Peer-To-Peer Learning in the Workplace (5 Benefits & Examples)

In this article, we will be sharing the benefits of peer-to-peer learning and exploring ways in which you can encourage peer learning across the workforce.

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Peer learning and peer-to-peer collaboration isn't a new thing but is becoming increasingly popular among organisations across the globe. Simply put, peer learning is where colleagues work together to share knowledge and skills to achieve a common goal. This type of relationship can either be formal or informal, but will always have a collaborative aspect to it.

Peer learning can be conducted between 2 individuals or a group of team members, helping encourage learning and development as a whole across the board. As mentioned, whilst this isn’t a new method, it’s becoming more popular due to the increasing demands by employees that their career and development become a bigger priority within the workplace.

Organisations are now opting for this method of learning, due to the incredible benefits that are associated with this style of learning. From increased retention rates to an enhanced organisational culture, there’s no doubt that we will see this style of learning become something that all organisations will include in their learning and development strategies.

Peer learning is extremely important, that’s why in this article we will be communicating the benefits of peer-to-peer learning and examining ways in which you can encourage peer learning across the workforce.

5 Impressive Benefits of Peer Learning

When it comes to peer-to-peer learning, there are many benefits associated that organisations need to be aware of. Listed below are 5 of the most common benefits that organisations see when they have a peer learning strategy in place.

1. It Improves Retention and Employee Engagement

When your employees feel their learning and development are a priority, they feel more engaged and satisfied within their role. With employees nowadays switching jobs more than ever, it’s necessary to make sure that you’re keeping employees engaged and showing them you value and appreciate their hard work.

One of the most common reasons why employees decide to leave is because they often feel they're being undervalued and not being allowed to progress, grow and learn within their careers. When you have a peer learning strategy in place, you're providing your employees with the support and resources they need to keep moving forward in their careers.

Peer-to-peer learning is all about collaborative growth and development, helping the workforce learn new skills and gain the latest knowledge in the field, which results in improved engagement and boosted retention rates. Peer learning also makes your employees feel more comfortable because they can make true connections with other members of the team and turn to someone for support if they encounter any challenges.

2. Peer Learning Promotes Knowledge Sharing

One of the most useful advantages of peer-to-peer learning is that it promotes knowledge sharing across an entire organisation. Knowledge sharing is vital because when information is exchanged between members of the workforce, it means that if employees leave then the organisation doesn’t lose meaningful knowledge.

Peer-to-peer learning promotes knowledge sharing due to the collaborative nature of this approach, allowing members of your workforce to share ideas, perspectives, skills and concepts. Peer learning allows the members of your organisation to help each other develop their skills and share the latest insights with their peers.

3. Company Culture Is Improved

Culture is an incredibly important part of any workplace and something all organisations should be looking for ways to enhance. Great company culture comes with many advantages such as increased productivity, improved employee morale and an improvement in the overall satisfaction of all employees. Building a good company culture isn’t easy, and something that takes time and resources. However, when you incorporate peer-to-peer learning, you will be surprised at the impact it can have. Peer learning improves the culture due to the workforce feeling more valued and involved, motivating others to be more ambitious.

When you have peer learning within your organisation, you’re helping foster a culture that values learning, support and collaboration. Training and learning are more likely to be successful when we learn from someone who has similar experiences and values as ourselves.

Learning from our peers is successful due to peers being much more relatable than seniors and leadership within an organisation because they know the struggles currently being encountered. When you have a peer learning program in place, it inspires the rest of the workforce to be more collaborative, asking each other questions to learn and develop together.

4. Decreased Training Costs

Peer-to-peer learning programs are a great alternative to the traditional training methods used due to them being more cost-effective. As far as employee training is concerned, there's no denying that the price can quickly add up. Peer learning is an affordable option, particularly for smaller organisations that still want to help support the development of their employees.

Whilst outbound training programs, workshops, and other employee learning processes are still incredibly effective, when you already have top talent within your organisation, you can use this to your advantage. Your employees know your organisation better than anyone, so why not create an organisation with a non-stop knowledge flow?

One of the best parts of peer-to-peer learning is that even when a member of the workforce leaves the organisation, the investment is still present because the skills and knowledge are kept within the organisation.

