Notable Benefits Of Collaborative Learning For Your Remote Teams
So, Collaborative Learning has some incredible benefits for employee engagement, retention, and learning performance. But how about the growing switch to remote work? How can Collaborative Learning help teams adjust to the reality of telecommuting, or the new Hybrid Model of work?
3 Collaborative Learning Perks For Telecommuting Teams
Here are 3 undeniable benefits of Collaborative Learning for teams who are working remotely or telecommuting.
1. Collaborative Learning Helps Companies Stay Nimble
With a learning platform that leverages Collaborative Learning, you can keep employees abreast of changes by creating courses in minutes, not months. This lets your company react quickly to accelerating technology, industry disruption, and unpredictable world events. It also ensures all employees have the same access to information, regardless of how often they’re physically in the office.
In recent years, global events have shown us that an organization’s priorities, goals, and infrastructure can change overnight. For example, in March and April of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced workers to transition suddenly to remote work. Employees had to learn new workflows and adopt new technology with zero planning or prep time.
In an ideal world, L&D would have handled this transition, but most learning platforms don’t allow for quick course production. Traditional learning methods mean that producing even a single training course can take months of group work, and L&D teams frequently rely on instructional designers to build courses. The entire process is admin-heavy and resource-intensive. It’s also super expensive, thanks to dinosaur technology like SCORM.
Collaborative Learning makes it easier and more cost-effective to create and share learning materials. Anyone at the company can quickly learn how to create a course, with no outside help required. That’s one of the biggest Collaborative Learning benefits.
Sales Enablement can demo new product features. Customer Satisfaction can create a tutorial to help reps deal with a specific recurring issue. John in accounting can demonstrate the new procedure for submitting expense reports. All of these courses can be easily distributed, and educators (course authors) can get quick feedback from relevant stakeholders as they iterate and improve over time.
That accessibility opens the door for a whole new range of employee training possibilities. You can still create comprehensive onboarding courses and set learning paths. But you can also develop micro-courses that are relevant to only a single department or even a solitary position. When we’re all working remotely, this flexibility is crucial in responding to changes in the world. It also helps to keep teams connected, engaged, and stimulated–even when we’re all stuck in our homes. This way, you can reduce employee turnover and retain top performers.
An Example Of This Nimble Learning Culture In Practice
Let’s say your company adopts a new billing software. With Collaborative Learning, the Customer Ops team is able to quickly create best practices and a course on how to use the software. Employees are able to start using the software right away. Customer Ops can then continue to update the course to reflect employees’ questions as they are submitted, helping everyone to stay current.
If your Collaborative Learning LMS is based in the cloud, and not on-premise, all of this work can be done remotely, with employees spread across the globe. No matter how many people can make it into the office or not, your L&D programs can always be delivered on time.
2. Collaborative Learning Puts People At The Center Of Learning
Employees are a company’s most valuable resource–but keeping employees happy and engaged in a remote setting is tough. Collaborative Learning tools can help you boost remote engagement by letting teams connect with each other and share their knowledge and experiences. This has huge benefits for team building and internal knowledge sharing.
Too many organizations think of learning as a one-way street: L&D creates learning materials, and employees consume them. Everything goes in one direction, with no opportunity for any back-and-forth or feedback. When a lot of us are still working remotely, this model of learning only adds to the potential problems of isolation, detachment, and disengagement.
This approach also ignores the way people learn now. Media consumption habits have changed to favor peer-driven content. You only have to look at the growth of billion-dollar social media companies to see that people respond most strongly to peer-driven content. Especially when we’re working and learning from a distance, this peer-driven content can create the sense of community people crave.
This is one of the biggest Collaborative Learning benefits, and it has huge implications for your learning culture. A peer-driven, bottom-up method for creating learning materials results in better outcomes than traditional eLearning methods. Employees can identify specific learning needs based on what they view as gaps in their knowledge, and in-house experts then meet those needs by working from a distance to create relevant courses.
This approach helps to create room for conversation, feedback, and iteration. You can build more effective learning materials, boost employee engagement, and encourage your teams to stick together and help each other out–even if they’re working in different countries and time zones. Though remote work has many perks, if companies don’t actively promote human-to-human interaction in one form or another, employees risk feeling isolated, out of the loop, or that they’re losing interest. That’s why the peer-to-peer element of Collaborative is so crucial in a remote work setting.
3. Collaborative Learning Enables A Distributed Company Culture
With the global switch to remote work, company culture doesn’t just exist in one place anymore. Now, organizations everywhere need a way to build and maintain their distinctive cultures in a distributed manner, where everyone has their role to play–even from their homes.
For a lot of companies, this is a tall order. Many businesses have failed at this in the past, especially during moments of crisis. A rigid, top-down corporate culture only adds to the problem, as it is inevitably less flexible and in-touch with employees’ needs when telecommuting. Centralized learning programs only contribute to the problem, as they are more likely to be focused on specific deliverables, for example, upskilling large swaths of employees without concern for individual growth opportunities. To do this, they turn to one-size-fits-all solutions, like mass reskilling programs or in-person training seminars.
These solutions usually make employees feel like a number, not like valued team members. This lack of personalization is a major contributing factor to the current crisis of engagement, and is made even worse by the fact that we’re all still interacting with each other through our screens.
Fortunately, Collaborative Learning offers a solution, helping to keep employees happy, present, and focused. It encourages each employee to take ownership of organizational culture at a distance by creating an environment where they can contribute their skills and experience toward a common goal by creating content. In a Collaborative Learning environment, each person’s skills and ideas are genuinely valued.
A culture of decentralized learning empowers all people while helping them move forward in their learning journey. Most importantly, decentralized learning is useful in a company of 10 or 10,000. It works whether you’re all in the same building or spread out across the world. It scales as the company grows, and it’s elastic enough to change with the organization’s priorities. This makes it a crucial tool for keeping teams engaged and motivated from a distance, helping to boost employee retention even during moments of crisis and uncertainty.
Looking for insider secrets to change mindsets about online training and get employees actively involved in the process? Download the eBook How Collaborative Learning Boosts Engagement Rates To Over 90% to discover how the collaborative approach breaks down barriers and maximizes your organization’s L&D potential.