2. Peer training achieves greater engagement and relevance
Peer training generates highly relevant and engaging learning content because the material is crowdsourced from those closest to the action: subject-matter experts, authorities on company culture, and new hires with training on the top of their mind.
In one-way learning models, L&D professionals are responsible for building training that addresses their employees’ needs, but often lack the subject-matter expertise necessary to develop functional and comprehensive courses. To get around this, they might hire external consultants or work with an in-house expert during course creation. Under the top-down model, however, they still struggle to get the right information to the right employee at the right time: A survey of over 1,000 US workers revealed that 60% of employees find it difficult to obtain the knowledge they require to do their job and waste an average of 5.3 hours working around top-down training in an attempt to find it.
Faced with inadequate training, employees already turn to one another to get up to speed. Most corporate learning—an estimated 80%—happens through on-the-job social learning with colleagues and managers. This type of social learning is a good thing, considering 42% of valuable institutional knowledge is unique to the individual employee. In other words, nearly half of the knowledge it takes to do any given employee’s job exists inside of information silos rather than being company standard and represented in training materials.
Recently, we published a blog post describing why not sharing institutional knowledge is costing your company. Consider turnover, for example. If institutional knowledge isn’t shared and recorded, employees take a huge chunk of valuable wisdom with them when they leave the company. With that in mind, L&D professionals should be encouraging their teams to share what they know about how to do their job in order to make sure every team member has access to that knowledge.
Peer training aims to do just that: knock down information silos by facilitating the exchange of institutional knowledge. It empowers expert, in-the-field employees to create and refine course content to ensure it’s comprehensive, highly relevant, and genuinely helpful.
At 360Learning, our engagement data paint a picture of just how well employees respond to this approach. Courses created on 360Learning’s platform are consistently completed at a rate of about 90% within the first 24 hours. Plus, learners aren’t just passively ticking the training box: About 60% of those courses include some sort of assignment. We also typically see that about 20–30% of employees perform additional interactions, such as asking questions or amending training with further recommendations and best practices.
According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 35% of L&D pros cited increasing employee engagement as a top priority for 2020. We firmly believe peer training is part of the solution. Our standout engagement metrics speak to peer training’s ability to provide employees with the knowledge they need when they need it, and the power of tools that help teams teach and learn from one another. The takeaway? Don’t sleep on peer training.