Inviting Interaction & Partnership with Informal Workplace Learners | Learning Solutions Magazine | Agile Learning |

“So much learning is informal and unconscious; often learners don’t think of it as ‘learning something’ but as ‘solving a problem.’”

Without tools to make it more evident, management may not be aware of informal learning in the workplace at all.

But at the same time, informal learning require a quantum leap for many in the Learning & Development field, used to developing, vetting and tracking content.

How can we invite interaction and develop a partnership with our learners?

Teachable Moments:  Film the exemplary performer or technical expert (or have her film herself), and put it on the company’s YouTube or other video channel. The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain has done this with great success in an initiative called “Video Café” as a way of showcasing good performers and practices.

Increase Mindfulnesss of Learning

Research from Allen Tough features typical (middle-class) adult engages in five self-directed learning projects a year, investing an average of 100 hours in each.

In inviting interactions about learning, it’s useful to help workers recognize when they are learning. Doing worker status reports or callouts in meetings? “What did you learn this week?“   Encourage management to make this part of conversations, meetings, and classes. Incorporate it into the performance review: “Learning x helped me perform y.” Articulating it surfaces it.

In The eLearning Guild’s recent Social Media for Learning Report, a finding was that many organizations experiencing success with social media for learning were doing it via the use of “ambassadors” from within the organization – those people likely to write or otherwise contribute to endeavors.

So: Who is talking, what do they want to talk about, and how can L&D support and facilitate that without overcontrolling or killing it?