Companies today move faster than ever before, and it’s an ongoing challenge to keep everyone in the loop. Why not let internal experts take the lead and create a culture of knowledge sharing? Peer-driven training is a powerful tool in any HR and training arsenal.
Product managers are in the know about all the latest and upcoming product changes. Sales leaders know what their reps need to close deals, and support reps are on the front lines and understand customer struggles.
Yet on a day-to-day basis, experts find themselves heads-down in individual priorities, and cross-team knowledge sharing isn’t always top of mind. And when content is produced, it’s shared ad hoc – in different file formats stored in various silos.
A peer-driven training program, strategically-executed in a central learning platform, is an ideal system to unlock this expertise.
Learning and career development are among the top 10 factors that contribute to employee satisfaction, according to Forbes. With today’s competitive job market, hiring and retaining top professionals is a major strategic focus. Happy workers stick with an organization they feel is helping them grow.
We’re big fans of peer-driven learning here at Versal. Recently we released a white paper outlining its top 15 benefits to productivity (check it out here). Here are some of our favorites.
5 peer-driven training benefits
1. Become more agile
“Agile” is more than a Silicon Valley buzzword; it’s a cultural movement that empowers teams to respond rapidly to change.
Peer-driven training is inherently agile because it breaks through knowledge silos. Team members share their own expertise (it’s a chance to shine) and learn from colleagues without the complexity of a traditional LMS. Knowledge spreads much faster, keeping everyone in the loop.
2. Prevent institutional memory loss
When employees leave a company, they often take a great deal of knowledge with them. And it’s not only the company that loses, it’s the former employee’s peers. Don’t get caught without answers when someone asks, “How was this project executed?”.
Harvard Business Review has covered this phenomena extensively:
“Organizations spend a lot of time and resources developing knowledge and capability. While some of it gets translated into procedures and policies, most of it resides in the heads, hands, and hearts of individual managers and functional experts. Over time, much of this institutional knowledge moves away as people take on new jobs, relocate, or retire. Knowledge also degrades when a new senior executive or CEO introduces a different agenda that doesn’t build on earlier knowledge, or contradicts what was done previously. And knowledge disappears even more rapidly when a firm reorganizes or merges with another and there is a subsequent reshuffling of the cast of characters.”
3. Keep product and process knowledge current
Products, services, and processes are developed and released so quickly today that it’s hard to keep up, even if you’re in the inner circle. As a result, keeping a large organization up to speed is a never-ending challenge.
Too often we don’t have time to build a professionally-produced curriculum around minor – yet important – updates. Traditional LMSs aren’t typically set up for multi-author collaboration, and content is often PowerPoints or PDFs. Online videos need a lot of lead time, are often expensive to produce, and can’t be easily edited or updated.
By empowering teams to assume a level of peer-training responsibility, and by offering a single platform where knowledge resides, it’s much easier to keep everyone in the loop on new products and processes.
4. Allow internal SME’s to take the mic
New generations entering the workforce often love to share and collaborate in team settings, and they thrive with validation. Peer-driven training offers them an opportunity to share what they know, while making them feel more connected and valuable to the organization.
Plus, many workers enjoyed online or blended learning environments in college and are very comfortable with eLearning. Peer-driven training is a motivating way to gain new skills and knowledge.
5. Enable a free flowing exchange of knowledge
The old saying “knowledge is power” still carries weight. In the age of the internet and social media, when so much information is online, the power of knowledge is unlocked when it’s easily shared and available on-demand.
Recently author and entrepreneur Douglas C. Merrill wrote in Forbes:
“Two people will collectively know more than one. Three will know more than two. And when you have…smart people sharing their knowledge, there’s very little you can’t accomplish together.”
We see this collaborative effect happening across internal communication channels. Teams are rapidly adopting tools like Slack, Trello, Github and more, seeking to become more open. And since most LMSs don’t offer a Slack-like way to easily share knowledge, we’ve built a lot of collaboration, groups and management features into Versal (we offer a free 15-day trial – no payment info required).
Empower your best and brightest by enabling them to freely teach and learn from one another.
Trainers are more than content developers or instructional designers. They’re architects of knowledge sharing. They’re strategic leaders who understand how learning catapults productivity and job satisfaction. Transform your company culture by facilitating peer-driven training today.
Read more about the 15 benefits of peer-driven training and learn best practices for getting started. Download our white paper today.