Informal learning – is it still possible in a remote world?
During WFH a lot of digital learning has been produced to cover the gaps in learning and to cover the new needs created by having the entire workforce away from the security offered by the office. Given we are looking at potentially permanently working from home, I do feel it is important to stimulate informal learning. It helps with building the company culture and is a great way to upskill or reskill learners.
Here are some ideas on how to achieve this:
Know your LMS
I think we need to look at everything our LMS has to offer and features which may not have been obviously helpful before. And here, I am talking of ways to promote informal interaction. Most LMS’s will have the option to create forums where people can share ideas or experiences. But there is one particular feature that one LMS has, that I really love: Docebo’s Go. Learn. With its Discover, Coach and Share feature users can upload video or photo content and share it across the organisation. It fosters interaction and builds an informal learning culture as everybody is able to see what questions have been asked and what has been going on in the organisation.
Create a well organised library of content
Don’t just publish the digital learning module on it’s own but also add any additional resources that might be of help. Is it a document that was published to explain a new IT feature? Or a new risk framework? Add them all together to make sure your learners don’t first resort to Google when searching for an answer. If your organisation allows, why not add external resources? For example, is there a YouTube video that explains how to use Salesforce? I know this won’t be allowed in finance and law institutions but those who can, should use it. It is likely that every software vendor you are using has videos and learning resources about all the features that their product has. There is a lot of knowledge to be shared around in every organisation, but it is very rarely all centralised at one place. Make it easier for your employees to find these resources and allow them to learn by themselves.
Here I will recommend a concept that I have spoken about before, Google’s Whisper, except I will rework it. Instead of the emails acting like a bite sized lesson or reminding you to apply what you have learnt in your latest training, how about using these emails to ask a question related to your day to day job, to promote interaction with your team. Essentially creating an environment of reflection and giving your learners food for thought, or even encouraging a dialogue with your colleagues. Being at home can result in better productivity but it will also likely result in less interaction. Those Zoom meetings with 30 other people don’t count! Prompt your people to chat, share and learn from each other.
While informal learning might not bee seen as crucial, I do believe it has a wider benefit in helping internal teams. It also has a helping hand in creating a learning culture and is a great way to help newcomers to ease their way into the organisation.
Is informal learning something your organisation is looking to facilitate or just let it happen by itself? I would love to hear some more ideas of what you implemented to facilitate informal learning, so why not get in touch?