5 tips for effective peer-to-peer learning
Efficient development of your employees’ knowledge is one of the most important aspects of your company’s growth. Peer-to-peer learning enhances this process. Enabling your employees to learn from one another helps them get a deeper understanding of any concept. Peer-to-peer learning fits naturally with the way humans learn new information. It covers all 4 stages of the so-called “Learning Loop” (gaining knowledge, applying that knowledge, receiving constructive feedback, reflecting on skills and lessons learned).
The benefit here applies to both ends. The person who is teaching automatically makes an effort to clarify their own thoughts and develops leadership and communication skills. The person who is being taught is introduced to a new topic.
Here at audvice, we’ve introduced peer-to-peer learning processes from the day we started, and it helped us to grow faster as a team and a company. Let us share 5 tips on what to pay attention to:
#1 assign a peer mentor
The easiest way to encourage peer-to-peer learning is to implement it from the start. During your onboarding process, you can assign a peer mentor to every new hire. You can also assign multiple new hires to one mentor, and form peer groups. This helps create a strong sense of team spirit from the beginning. These peer groups should have regular check-ins where they discuss relevant topics (e.g. project management, accounting basics, sales pitches, marketing projects, etc.), and implement peer performance feedback, to help them gain a full understanding of their work and the work of their peers. As a part of our onboarding process, we use audvice to asynchronously learn from our new hires. Each time a new hire joins, we ask them to share their expertise about a topic they have a lot of experience in (e.g. “How to set up an email campaign”, “Why design matters”, “How to do a job interview”), in the form of a playlist. The whole team can listen to this playlist at their own pace, and we can all learn from our new hires right from the start and make them feel appreciated. Our favorite benefit: Showcasing one another’s expertise in peer learning also builds trust among teams.
#2 create a safe space to test & fail
The challenge of peer-to-peer learning is to create a format that encourages people to contribute. In-person sessions and presentations can be intimidating and lead to employees being afraid to speak up or ask questions. This is where async peer-to-peer learning can be a game-changer. It allows you to create a space for your employees to teach and learn at their own pace and to get into the topic without being scared of making mistakes. It’s important to let them know that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and that feedback isn’t the same thing as criticism.
In this safe environment composed of smaller groups, your employees will feel encourages to test and fail, which is an integral part of the learning process.
If your employees know that there is space for them to be taught, they will also be more likely to ask for help when they need it.
#3 choose an engaging format
It makes sense to host peer-to-peer learning sessions, but running such sessions takes a lot of time and will end up in a scheduling drama – another reason to consider async forms of peer-to-peer learning, such as audvice. audvice makes it easy for your team to record expert playlists, and share them with whoever, whenever. For someone who is deep in a certain topic, recording a playlist only takes a couple of minutes. Splitting up their information in bite-sized tracks not only helps them structure their knowledge better, but also benefits listeners with a clearer overview. These playlists are recorded once, saved in your team's audio library, and can be modified, added to and shared anytime, on demand. The biggest benefit is that the personal approach that makes peer-to-peer learning so effective doesn’t get lost: there’s a voice behind every track, making it easy to transport emotion and context. Peer-to-peer learning in the form of playlists enables everyone in your team to learn at their own pace, in a constant learning cycle. Here are a few examples of peer-to-peer learning playlists you can introduce with audvice:
How to set up an email campaign
How to perfect your sales pitch
How to win your first customer
How to lead a job interview
All you need to know about OKRs
Crypto for Dummies
How to use growth hacking in your team
#4 introduce cross-functional peer groups
Solving a problem as a group is a great way to foster peer-to-peer learning If you stumble across a certain challenge, you usually solve it with people who are in the same department, having mostly the same perspective. If you get employees outside the bubble involved, you might find that people you wouldn’t necessarily ask for help have very valuable input to add.
Gaining a different perspective always leads to more successful outcomes.
In this case, you can host a meeting or start a collaborative playlist in audvice. Every team member who has some sort of input, opinion or solution to offer can record a track at their own pace and add it to the playlist. This provides you with a collection of possible solutions, that took no time to create, and that you can listen to from everywhere.
#5 improve soft skills of the whole team
Peer-to-peer learning not only helps you take advantage of the know-how that is already in your company, but also improves your team's soft skills. If you encourage your employees to build relationships, and learn from and listen to one another, you automatically foster their growth and self development. By teaching others and being taught, they improve their communication skills, interpersonal skills, and learn how to work together as a team. The power of soft skills is often underestimated, but they are of immense importance when it comes to preventing misunderstandings.
If peer-to-peer learning is done right, it will help your team improve their skill set, tighten their bond, and ultimately boost their productivity. Your employees will gladly partake in this kind of learning, as they can contribute to one another’s growth and achieve goals collectively, even if these goals are not necessarily related to the same subjects. audvice can help you to facilitate peer-to-peer learning. Make sure to sign up to our waitlist for early access.