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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way most of the world works. Working from home has become the new norm, with nearly 62% of employees working from home at least occasionally. This has changed the way they learn and interact completely, and now that they are spending less time in the workplace, managers cannot physically guarantee that they are finishing their training programs.
So, the question is, how do you make sure your employees are still learning while working remotely? The answer lies in a setting that encourages collaborative learning. Here, employees are self-motivated and driven to engage with coworkers and complete their learning activities and training. They are also encouraged to create their own.
We thought we would look at what a collaborative learning environment in the workplace encompasses and unpack everything you need to know about it.
What Is Collaborative Learning?
Let’s first take a look at what collaborative learning actually is. Essentially, it is a training methodology in which employees share their expertise and knowledge with each other. It encourages teaching and learning between teammates at the same time.
This type of group learning enhances the entire learning experience by allowing employees to share their individual skills, ideas, and institutional knowledge. This way of learning is intended to shift away from the normal top-down approach of a manager to an employee. It rather encourages all-inclusive learning and skill set sharing.
So, how do you achieve it?
Use Technology to Decentralize Learning
By making use of technology, companies are able to shift classes online and host mini-sessions on a weekly basis. Essentially, team members are involved in the training and learning sessions and encouraged to share their skills and knowledge.
Instead of managers planning training by guessing what needs to be covered, attendees are able to opt for the skills that they want to learn. They can specify their learning requirements, request courses, provide feedback on current courses, as well as develop their own courses. This gives the employee a voice to actually express what they need and want to learn.
Each employee is given the opportunity to vote on the training they think would be useful to them, and these votes are then tallied. Anyone can then offer to take up the position of coach master and lead a session. Courses are therefore current and meet the needs of the staff. This means that the entire company is kept current with the skills and the needs of the employees.
Choose the Right Platform to Create Learning Environment in the Workplace
The next thing is to ensure that you have the right platform for collaborative learning. You will need an efficient system that will allow you to create efficient and budget-friendly training for your employees. They will need to specifically target the employees’ needs.
Unlike learning and development platforms, collaborative learning platforms make course creation quicker, simpler, and less expensive. This is because employees create courses as their specific needs arise.
This enables the learning and development departments to facilitate the learning process. Leaving them with more time to meet with important stakeholders, organize the distribution of learning material, and strategize.
Not only is it quicker and easier to meet the specific skill set needs with a collaborative learning platform, but skill gaps can also be met specifically and immediately. This means that the company can remain competitive and stay up to date on trends.
These platforms meet your company’s specific needs and are tailored to your team. It’s easy to spot outdated courses, and generic courses that aren’t tailored to your employees’ needs are eliminated.
Promote Knowledge Sharing
The next step is to actually encourage your team to share their knowledge and skills. Remember, in hiring a team, you are hiring talented, knowledgeable employees. And they are your most valuable asset.
Your employees have the skillset, the experience, and the knowledge to help your business succeed. They also have hands-on knowledge of the practicalities of the job. So, you can tap into this and create an environment where these skills are shared and passed on.
In the past, there were chronic information silos. Teams simply did not communicate and were focused on their own department. Employees are able to assist one another in gaining a deeper comprehension of their work by offering constructive feedback within the context of a collaborative learning model.
They can also gain valuable information about other departments. This will help them stay focused on the company’s overall strategy and foster critical thinking even when various employees are working remotely.
The Bottom Line
The fact of the matter is that collaborative learning holds a number of advantages. Not only do learning needs get met almost immediately, but employees are also equipped with the right skills to be able to tackle their work effectively. Moreover, it translates into employee loyalty and employee retention for the long-term future of the company.