According to a study by Degreed, when learning a new skill, 55% of employees turn to peers inside the company for help. While this might not seem relevant, only 23% of employees preferred the thought of using an external professional network. If employees prioritize peer learning, why don’t more businesses implement peer learning strategies? Today we will dive into the power of peer learning and how you can introduce these ideas to your company!
What is Peer Learning?
Peer learning can be explained as learning a new task from a coworker or peer in the workforce. This setup is more casual than other training programs because employees are on an equal playing field. Employees might be hesitant to come to their employer and explain that they do not understand a topic or task. Because of this, peer learning allows employees to be honest about their understanding rather than hiding it.
How does it Work?
This type of training can be implemented in many ways. Depending on the size of your company, there can be benefits to having a formal training program or a more casual setup. For larger businesses, having a formal training program could be more beneficial. Having a new hire shadow an existing employee is a good idea to teach them applicable skills for the job.
Smaller companies have more room for personalization with this training strategy. Typically, with smaller companies, there may be employees who have more than one required job. Because of this, new hires have a more effortless ability to rotate around the company and learn various skills.
While the specifics of peer learning might change depending on the company’s size, some attributes apply to businesses as a whole. Some tactics that can help this training are discussion groups or constructive feedback sessions. According to Rich Adams, sales enablement manager at Zoom, “You can basically create a mini field army to evangelize your program—and it all starts with giving them a platform to teach and showcase their skills.”
Why Should I Consider Peer Learning?
While most businesses think that the smartest move when training is to bring in outside teachers, that might not be the best idea. While outside teachers have experience that might be beneficial, they are also not constantly present. This means that while the information they have might be necessary, it might not be relevant to employee problems.
Overall, peer training is a great way to create a welcoming environment in the workplace. By ensuring that questions are met with an understanding and respectful approach, you can ensure that employees are comfortable asking questions in the future. Not only does this improve the environment of the office, but it will also encourage team building and employee relations.