5 Opportunities that Create Informal Learning Environments

LMS Informal LearningCasual, Comprehensive Communication Empowers the Workforce

Social media is a channel of communication that is both casual and comprehensive. People embrace it as a way to connect with others from the comfort of their personal devices. All the while it holds a vast array of information that is available to them instantly.

For years, businesses have wanted to bring casual and comprehensive communication into their training programs. Businesses think that if they can replicate the social media model then their workforces will become more effective. However, so far it seems companies that are using this equation to their advantages are social media mogul Facebook and search engine typhoon Google.

How can businesses outside the social media industry utilize casual and comprehensive communication to empower their workforces?

Leverage Knowledge to Educate and Innovate

Post millennium business models are known to encourage peer led learning and leverage employee knowledge to educate and innovate. Established businesses seem to struggle with successfully implementing informal learning structures. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking; failing to establish an internal communication system may leave a company behind in a world that is quickly moving towards informal learning.

Take steps towards informal learning by transforming training structure to create a social learning environment.

5 Opportunities that Create Informal Learning Environments

1. Openness:
Provide a common space where employees can meet and work together. The best location may be on the cloud. Consider using a cloud-based system as the basis of corporate learning. Use this platform to encourage conversation and sharing ideas.

2. Leadership: 
Establishing leadership is important, but instead of assigning roles, consider letting employees take initiative by equipping them with the tools they need to share their strengths with others.

3. Communication:
It is important to hire employees based on the professional skills they possess. But be sure to highlight the individuals who have exceptional personalities too. Their ability to affirm, empathize and communicate effectively can influence those around them.

4. Experience:
Establishing an informal learning environment involves relinquishing control and letting go of expectations. While it is advisable to have some guidelines and conversation springboards, expect organic experiences to guide learning processes.

5. Action: 
These opportunities can only lead to team successes when all members have the freedom to act. To propel movement forward, it may be a good idea to use deadlines and prompts at the start, but before long, expect employees to take independent action.

Every company has the opportunity to make the most of informal learning. However, all too often businesses fail to put systems in place that help their teams embrace this process. An easy solution to this problem is to secure an environment that promotes openness, leadership, communication, experience and action. Such a solution exists in the social learning management system TOPYX®. Request a free demo of this award winning LMS and experience these five opportunities first hand.

It has been said that “80 percent of learning at organizations happens informally.” With the right system in place, any company can meet the demands of post millennium business models, catch up with the times and prepare for future successes.

Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
[email protected]


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