Embedding Social Media for Collaborative Learning - Live Blog from CIPD L&D Show 2014

CIPD Learning and Development Show - Live Blog

Embedding Social Media for Collaborative Learning

I’m at the CIPD L&D Show for a session on Embedding Social Media for Collaborative Learning.  First up is Helena Moore.

 I’m quite looking forward to this topic. Whilst social media is well embedded into the consumer world and our personal lives, it’s relatively new to be using this in the business world. I know this needs to happen, so it’s time to find out some tips on how.

Helena provided an overview of the typical social media tools out there; Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Yammer, Wordpress etc.

How do you get people excited?

So how do you get people get so excited?  “First thing to think about is mind-set”, said Helena.  “It’s about joining the dots up in the organisation. You can’t develop a culture that’s going to support social learning in isolation. You have to think about a number of elements”.  Helena then focussed on “The Famous Five”; five elements that you need to think about when implementing social media in a business.

Talk to your marketing (or comms) departments

The first bit of advice Helena advised is getting in with the marketing team. Find out what they’re using externally to the business and what their future plans are. This will give you some clues as to what social media tools might be worth looking at first. Helena also suggested talking to IT too to see what they’re using or planning to use.

Engage the Exec teams

This is about understanding what your execs and senior managers think about social media.  Helena says “I was lucky because our CEO was already in to Yammer so he was already there. He got into it really early.  That wasn’t the case with everyone around the table so we had to engage them too and build their confidence too.”

Engage your IT team

Your IT crowd are one of the most important relationships that you can have. You need them to be able to iron out any issues that you might come across – e.g. problems with video streaming as well as helping you to make sure the infrastructure and equipment is suitable.

Help your “Head of the Family” to lead the way

The next step that Helena referred to was engaging the Head of the Family. “We expect our leaders to lead on social media tools to encourage people to use them”.  This is about engaging managers to lead the way with interacting with social media platforms.

Engage your HR Team

The final tip was on engaging the HR team. Think about what they are putting in the recruitment process. Are recruitment processes recognising people who have social media skills (or at least the appetite to develop them).  Also how is the induction process aligned to help people learn how social media tools are used in the business?

Next up is Michelle Parry-Slater (Academy Manager, Santa Fe Group) sharing the social learning journey in her organisation.  

Injected Education

Michelle described injected education as the process of sending someone of for a course, injecting them with information, then returning them to the business “cured”.  That is of course until they start forgetting what they have learned a few months down the line. The injection has worn off. Michelle asked who in the group felt their organisations approached learning in this way. A good 80% of the group had their hands up.  The suggestion was that learning is a continuous journey not a one-off event. Social media helps people to keep “injecting” themselves with refresher or new knowledge.

Learning has Evolved

Michelle talked about the evolvement of learning. Despite whatever policies are in place in our organisations, people are accessing social media in whatever way they can anyway. Using Google, Twitter, Facebook has become part of everyday life. Why? Because things have evolved. So why haven’t we embraced this? The audience responses to that question were around IT not being capable, “It’s the way we’ve always done it” and we have no control. These are certainly the barriers that could stop social media being effectively embedded into an organisation.  These barriers need to be overcome, certainly the mind-set ones, if social media is truly going to work.

Why do we need social media anyway?

Michelle said there was a need to move away from the injected learning approach and evolve their L&D offering into something different. She reminded us of the 70:20:10 approach to learning which suggests that 70% of learning comes from learning through experience and 20% of learning comes from other people.  These points coupled with the fact that Michelle was single handed trying to cater for the learning need of 3,000 people! So a good reason to provide a platform to connect people. She knew it’s what we had to do.

What solution was used?

Michelle spoke to the big players in the eLearning space and eventually found Fuse. “What it does for someone”, Michelle says, “is immediately feel familiar.  It felt like other social media tools that people would already be familiar with.” On the screen Michelle showed us what this looked like. Content at the top, be that video, powerpoint, documents or whatever, and comments underneath. A bit like You Tube. All of the content is searchable, including the comments, which means if someone is looking for something in particular, you can easily find it. “3,000 learners, become 3,000 experts” she says.

Michelle reminded us of the points covered earlier by Helena. Get others on board.  Your exec team, managers and other departments.  “Don’t under-estimate the need to internally market” said Michelle. Michelle went on to describe a communications plan to put out “teasers” to get people curious and excited about was happening.  Following the launch, Michelle explained it was important to get involved in the early postings and encourage users by, for example, liking, sharing and commenting on the early content that people post. Show an interest in what they do and encourage people do more of it. Michelle suggested that it’s about building communities within your organisation with content relevant to them.

More information on social media

This has been a really useful session and certainly a topic that I’m going to be finding out more about in the future.  you can too with CIPD's Social Tech report available on this link: www.cipd.co.uk/socialtech


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