5. Peer-To-Peer Learning Supports the Onboarding Process

Peer learning ensures that new employees feel comfortable while settling in. Not only are the first few weeks at a new job overwhelming but they are detrimental to an employee's decision whether or not to stay with the company. Due to this, organisations are now prioritising the onboarding process and that’s why it had to be included on the list.

Employees feel more comfortable as they get to know their co-workers which encourages them to reach out to their team should they have any questions. When you provide peer-to-peer learning within your organisation, especially during the onboarding process, it gives the employee someone to go to when they have any questions or concerns that they might not feel comfortable asking their manager. This reduces feelings of isolation during those first few weeks of adjustment.

5 Ways to Encourage Peer-To-Peer Learning in the Workplace

Now you know the impressive benefits of peer learning and its importance, you’re probably wondering how you can encourage it within your workforce. Listed below are 5 effective ways you can implement it, no matter your budget.

1. Mentoring & Coaching Programs

Peer-to-peer learning is all about creating mutual learning and trusting connections between professionals within your organisation. A great example of peer learning within an organisation is through mentoring and coaching programs.

Typically in peer mentoring, a more senior and experienced member of the team works alongside their mentee, acting as a supportive guide to train the mentee and achieve their goals. Although, this isn’t always the case with more organisations opting for mentoring relationships to be conducted between employees on a similar level with different skills and experiences. The same goes for peer coaching, where two colleagues come together to share ideas and solve challenges.

If you want to learn how to run a coaching or mentoring program within your organisation to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, book a free demonstration with us today.

2. Discussion Groups

For those looking to introduce peer learning to their organisation, a great budget-friendly method is to introduce discussion groups to the workforce. Discussion groups could take place weekly or monthly, depending on the demand from employees.

These discussion groups can be used as a way for your employees to share their knowledge and opinions on a specific topic or hurdle faced in the workplace. Whether it’s about improving diversity and inclusion or improving communication across the workforce, these groups are a great way to bring your team together to take part in collaborative learning.

Whilst discussion groups can be seen as similar to debates, the main difference is that these groups allow for the topic of discussion to flow and are cooperative in nature. These groups allow for ideas to be freely shared among employees, helping solve problems and generate new innovative ideas.

3. Host Networking Events

Networking events are effective at encouraging peer-to-peer learning and collaboration within your organisation. These events can be held both virtually and in real life, making them accessible if your organisation is global or your employees work remotely. These events provide the opportunity to bring your employees together to discuss new ideas and share diverse perspectives.

Networking events also enable your employees to come together more casually, making connections with one another and creating mutually advantageous professional relationships where each participant can exchange knowledge and ideas in a safe environment.

4. Peer-To-Peer Performance Reviews and Feedback

Feedback is a vital component of career development and progress. But who says that feedback needs to come from seniors within an organisation? When it comes to encouraging peer-to-peer learning within your organisation, a good approach is to promote peer-to-peer performance reviews and feedback.

Peer feedback is where a peer offers their thoughts on the other individual's performance, skills, strengths and weaknesses, for example. People often feel uncomfortable with feedback, which is why this is a wonderful technique to use because individuals feel less intimidated hearing feedback and reviews from someone on a similar level.

5. Group New Employees With Experienced Ones

Another way to encourage peer learning is by recognising and choosing the best employees to support new starters. Whilst these employees don’t necessarily need to be the most senior level individuals within your organisation, if they work in the same department as the latest joiner and have a good idea of how things operate in your organisation, you should consider pairing them up.

As mentioned, one of the top benefits of peer learning is its ability to help make the onboarding process more leisurely, it’s also one of the simplest ways to incorporate peer learning within your organisation. When you pair up a new employee with someone who has been at the organisation for some time, they can share key knowledge and real-life experiences to help the new worker settle in. The pair can work together to help the new starter overcome the challenges of joining a new organisation, whilst teaching them everything they need to know about their role and position.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the benefits and importance of peer-to-peer learning, you understand why more organisations are opting for this style of learning within the last few years. With some incredible benefits such as an improved onboarding experience, increased employee engagement and knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer learning is something that we believe will become an important part of any organisation, no matter the size or the industry.

Unfortunately, many organisations believe that peer learning can be a complicated process, however, the examples of effective peer-to-peer learning shown within this article prove that it can be as simple as implementing a mentoring program or hosting a networking event.

If you want to discover more ways mentoring and coaching can be used to help boost peer-to-peer learning within your organisation, you can book a free demonstration with PushFar today.

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