Typically the biggest hurdle we see which stands in the way of a person or a company attaining an educational goal is time constraints. I always hear people say they cannot find time to take training, or they need to learn everything there is to know in two days. A social learning environment may be one way around this hurdle as today’s learner is becoming more and more adept at monitoring and navigating social media – regardless of whether they have a few minutes or a few hours. In this You Tube generation, people can quickly look up answers and ask questions rather than having to go to the library or sit in a training class for a week.
The most critical (and often the most overlooked) component of an effective learning experience is motivation. Students need to be motivated to want to learn. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is when you do something because you enjoy it or find it interesting. Extrinsic motivation is when you do something for external rewards or to avoid a negative consequence. Social learning environments frequently accomplish both. For many, social media is fun (intrinsic motivation) and social media also provides opportunities for peer recognition (extrinsic motivation).
How does this impact the ROI?
You may ask how any of this affects the ROI? Since social learning is practical, especially in terms of time constraints, and provides needed rewards so you can become better at your job, it will positively affect business results. Aberdeen Research has shown that:
"...social learning has a dramatic impact on the bottom line, notably retaining more customers, bringing in greater revenue per employee, and retaining more employees than companies that don’t use social learning at all."
Now that’s a resolution you should keep.
Want to learn more about the other features of learner-centric continuous education, and how they can help maximize ROI and empower employees? Check out our new white paper: “Getting the most from your business applications”.