A well established business tenet is that to get the best results for your organisation, you must hire the best people. However, a major recruitment pain point is the fact that even at the same level in an organisation, all employees are not equally skilled. Peer Learning stands as the most cost-effective, and surprisingly least leveraged way to up-skill the workforce.
Peer Learning offers an informal engagement structure, allowing employees multiple opportunities to refresh their knowledge. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.
Reluctance to peer learning stems from the belief that subject matter experts brought from outside are more skilled than internal employees. The other factor working against it is the need for a deliberate platform and a formal structure, which companies are lazy to establish. However, if embraced systematically, it can create an environment of cooperation, trust and mutual support that adds to the organisation’s culture in the long term.
Let’s look at some clear benefits of peer-learning at the workplace.
1. It increases retention of top performers
It is with no doubt that retaining an employee is a very complicated issue. Bringing in new, highly trained employees is expensive, and also challenging. One rarely finds top performers moving from one company to another. They want to shine among their peers, and grow with a company that recognises and appreciates their work. This recognition increases the personal stake in that company.
2. It is cost-effective
As your workers train each other, you avoid bills on bringing in external trainers. Although peer training is not absolutely free, you end up saving on the cost of establishing new systems that employees will need time to learn and find value in. Truly, investing in peer training is more effective way than the original training.
3. It simplifies trainings
If you have had that pressure to constantly search for the newest trend in the market, have no doubt, it will completely disappear. Besides being adaptable, it is always relevant to any kind of challenge in the industry. Once your company has got its place in the market, your workers will always practice and improve the peer learning system to offer better results.
4. It leads to team bonding and development
Like any other skill, employees need to practice on how they need to work as a team. Peer learning is the easiest way to address this need. As a team, employees collaborate with their colleagues to initiate solutions to common problems, while also developing bonds.
5. It facilitates varied learning styles to coexist
Peer learning replicates the learning environment. Additionally, employees are able to know their own learning needs. For this reason, it may be tricky to train them using a traditional classroom model.
6. It encourages new hires to participate
You will often find out that some people find it challenging to speak their mind. Others may need more time to understand the dynamics of the new environment. Also, some employees may find it challenging to ask questions to their bosses. With peer learning, all these are addressed in a systematic yet informal way.