What comes to mind when you hear "corporate training"?
If you're an employee, then that phrase probably isn't evoking the most positive of images in your mind.
You might be thinking of mandatory seminars that are more yawn-inducing than educational.
Or, you might be thinking of long days spent in a classroom-style setting, learning things that you'll never use in your day-to-day job.
But what if there was a way to make learning more... palatable? More fun, even?
Enter Corporate Education
Corporate education is the new hotness in the world of employee development. It's a way of providing learning opportunities that are more engaging and interactive than traditional methods.
While corporate training is typically focused on teaching specific skills or knowledge that an employee needs in order to do their job, corporate education takes a more holistic approach.
It's about providing employees with the opportunity to learn new things that will help them grow both professionally and personally.
It's not just about improving job performance - it's about helping employees develop into well-rounded, knowledgeable individuals.
The Dread Called Corporate Training
Unfortunately, a lot of companies still operate under the belief that the best way to get employees to learn something is to beat it into their heads with a heavy hand.
What they don't realize is that this approach is not only ineffective, but it's also counter-productive.
When learning is forced, it's often resisted. And when employees are resistant to learning, they're less likely to retain the information and more likely to tune out altogether.
Even research shows that if employees are not motivated to learn something, the chances of them actually retaining the information are slim to none.
When Learning Happens Spontaneously
While corporate education is a complex term and covers a wide range of learning techniques, in this article we'd like to focus on the art of sharing knowledge via informal learning.
You would be surprised how much you can teach someone about a topic they had no interest in if you do it subtly.
And no, we're not advocating for underhandedness here. We're simply suggesting that there are ways to make learning more palatable for employees, ways that don't involve boardrooms or PowerPoint.
For example, let's say you are a project manager in the IT sector and would like to teach your team about the basics of Scrum.
You would not need them to be experts on the topic, but knowing the basics would make it easier to work on projects together. If everyone understood why things are done a certain way, there would be fewer arguments and more progress.
So there are clear benefits for them to learn this, but if you walked up to your developers and told them you're having training sessions to teach them about Scrum, you would likely be met with groans and eye-rolls.
So how do you get them acquainted with the topic without them even realizing it?
The Art of Informal Learning
Informal learning is not a new concept. It's actually how we learn 90% of the time.
Informal learning happens when people learn spontaneously from their everyday experiences - from the things they see, hear, and do.
It's the kind of learning that happens organically, without any sort of formal structure or agenda.
For example, you might learn how to make a new recipe by watching a cooking show or picking up some helpful gardening tips from a friend.
You don't necessarily need to be sitting in a classroom or attending a seminar in order to learn - it can happen organically, simply by paying attention to the world around you.
Informal learning is an important part of corporate education because it allows employees to learn new things in a way that feels natural and organic.
The Challenges of Corporate Education
Back in the day, these things would have been done in person. The manager from our example could have shared insights over lunch or during a coffee break.
But in today's remote work environment, those opportunities for organic learning are few and far between, so you need to get a little creative.
Another challenge of corporate education is scaling.
In a small company, it's easy enough to have one-on-one conversations or share helpful articles via email, but in a larger company with hundreds or even thousands of employees, it's not practical to try and reach everyone individually.
You need to find a way to share knowledge with large groups of people without overwhelming them or making them feel like they're back in school.
You Need New Tools
Technology can help you reach more employees with your corporate education initiatives, without bombarding them with information overload.
Another important obstacle to informal learning, that the right tool can help you overcome, is to help you foster a learning culture within your organization.
People learn more easily in a culture of collaboration and trust, and the right tool can help create this culture by providing a space for employees to have discussions, ask questions, and share their knowledge with each other.
If you can make learning a part of your employees' everyday lives, it will become second nature and eventually lead to better results for your company.
So how do you go about doing that?
Lorino is a new way to think about corporate education. It's a social intranet with a focus on sharing knowledge and basically a way to formalize informal learning.
What that means is that it provides a formal platform where employees can share their knowledge with each other in an informal way.
It's the perfect tool for companies who want to promote a culture of learning without making it feel like work.
Share Knowledge in Bite-Sized Pieces
Remember the manager who wanted to teach their team about Scrum?
Using Lorino they could do that by sharing articles, blogs, or even use cases that would be relevant to their team.
By sharing small pieces of information over a period of time, the team can learn about Scrum without feeling like they're in a training session.
Imagine if HR did that with company policies instead of making everyone sit through a 2-hour training once a year.
Or if marketing shared their latest campaign strategy in the form of a case study instead of holding a meeting.
The opportunities are endless.
And it does not always have to be knowledge shared top down.
Let Your Employees Educate Each Other
Using a social platform like Lorino comes with a lot of benefits, but the biggest one is that it enables employees to share their knowledge with each other.
In our experience, the best way to get on top of things is to learn from those who are already doing it.
Research shows that, even in work that appeared relatively routine, processes required the use of practical expertise, which comes from experience on the job and the sharing of knowledge between employees.