Long ago someone said, the only thing constant in life is change. This can’t be truer when it comes to knowledge in today’s times. Knowledge has become so dynamic today that, what was true yesterday may become irrelevant today with the addition of new information circulating in cyber sphere. People have developed a need to be connected so that they can stay informed about the trends in their domain.
Businesses today demand speed of knowledge transfer and decision making. Social media in its various avatars empowers employees by giving them a platform to learn from each other. It is a fact that employees learn maximum informally at their workplace. Traditionally it was confined to the physical location of the employee but today thanks to social media, their horizons can be widened with that much more resources available across their social networking domain.
Imagine that a sales person is having a tough time convincing a prospect to purchase a particular product. He is falling short of his monthly target and a successful sale to this prospect is critical to him at this juncture. His colleagues within the office do not handle this product and hence are not useful. What if the sales person has an informal platform where he can voice out his predicament? His colleague located in another location might have encountered a similar experience and found a creative way of convincing the prospect and could share the same with him. This interaction is nothing but social learning!
Traditionally, learning within the organization happened by observing seniors and peers. However, that was only possible with face-to-face interaction. Social learning recreates that magic but on a wider platform, keeping pace with technological advancements where the learners don’t have to be physically located at the same place. Not only that, they don’t even have to be logged in at the same time. That is the beauty of virtual social interaction. Discussions can be online and offline but there is continuity sans distractions.
In short, social learning can help individuals stay informed, and gain wider perspective of things which might help them take informed decisions. After all, learning takes place on a collaborative basis with participating individuals. Knowledge is neither imparted not received, but freely shared and that is the essence of social learning – and it is going to take learning at the workplace to a new dimension.