Today, more than the majority of individuals are disengaged at study or work, which means they come to classroom or office to fill their hours. Organizations are struggling to give meaning, energy and flexibility to the school life and workplace. What if enabling peers to learn from each other was the solution ?
Well aware of its effectiveness, Google has already adopted the so called "peer-to-peer learning" model. At Google, more than 55% of its "Learning and Development" department is lead by a community of 2000 peers. The program "Googler to Googler", assigns volunteers from all departments in peer training roles of all talents or skills. Employees themselves deliver career guidance courses, as well as sessions about kickboxing or soft skills for engineers.
PROMOTING A CULTURE OF COLLABORATION
Indeed, collaboration is not just about working together to solve problems, but also to share knowledge and help peers to develop their skills and talents.
By empowering employees to learn from each other, organizations integrate learning as a working method. One may think that management courses are more related to work performance than others, such as kickboxing, eg. But this is not the case, any learning possibility serves the objective of leadership and collaboration. Some courses may look like they are not work-related, but the activity becomes a pretext to teach soft skills. These last ones will be crucial in the modern workplace.
PROMOTING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION
Peer learning enables different work communities to meet and learn from each other. Thus, the organization is increasing interactions and breaks the silos between departments.
This pedagogy refers to the maker culture, a contemporary movement that
emphasizes learning-through-doing in a social environment, motivated by fun and self-fulfillment.
These communities grow around spaces called hackerspaces, makerspaces and fablabs. Those environments are very conducive to creativity and innovation.
As a result of the "Googler to Googler" program, an employee wrote a book about meditation, known as the "Search Inside Yourself", which became bestseller and was widely used by Google to promote its working culture.
Another employee has developed a methodology now used as design thinking process, in almost all departments.
Then, the organization provides the opportunity for employees to present the best of themselves, showing their passions and talents for design, photography, or meditation.
It allows employees to grow their strengths or positive characteristics. Indeed, we are all better at certain tasks or subjects, and we would be more happy and productive if we could spend more time on doing those things.
A study by Gallup over 1.2 million employees notes that workers who have received a training about strength and talents are 14% or 25% more productive than those who have not been trained on these notions.
PRINCIPLES OF PEER LEARNING
Peer learning is a mode of "learning for everyone, by everyone, about almost anything." Anyone can create and animate a learning group on the topic of their choice, without necessarily being an expert. Indeed, learning does not come from one person but from the interaction with a caring and interdisciplinary group. Learning is motivated by desire, need or personal interest of the participants. Finally, we learn by meeting, and participating in discussions or playing activities. One of the participants of a peer learning group shares "I realized that learning together is fun + more powerful than learning from a trainer."
SAVE COSTS BY DRAWING ON INTERNAL RESOURCES
Organizations spend more and more money to train their employees. According to a 2016 study by Deloitte, training expenditure in big companies grew by 12% last year. However, peer learning takes up much less time and consumes less money than formal corporate training administered by the HR department.
Organizations that can not afford to increase their training costs can still provide training by drawing on the skills, talents and expertise of their own employees. We have calculated that peer learning could save over 300 million euros in training and productivity in a large organization such as L'OREAL.
WHY NOW ?
Organizations need to prepare for a future of work, characterized by flexibility, personalization and creativity in the job positions.
The development of artificial intelligence will eliminate millions of jobs. More than ever, organizations need to find ways to renew the skills of their employees ... quickly and continuously. Peer learning can meet the training needs, being closer to the needs of learners and create a space where employees can reinvent themselves.
Enabling workers to self-organize their learning will accelerate organizational change for the benefit of more creative, happy and productive teams.
We can help to introduce peer learning inside organizations, contact us at
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