It’s Learning at Work Week! So looking at peer to peer learning specifically, what is there to think about?
There’s plenty of skills, programs, and methods to be learned in the workplace, but how do staff actually pick up new information? Harvard Business Review found that 55% of employees seek help from peers when it comes to learning something new, proving that learning from superiors or external training is not the only effective way for your people to be enriched through the power of learning. Learning and Development is hugely important and should be considered a high priority for employers, as giving employees a sense of fulfilment, teaching them transferable skills, and boosting their value to the company are just a few of the benefits of workplace learning.
Why is peer to peer learning important?
There are loads of benefits to co-workers teaching one another skills. For a starter, it encourages inter-work relationships and helps to create a teamwork dynamic in the workplace. Building that foundation of trust and communication flows naturally with the teaching and learning process, so having this on top of new skills being picked up is a plus.
Another key benefit to peer learning is the influx of alternative perspectives. By learning from a different viewpoint and getting someone else to take their experience and pass it on, a fresh outlook can help to keep a workplace from feeling stagnant.
Keeping up to date with such quickly evolving information is another perk that comes with encouraging peer to peer learning. With such incredibly fast developing technology like AI making its way around work practices, having employees keep each other up to speed with the latest news and is a great way to prevent anyone from getting left behind.
Ultimately, by implementing peer to peer learning and promoting learning based engagement in the workplace, a more supportive, positive workplace culture can be created while expanding the existing skill set.
What methods of peer to peer learning are there?
Sounds simple enough, but what’s the practice behind the theory?
One method that has a certain structure to it is the ‘lunch and learn’ process. Periodically, perhaps once monthly, have a different employee put together a powerpoint presentation centred around a particular subject or skill. Encourage employees to bring snacks and drinks and take notelean towards a discussion based ‘seminar’. And as a bonus, this also is great presentation practice!
Finding out your employees strong (and weak) points can be very constructive in finding out what your team knows and what they could benefit from learning more of. By identifying ‘experts’ in particular areas, you can have those specialist staff share their knowledge and create a more well-rounded knowledge base.
It’s also worth considering which skills could be taught. While hard skills are often desirable, there are also soft skills, and skills that are more personal development or outside of the workplace that could ultimately build confidence and give staff something to bond over.
The chances are, you have some form of peer to peer learning in your workplace, especially when it comes to hiring new talent. We think creating a culture of teaching and peer to peer recognition is a healthy way to build working relationships. To learn more about Learning & Development, why not request a demo?