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Author's profile photo Thomas Jenewein

Social media in learning and talent development

We can see that investments in a companies learning culture results not only in more satisfied and engaged employees, Studies from e.g. Bersin show also that companies with a strong learning culture have a 18% higher profitability. With social media we have very powerful tools which can be used for learnig and talent development. After having many discussions in trainings and workshops around people development 2.0 I  would like to share & discuss the use cases where and why social media should be used for learning and talent development.

  • Employer branding: In the upcoming even stronger war for talents you need be an attractive employer – equipping your employees with state of the art tools.
  • GenY and the next generations will demand social media as part of their work environment – for learning purposes but also in general. The use it as their natural communication & collaboration tools.
  • Learning on demand to solve problems in the workplace, like finding an expert, ask him a question in a forum or finding user generated knowledge like a post or video in sharing sites.  The arbitrary seperation between learning and performing does not exist any more especially if you integrate learning tools like social media in the workplace. Usually this contents are small and short, that is also why it is called often microlearning. Of course this on demand-learning is simpler to establish in IT related workplaces.
  • Communities of practice is an establish method which gets another boost as social media platforms can be the “glue” between those communities.  Many HR departments e.g. start with communites for their talents to improve communication and informal learning among talents. 
  • Blended 2.0: with social media you can take blended learning to the next level – as it provides tools which are easy to use and are perfectly to integrate into existing learning settings like curricula – e.g. to support discussions of exercises between courses, to share documents on experiences after classes.
  • With social media your communication can be done more effective– and you can reduce the massive e-mail overload– e.g. by creating blogs for news per organization or project – which even can leverage feedback channels.
  • Via the possibility to leverage user generated contents and experiences e.g. in Wikis you can improve knowledge management drastically – and foster informal learning – like in a virtual coffe-corner.
  • Onboarding: let new employees exchange their first experience, network with other newstarters or integrate formal contents to shorten time to productivity
  • Via transparent employee profiles you can make Talent management more effectively – and move towards a more transparent internal talent market where employees  look for own options (pull instead of push). They can develop and present themselves via (more or less) public profiles in internal networks

Jam is SAPs solution for social learning, see here further details. To make those use-cases successful it is like with the implementation of most new technologies: the  people factor as well as the related processes need to be managed and balanced without just focusing on the tools. E.g. without a proper community facilitation communities will not really prosper. Or you should check your critical processes where social media benefit most and start there– e.g. your customer support or customer training. And you need a clear governance structure which describes who creates or uses which social media for what purpose. However implementation best practices would fill different other blog posts – would be first interested which further use cases you see.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good article, Thomas.

      Hope, we'll evaluate all these benefits of social learning with SAP LSO and SAP Steamwork integration.

      Author's profile photo Christian Tempel
      Christian Tempel

      Thanks as well from my side. Great article.

      @Vasiliy: Maybe consider SuccessFactors Jam as well as Social Learning Plattform, have a look here

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Christian, SuccessFactors Jam has outstanding capabilities, especially in informal and blending learning and onboarding. I would only applaud choice of SuccessFactors Jam as universal social learning platform for SAP(SuccessFactors) On-demand and On-Premise solutions.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Jenewein
      Thomas Jenewein
      Blog Post Author

      hi Vasily, we are actually evaluating the community interface on xLSO (LSOs extended Learning Community add-on) to make it work with Jam. Already testet it with streamwork where it works pretty nice. I also agree that Jam has outstanding capabilities 🙂

      Author's profile photo Christian Tempel
      Christian Tempel

      Hi Thomas, great news. Please keep us updated on this. This would be a great enhancement for LSO and xLSO. The need for collaboration in learning contexts is definitely existing. Looking forward to seeing the result 😉