Why L&D needs to focus on social learning

by Brett Henebery23 Jun 2017
If your company’s learning and development still centres on policy and compliance, you might be unwittingly pushing your top talent to look for work elsewhere.

But knowing what they want and need to learn – and getting their peers to teach them – can help you retain staff, and groom them for senior roles.

“If your learning and development initiatives are kind of a need-to-know format, that’s a very big turnoff for individuals who are trying to make sure they can grow within an organization in their own role,” says Sara Rehman of team collaboration software provider, BoostHQ.

Instead of simply a top-down approach of training staff in how to do their jobs now, HR needs to look to the future – especially when it comes to developing and retaining younger talent.

“It’s less going through some kind of compliance list and saying ‘they need to be up to par on forklift operation’ and everything like that; it’s more ‘where are these individuals aiming to go?’

“When you have attrition within a company and you see your workforce leaving to gain development elsewhere or at other companies, you have to see why and where they’re leaving for and pre-emptively prepare for leadership development so you can retain that talent.”

Rehman, who will speak on the future of learning at the HR Tech Summit on June 27, believes companies will increasingly adopt social learning, instead of one-size-fits-all learning management systems in future.

She suggests setting up a platform or forum for staff to ask questions as a tool for HR to identify areas where employees will benefit from different learning approaches.

“It gives you that topic overview of where you can step in and create the right type of training, whether it’s in person, if you bring in a coach or if you have exercises to help develop your team.

“It’s less the L&D department getting a note from top management about some sort of course that filters down into the business. It’s more like learners within an organization being able to give a prompt for what they need to be growing from.”

The above interview was featured in L&D Professional’s sister publication, HRM Canada

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