There is no way to avoid social media in this technology-driven world. Since we can’t fight it, why not join it? Captivating employees is essential to successful learning, so more and more organizations are turning to incorporating social media into their training programs. Social media has become an innovative and valuable way to deliver content to learners. A November 2015 survey by the Association for Talent Development Research showed nearly half of learning leaders, 45%, provide instruction on using social media for learning.
Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with new hires through creating online communities where everyone on a team can interact and give peer-based feedback. It can help present effective tools to train employees both at the beginning of their employment and throughout their time with the organization in order to continually develop their skills. Some ways learning and development organizations can incorporate social media into the training process are:
Online Onboarding: Through the use of livestream platforms, new hires can feel comfortable beginning work on their first day. Whether it’s a video tour of the office, introducing new coworkers or explaining first-day expectations, social media can be key to the onboarding process. There are commenting features that allow participants to ask questions and express their opinions and ideas. Social media allows new hires the chance to address many of their concerns before they even step foot into the office.
Breaking the Ice: Along with online onboarding, social media allows instructors and training content to be introduced before in-person training begins. By getting a head start on the ice-breaking and housekeeping parts of the training, you can hit the ground running and make the most of your in-person time. Facilitators could potentially upload a video introducing themselves, provide an overview of the class and even ask participants to upload their own introduction videos.
Content Directly from Employees: Social media allows employees to create their own content and share it with their peers. The process of creating their own training content reinforces the key takeaways from training. Posting the online training resources allows new hires to gather feedback from their coworkers so that they can identify their strengths and areas for improvement. This also gives employees a chance for their work to be featured on the company’s online platforms.
Competitions: Social media allows for competitions, contests, games and challenges to be created, which presents a more entertaining and interactive way for employees to learn. If rewards are allowed, it can motivate employees to do their best and make the most out of these competitions. For example, companies can use features such as “Like” on Facebook to indicate the answers they prefer to determine a winner, making it more of a peer-to-peer experience.
Timely Feedback: Social media has the ability to capture real-time feedback. Through the use of platforms like Twitter, thoughts from a course can be shared and unique hashtags can be used. The unique hashtag can start a conversation on Twitter. Since the platform allows 280 characters per tweet, this encourages your employees to make every word count. On Facebook, the use of polls and surveys gives you the opportunity to improve your training material, since online users can share their honest opinions. Instagram also allows real-time feedback, since users have the ability to comment directly below the image in order to share their opinions.
Many believe that social media is inherently bad and disruptive, but why not take advantage of all that it has to offer? Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have been growing tremendously over the past few years, and with more millennials entering the workforce than ever before they will be engaged the most with online training through social media. They are the most technology- and media-savvy generation. Rather than criticizing their ability to multitask and obsession with social media, take advantage of it. Utilize the strategies that are outlined in this article to engage your new hires. CoreAxis has extensive knowledge that helps us create custom solutions for all of your learning and development needs, including how to incorporate social media into your training programs. Learn more about what CoreAxis can offer you at www.coreaxis.com.