Technology has become such a crucial asset for companies because it allows them to share knowledge with employees. It’s true that companies need to ensure that employees develop and harness a drive to learn things. This can only happen when organizations use technology such as online forums to eradicate barriers in communication.
Apart from creating e-learning materials to boost the knowledge of employees, the companies need to focus on existing resources too. Employees can be given opportunities for collaborative learning where they can circulate knowledge to each other on forums.
There is a hidden repository of information in every company, and it should tap into it through e-learning forums.
The company can recognize which people in the organization are incredible sources of information through surveys. And then the ones with the biggest potential can be categorized according to their knowledge pools.
However, 30% of organizations still don’t have forums to help employees ask questions from their peers about confounding topics.
Besides facilitating knowledge sharing, these are the other benefits of online forums:
- Offer scope for human interaction: The learners partake in learning discussions on such forums, and it helps organizations to reduce costs incurred on formal training. The human assets get so much amplified when their colleagues solve their queries, which also boosts the camaraderie between them. In fact, when such discussions happen, the new employees get to learn such valuable information which is recorded in the brains of seniors or experienced co-workers. Anyways, such forums offer opportunities for joiners who are working from homes but want to interact with other employees.
- Increase confidence: The learners who lead the peers in such discussion often get a confidence boost, and it makes them go for the e-learning materials with a new zeal because they feel powerful after helping others. So, using an e-learning forum provides a great spur to an organization’s e-learning initiatives.
- Get feedback about e-learning: The L&D department can also browse through such e-learning forum chats or get an idea from the employees themselves involved in them about the skill gaps not getting addressed by the formal training. With this information on their hands, the learning and development team can make sure that the e-learning content is better suited for the learner’s needs.
- Get information about the most updated technology: The knowledge-sharing culture has to be encouraged in an organization because the technology is getting updated all the time. The learners want information that is useful as per their circumstances, and it’s not always possible to upload all such information on the LMS in the form of e-learning content, at least not so frequently.The organization might lose on some big opportunities when the employees don’t have the knowledge to carry out some tasks.
Businesses can also ensure that they provide support in such online e-learning forums and add chatbots that can post hyperlinks to YouTube videos and pages in e-learning assessments to help the puzzled employees. If the employees don’t find the link useful, the employees can then be redirected to interact with another employee.
- Brainstorming: E-learning forums allow employees to share so much information and are effective tools for brainstorming, which expedite their work. Employees can get a lot of timely inputs from others about the implementation of a path-breaking idea on such e-learning forums.
How to boost forum posting?
People should also be encouraged to share information on such e-learning forums. They might not have the initiative to do so because of a lack of time. But knowledge sharing should be an inclusive element in every culture and people should be infused with the motto of helping others. Hence, people should be rewarded when they let others know something useful. They can be given due acknowledgment for their knowledge sharing and praised too. It should be made a part of daily work chores. In fact, employees should be sent popup notifications when someone posts a question on an e-learning chat forum.
Some employees might be apprehensive about posting their queries on a forum for the fear of being judged by others. They are hesitant employees, so the forum administrators should see that the former’s posts are only seen by a smaller group of 5-10 people they are comfortable with.
In fact, they might end up procrastinating it, so make sure employees get some brownie points for asking others their confusions on the forum. It’s not always helpful for a company if an employee does not sort out his confusions and looks for answers online, adversely affecting his work due to lack of knowledge.