Why is Peer Learning So Valuable?

Studies have shown the value of peer learning.

Peer leadership development dramatically improves the bottom line

Organizations that use peer learning for leadership growth have 36% more net revenue per employee, 9% higher gross margin, and are 4.6 times more likely to anticipate and respond effectively to change.

Organizations need to develop situational best practices

Organizations need to develop innovative practices to meet new unique situations as they arise. Hagel III and Brown propose that managers create small diverse work groups that provide a respectful and comfortable environment within which employees are encouraged and supported as they try different responses to new situations and learn from their experiences.

Self-managed learning is more useful than classroom or e-learning training

The 2020 Learning in the Workplace survey conducted by the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies found that the least-valued ways of learning in the workforce were found to be the traditional forms of learning: classroom training and e-learning. The top two most-valued ways of learning were self-organized and self-managed forms of learning.

Collaborative learning enhances critical thinking

According to Johnson and Johnson, there is persuasive evidence that cooperative teams achieve at higher levels of thought and retain information longer than if their members work quietly as individuals. The shared learning gives the members an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus become critical thinkers.

Social dynamics increase the pressure to keep up with peers                                                         

A recent German study determined that the success of peer learning can be attributed to social dynamics as well as knowledge sharing. The researchers found that, when an employee’s colleagues increased their performance, the employee’s performance also increased.

Organizational knowledge needs to be shared and retained

Typically, 42% of knowledge in average organizations is stored as tacit knowledge. This historical and procedural knowledge is often lost when long-term employees leave the organization. A peer learning and sharing platform brings tacit knowledge and experience out into the open and makes it available for others to use and pass on to others.

The most effective learning doesn’t come from the classroom

Research that resulted in the 70:20:10 model found that approximately: 70% of learning comes from experience, experimentation and reflection.

Peer learning is the future of leadership development

The classic leadership development program, conducted in physical isolation from the organization and outside of its operational context, needs to be replaced by experiences that build in real work, risk and accountability, intentional networking, exposure, collaboration, just-in-time-learning, and on-the-job problem-solving.

Question: Is your current management development program generating positive results?

If your organization needs to develop managers’ skills and effectiveness, contact Deb Laurel to discuss how The Peer Learning Institute can help.

Deb Laurel, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer, The Peer Learning Institute


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