What is peer-to-peer learning?
Peer-to-peer learning is the process of acquiring knowledge through interacting with colleagues. The biggest benefit of this type of learning is gaining tacit knowledge which we will talk about more in the next section.
What is the advantage of peer-to-peer learning?
There are many ways in which we can learn, for instance, by attending a training course or reading books. However, not all knowledge can be acquired in such a manner. Some of it cannot be written, and is therefore described as tacit. It relates to skills, ideas and experiences that people have, but are impossible to codify. They can only be learnt through practice and peer-to-peer interactions.
Since over 40% of company knowledge is considered tacit, peer-to-peer interactions play a major role in knowledge transfers. The more diverse the team network is, the more diverse skills and knowledge can be acquired. This has a positive impact on employees’ ability to perform complex tasks and improves their problem solving skills which translates into better decision-making.
What has remote work changed?
When we work in an office, peer-to-peer learning happens naturally, through osmosis. Unfortunately, this changes when we start working from home, where interacting with our colleagues is limited, and happens through a screen, not face-to-face.
If we want to maintain peer-to-peer learning it has to become more intentional. Since most companies switched to remote working this issue should be addressed, especially knowing that Gen Z employees value learning and growth. Soon Millennials and Gen Z will make up 60% of the world’s talent pool, and if companies don’t provide them with learning opportunities they will seek other employment opportunities.
How do you encourage peer to peer learning?
Let’s now take a quick look into how you can make sure that peer-to-peer learning takes place in your organization.
Does peer to peer learning work? / How to implement peer to peer learning in the workplace?
Peer-to-peer learning can take place at various stages of the employee journey, we will focus on three: onboarding, day-to-day work, and performance reviews. Let’s start with onboarding. For this stage you can consider the following peer-to-peer learning methods:
When it comes to daily work, here are a few initiatives you can undertake:
Lastly, let’s take a look at peer-to-peer learning during performance review:
Peer to peer learning analytics - practical insights about a work habits for a leader and a team
Here are a few metrics that you should consider while reviewing you peer-to-peer learning process:
Why is peer-to-peer learning important?
Peer-to-peer learning is crucial for every organization, as it allows for tacit knowledge exchange, which constitutes a huge percentage of the overall company’s knowledge. The bigger and the more diverse the network, the richer the learning opportunities. Tacit knowledge not only improves employees’ ability to tackle complex tasks, but it also positively impacts their problem solving skills. All of this helps them make better business decisions.
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