This article was first published by Peter Neal of The Experience Bank Group in the United Kingdom. It lays out the value of peer learning groups so well that I had to reproduce it here. I do need to mention that it is very reminiscent of my own articles about The Peer Learning Institute’s peer learning group program.
Why Managers Don’t Share Their Knowledge
“Managers have greater responsibility and accountability than general employees and they accumulate valuable knowledge in this role, yet most do not have an opportunity or feel comfortable to share their knowledge or realise the value of sharing. This is due to the managerial role that limits this opportunity. It could be that there is a lack of communication between departments in their day-to-day roles, as well as competition between managers.
They may feel it would weaken their position among their colleagues or lack a designated time to exchange knowledge and managerial skills. New managers may not feel confident enough or may lack knowledge and skills in their new role, whilst senior managers may not want to come across as condescending. In this situation, managers may feel added pressure and a lack of support, therefore leaving them inefficiently firefighting and facing business as usual.
Peer Groups Support Managers
Here are 10 ways peer groups can help:
- Peer group allows managers to express themselves without the fear of failure, they will learn and share information in an environment that is psychologically safe, free of constraints and hierarchy where they will not be judged, criticised or punished.
- The group allows participants to share successes and reflect on how they have overcome negative events and provides an opportunity to celebrate their wins. We don’t celebrate ourselves enough, celebrating the small wins increases motivation, productivity and relationships!
- The group provides an opportunity to draw attention to the underutilised knowledge and skills of the manager.
- The content takes the manager through a process of self-discovery and social awareness to build on essential emotional intelligence and soft skills needed for managerial roles.
- Peer groups allow managers to build on current knowledge and previous learning to improve processes and performance within the workplace.
- The environment creates an awareness of common managerial challenges with an outside-in approach and provides an opportunity to learn collaboration skills and discuss possible solution options to their challenges.
- The manager receives ongoing peer support, has accountability and access to helpful information related to topics covered within the group.
- Opportunities will be created for new knowledge and skills throughout in the peer-to-peer learning environment.
- It will allow managers time to reflect on the interesting topics and perceptions of the group as well as provide an opportunity to revisit topics for total comprehension and innovation.
- The peer group offers a chance for managers to realise learning gaps and develop the personal knowledge and skills they require.”
[Note: I think it’s important to add this last point:
- Peer learning is more successful than traditional learning due to on-the-job learning and the application of knowledge and skills gained.]
Capable Managers Ensure Company Success
“Achieving employee engagement, enhancing performance and retaining staff is not an easy job to undertake. That’s why investing in your manager’s ability and providing an opportunity for peer support can help produce capable, confident and satisfied managers who increase company success. After all, on the flip side bad management, disengaged staff and unsatisfied employees equal higher absenteeism, lower productivity, higher staff turnover and lower profits.”
If you are anywhere in the world and would like to find out more information about how peer learning groups can benefit your managers and your organization, contact Deborah Laurel.
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