We don’t dispute that for some topics, classroom-based, blended learning is best. But not all learning merits the same approach and sometimes, a more laid-back attitude can permit more communication, quick access, and even better recall.
Take care, however: Laid-back learning isn’t all Casual Friday. Instead, harnessing specific tools to help track learning and save communication is what makes a casual conversation into an opportunity to share and learn with your team members. Lace up your Chucks and consider some of the most compelling arguments for a more informal approach to your learning strategy.
1. It’s Faster
The scheduling headache that often comes along with more formal learning is just one of the things that can slow down your progress. When looking to coordinate schedules and devices of multiple people, you’ll end up putting off even important training and knowledge sharing. But informal learning happens fast; blink and you’ll miss it. Whether it’s shooting off a quick, knowledge-rich IM or having a one-on-one with a new recruit, you don’t need to clear your schedule for a session.
The digestible nature of informal learning also acts as a bridge for more formal learning strategies. Small, shared nuggets of knowledge mean learners are better able to absorb the information and put it to work almost immediately after.
2. Better Documentation
Just because a learning method is informal doesn’t mean it’s disorganized. All-in-one collaboration services (Think Slack) make it simple for users to share information back and forth while retaining excellent documentation in the process. That means no more sifting through email to find an attachment or wondering who had that amazing marketing idea. It’s all there, in one spot, for your entire team.
3. It Enforces Workplace Culture
You might talk the laid-back talk, but if your casual office suddenly goes corporate every time you have a training session, you might not be walking the walk. Think about it: If your organization is super tech-savvy, then why not use the apps and services available to you to streamline training, too?
Remote teams can especially benefit from informal learning opportunities when not operating in the same office. By adopting a super-efficient attitude toward open communication, information sharing, and tech usage, your team doesn’t need to be in the same room to learn from one another. Services like ScreenHero (as a way to share screens and collaborate) make laid-back learning both effective and ideal for enforcing your workplace culture, regardless of the workplace itself.
Sure, some topics aren’t ideal for informal learning. In-depth sessions and compliance training may still need a more formal approach, particularly if certification is required. But for the everyday, informal learning can become part of your workplace culture. By adopting the right tools and encouraging team members to loosen their ties, casual learning could be just as effective as some of your more formal strategies.