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4 don’ts to embrace social learning

What not to do when it comes to encouraging a social learning culture.

Al Thompson Head of Content & Partnerships

4 don’ts to embrace social learning

I’ve been working with user generated content (UGC) for a long time now and I’ve seen first hand how it can play a big part in transforming an organisation’s learning culture. 

Incorporating it into your learning and getting it right can be a challenge, so to keep you on the right track we’re sharing what not to do when it comes to encouraging a social learning culture.

1. Don’t approve content

Never try to audit or approve content. It’s an admin headache your busy team doesn’t need and it can be a primary blocker to learners posting on your platform. 

Adding in an approval stage takes away the quick and instant nature of UGC. People are sharing information every day, whether it’s face to face, email or instant message, so why not allow them to bottle that knowledge in your learning platform? It makes it accessible for learners to discover exactly what they need, when they need it.  

Lastly, you won’t always have the knowledge your SME’s do. If someone in your technical team recorded a complex video for example, you may not be the right person to fact check the information is accurate or relevant, so you need to trust your experts. They’re experts for a reason, you trust them to do their jobs and uphold your brand values, UGC should be no different.

2. Don’t get people to email you their content

Trying to get your users to engage with your learning platform, share knowledge and post content is a challenge in itself, asking someone to email you the content to check before and post on their behalf isn’t going to make it any easier. 

When considering things like file sizes, accurate information and your valuable time, it can become a real issue. I’ve had clients try this tactic out in the past and they always end up losing out on a huge amount of knowledge that’s available in the business.

3. Don’t post content that’s only valuable to you

It seems quite obvious, but you need to remember what’s important to your learners may be different to what’s important to you. As long as someone is watching a video, looking at a link or reading an article and getting true value from it, that’s the most important metric you need to look out for. 

4. Don’t try to perfect UGC 

Don’t worry too much about trying to perfect UGC, it’s authenticity is a part of it’s effectiveness. So, if someone uploads a piece of content that’s not perfectly branded or might have a typo, don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s an internal platform, not marketing.

Remember to always look at the content through your learners’ eyes. If you feel the content isn’t quite right then ask the people who viewed the content if they learned something from it. Nine times out of ten, it’s going to be valuable. 

Interested in learning more about harnessing the power of user generated content and creating true peer-to-peer learning? See how the likes of DECIEM The abnormal beauty company have done just that with THRIVE Learning & Skills Platform.

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