becomes situated within wider social units or communities of practice
- Occur through social interactions and processes between actors within a social network
That’s all very technical. Maybe this definition of ‘social learning’ can resonate better:
- Knowledge acquired from a group of two or more people facilitated by defined processes and/or tools
So, that is a start. How would you define ‘social learning’?
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into how to show the value of social learning to those not yet on the bandwagon.
In November 2011 commentary from Rachel Happe posted at The Brainyard shares some strategies to consider when explaining social tools to people in the workforce without drowning them in social speak or meaningless jargon. She offers some practical tips for those who need to internally “sell” the concept of social to their business counterparts.
Can we also use these strategies to help “sell” our businesses on the need for social learning as well?
|SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES AND PROCESSES FOR INTERNAL USE|
|Social Tool Use Case||Translation||Value|
|Blog for executives and subject matter experts||Be more productive, interact with a lot more people, and repeat yourself less.||Cuts duplicate effort, improves personal relationships, and provides faster action and reaction times.|
|Discussion board for project status updates||Reduce email clutter and time lost managing it; centralize information so it’s easy to find even after employees leave.||Saves up to 2 hours per day per person not having to manage project-related email, and increases knowledge capture and visibility.|
|Wiki for review cycles||Cut down on time wasted finding the current version of documents and editing the wrong versions.||Provides faster feedback and ensures you’re always contributing to the most current information. Cuts wasted effort.|
|Microblog for work updates among teams||Reduce or eliminate project status meetings while staying more aware of project status.||Saves up to four hours per person per week in time previously spent in meetings.|
|Internal social network that centralizes employee profiles and includes tags and expertise fields.||More easily find subject experts in your organization.||Reduces duplicate work, increases innovation, and cuts time spent looking for information.|
|Online chat tool that lets employees ask HR questions||Lets you easily locate policies, documents, and other HR info||Centralizes more of the HR team and reduces time spent looking for HR information.|
|SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES AND PROCESSES FOR EXTERNAL USE|
|Social Tool Use Case||Translation||Value|
|Customer support forums||Give customers a place where they can connect, create niche support documentation, and help each other||Decreases time to answers to questions, cuts number of support queries, and encourages innovative uses of products and services.|
|Drive word of mouth by sharing blogs, videos, podcasts, and other content on social networks||Educate the market about your product by encouraging people to share content with their connections.||Reduces cost of sales and customer churn because customer is educated before sale.|
|Engage influencers||Provide those most likely to drive positive results for your company with access and value.||Provides market credibility, positive market impression, and sales.|
|Co-innovate and crowdsource ideas||Solicit and vet ideas from and assess risks with a broader audience then you could in person.||Increases the percentage of successful new products and features, and reduces risks.|
|Use a community to extend the value of an event||Reach 10 times the number of attendees by enabling participants to share and discuss event content before and after.||Increases the relevance and audience for your event investment.|
Great charts! Thank you, Rachel, for a job well done. These charts can be used to easily overcome any misunderstanding of just how important and valuable social learning can be to any business or organization.
If you would like to see how social learning tools can easily and affordably be incorporated into your workplace, you can request a free demo of award-winning social learning management system (Social LMS), TOPYX at http://interactyx.com/request-a-demo/.
Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications