Getting Peer to Peer Learning Right!
Peer to Peer learning is a very effective way for staff to learn, Indeed it is often the default. It accounts for up to 70% of learning in some environments.
However, you do not want the situation where a person who knows nothing is getting advice and help from another person who knows almost nothing.
That’s why it is important to ensure that you have sound strategies in place, for example, access to up to date information or identified experts.
What are the advantages?
- Peer to peer support is readily available (most people ask the person next to them) and encourages collaboration.
- Staff can discuss and bounce ideas off each other and often can even help improve company practices.
- Many learners retain information much better by discussion than reading alone.
- Being able to mentor your colleagues and support them with their questions will give the mentor more ownership and job satisfaction.
- It is far more engaging to chat with a colleague then to view a PowerPoint presentation or eLearning module
- It can be cost effective (within limits and a clear strategy).
- It is cost effective when compared to Face to Face training or even other forms of training if retention is poor.
So what are the strategies to ensure the Peer to Peer learning in your organisation is effective?
- Ensure your company documentation is current and accessible.
- Identify key champions who will mentor new staff.
- Encourage new staff to ask questions, preferably after they have reviewed relevant documentation, so their questions are insightful.
- Recognise the contributions of ideas on improving the company processes.
- When a new process is updated and needs to be shared have a workshop and ensure your trainer is a facilitator rather than a classroom teacher. The facilitator will be able to bring out the best questions and answers using the power of the audience thus encouraging peer to peer learning.
Business Process Management Consultant