Does social learning benefit people of all socioeconomic backgrounds?

from Nellie Warthoftfounder and CEO Tigerhall

Talent development programs can be a powerful tool for business growth. When used to boost the knowledge and skills already in the hands of employees, they unlock untapped potential and open doors to new opportunities.

Too often, however, talent development programs fail companies by empowering only the privileged few. To be truly effective, programs must be accessible and applicable to all. Programs that fail to serve people from all socioeconomic backgrounds will have limited impact and send the message that career advancement is only open to a select group.

Social learning is the best tool for businesses looking to unlock the potential of their entire organization. Unlike many talent development tools, social learning provides all employees with equal access to information and learning opportunities. It breaks down the hierarchical barriers that limit the effectiveness of traditional learning models, fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging that is essential to startup success.

Main features of social learning

Social Learning packages talent development into a highly accessible platform that mirrors the features and functionality of social media. It allows employees to gain relevant and actionable insights from real-world business leaders by connecting users to a supportive community of fellow students. Social learning brings talent development into a familiar, comfortable, and flexible environment.

Social learning platforms also allow businesses to capture and capitalize on internal insights, enabling business leaders to quickly and easily share solutions specific to their organization’s unique challenges. It is a genealogical knowledge tool that enables employees to pursue collaborative learning with employees in the organization who face the same challenges and strive for the same success.

An equal learning platform

Accessibility is one of the key benefits that social learning brings to the world of talent development. It opens the door for every employee to learn from senior business leaders whose wisdom and insight are usually only available to those at the highest levels of the socioeconomic class. Regardless of your background, social learning gives you the opportunity to learn directly from leading CXOs in a searchable, actionable and accessible way.

By creating a learning community, social learning also enables people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to learn from each other in a rich and diverse environment. This aspect of social learning ensures that the content is practical, not theoretical, and is sensitive to the social context in which it will operate.

Consider the challenges faced by those who grew up in an environment where social cues and the unspoken rules of business were not taught. Traditional talent development ignores these topics, forcing “outsiders” to learn “the hard way” through first-hand experiences that can lead to confusion, embarrassment, and discouragement. Social learning creates an environment where these topics can be talked about clearly in a safe and encouraging environment. It doesn’t shy away from difficult topics and leaves no one out.

Social learning also promotes the idea that the “right answer” has everything to do with context. Its user-generated content provides a wealth of solutions drawn from a diverse group of real-world business leaders. This approach acknowledges the value of equity and diversity, encouraging learners to find the best solution for their personality and situation.

A personalized learning platform

Another major benefit of social learning is the ability to personalize. Each employee operates in a unique context, which means their learning needs are unique. A platform is only valuable if it takes into account who the employee is and what is expected of them. Programs that provide sterile, academic, one-size-fits-all content bring zero value to organizations seeking to empower all employees.

Social learning happens on the job. It delivers relevant content when you need it, where you need it, and in a way that addresses your specific context. It takes into account your geography, your industry, and your seniority level, as well as the appointments on your calendar, your personal and corporate long-term goals, and the specific challenges you’re facing right now.

At the organizational level, social learning gives talent development the agility it desperately needs. It allows learning objectives and content to pivot quickly as new business opportunities arise. Today’s businesses don’t have years to prepare to meet customer needs. Social learning provides the speed organizations need to rapidly equip and empower their teams.

Today’s highly competitive and rapidly evolving business landscape requires a new generation of talent development tools. For businesses looking to maximize their talent development efforts, social learning is the only tool that can unleash the organization’s full potential.

Nellie Warthoft is the founder and executive director of Tigerhall, a mobile Saas platform for social learning that is revolutionizing how professionals learn from each other. Nellie challenges mass education formats that fail to prepare future leaders for real-world success. His vision and execution is taking the corporate world by storm, attracting clients that include HP, New Relic and BNY Mellon.

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