Social media is here to stay, that much we know. Yet I am amazed at the number of organizations that don’t take advantage of social components for their employee learning. The efforts I have seen just haven’t caught on because they weren’t used properly. There are a wide range of options at your disposal for social learning, so let me provide you with a strategy for one tool that you may find of use:
Social tool: a “Facebook” type wall for commenting
Location: On the organization’s intranet or LMS
Purpose: To give employees a quick reference resource for questions and sharing information
As users log into their intranet/LMS, they need to create a small personal profile (limit the amount of info shared here… more fields decreases likelihood for adoption). Required fields should be name, title, department, and a picture.
Pre-assigned internal moderators post questions and content on the wall to spark conversation. As people notice the wall activity, they will be more likely to post as well. Speaking of which, posting should be easy. Just like Facebook, there should be a small text entry form where users type in their comment or question and press enter. That’s it. Sweet and simple.
What is great about this setup is that it allows your organization to leverage their existing knowledge capital. Don’t know the results of the latest TPS Report? No problem, just ask the internal community… someone is bound to know. As people post on this “wall” of sorts, they receive points. You can even have incentives for the individuals with the most points at the end of the year, or quarter.
This strategy is a simple and quite easy to implement. It encourages discussion across departments and gives employees the comfort of a support system. If you’re part of a large organization, it also helps to make it feel more personal. Best of all, this approach to social learning is scaleable. As your organization becomes larger, you can create sub-communities of different disciplines rather than just one.
A good model for this strategy is LinkedIn groups – and one thing is for sure, it works. Your organization doesn’t have to be as elaborate and the profiles don’t need to be as detailed. A simple model will do just fine and will increase participation. Also, an added benefit of keeping this type of thing internal is you don’t have to worry about confidentiality of your organization’s business.