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The Future of Learning is Social, and Businesses Need to Keep Up

3 Mins read

Creating teams that can continually thrive in the modern business landscape requires a new approach to learning, as businesses that rely on yesterday’s training techniques and methodologies simply won’t be able to keep up. The future of learning involves utilizing tools that push beyond simply presenting information to provide deep understanding and facilitate ongoing exploration, and the best approach for delivering that type of learning is social learning.

What is social learning?

Social learning leverages social technology — the features and functionality that drive social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok — to create a space in which every employee becomes an active participant in the learning process. Rather than limiting employees to a library of static content, social learning blends an ever-growing library of fresh and relevant content with a social support network. The result is an ongoing process that integrates continuous learning into daily workflows.

Making learning mobile-friendly

The traditional approach to learning positions it as a one-time event in which employees are sequestered in a conference-like meeting and subjected to training sessions that are typically too long and often out-of-date. Social learning is delivered via mobile devices, which means insight and inspiration are on-demand, constantly refreshed, and available to be accessed exactly when and where it is needed.

Traditional training is disruptive, pulling employees out of the moment, while social learning happens in the moment. By meeting employees where they work, social learning is perfectly suited to support the learning needs of organizations adopting hybrid and remote work models.

Boosting engagement with bite-sized learning

Bite-sized learning is easier to digest, making it far more effective in moving employees past hearing to understanding. Social learning — like the social media platforms that inspired it — serves up bite-sized content that is accessible and actionable. It packages and presents insight in a way that fosters a culture of curiosity, discovery, collaboration, and application.

Driving collaboration and innovation

Recent research shows that US businesses have been struggling in the area of innovation, a situation that has virtually all executives frustrated. Ironically, their frustration most likely stems from their failure to update their learning systems. By staying locked into traditional learning methods, they are short-circuiting the type of connections that support collaboration and drive innovation.

With social learning, curated content is just one source for solutions. Employees can also find guidance by tapping into their internal network of experts, benefitting from “tribal knowledge” and communal learning that speak to the unique challenges those in the organization may be facing.

Social learning on Tigerhall brings together the entire organization on a platform that facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing to unlock and utilize collective intelligence, promoting an open exchange of ideas. Ultimately, social learning improves the intelligence of the entire organization by actively involving each employee in creating, sharing, and applying knowledge.

Empowering employees with direct access

Traditional learning is anything but customized. It is a one-size-fits-all model, which in reality means it is one-size-fits-none. A single presenter prepares a single presentation with the hopes that the content it includes will serve the majority, knowing that many who are forced to sit through it will gain very little from it.

Social learning empowers each employee to develop a customized approach to learning that serves his or her unique needs. It provides direct access to a wide range of learning opportunities that are precision-targeted and searchable, meaning employees can focus on developing the skills that are most important to their role. Social learning empowers every employee to become a problem solver, finding the solutions they need to enhance their performance and improve their productivity.

Social learning can also be used to create curated learning modules that teams can experience together. Its features allow managers to create relevant learning experiences that present expert content from both external and internal sources. Social learning tools can also be used to facilitate team discussions on assigned content, which allows for learning gaps to be addressed in real-time.

Fostering a growth mindset

Beginning with a global pandemic, the last several years have presented businesses with a number of unforeseen challenges. Organizations that were able to demonstrate resilience survived those challenges, however, and the most resilient were able to shape the unstable business environment to their advantage.

Social learning allows organizations to foster a growth mindset that fuels resilience and adaptability. When employees have easy access to learning that is relevant and empowering, they see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. As organizations develop a growth mindset, they become continually evolving entities that are equipped to effectively face future challenges.

When used to its full capability, social learning is much more than a learning platform — it becomes an evolution platform that transforms how organizations perceive, absorb, process, and apply knowledge. Social learning gives organizations what they need to succeed in an era where business understanding and adaptability are the new competitive advantage.

Nellie Wartoft is a Swedish entrepreneur who launched the social learning platform Tigerhall in 2019, revolutionizing how professionals learn from one another in the real world. Under her leadership, Tigerhall has quickly gained traction with users across 32 countries, and employees in 12 markets. Nellie has raised over $10 million in venture capital from visionary investors including Sequoia Capital and Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Tigerhall’s customers include global Fortune 500 firms in technology, FMCG, professional services, and financial services.

 Social learning stock image by fizkes/Shutterstock

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