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Jacob Morgan

The Best Ways to Educate Employees About the Future of Work and Collaboration

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

We recently released our report on the Future of Work. One of the things we explored was the best ways to educate employees on the value and benefit of collaboration platforms within organizations. Employee adoption is consistently ranked as one of the top challenges when it comes deploying collaborative technologies and strategies and education and training is the best way to help overcome that.

From the hundreds of responses that we received, workshops (61%), videos and content on demand such as webinars (56%), and lunch and learns (47%) seem to be popular and effective ways to educate and train employees.

Workshops

My team and I have done many workshops for companies around the world and I can safely say that they do quite well. Not only do workshops provide an opportunity for employees to learn but they also provide a safe place for them to share their frustrations, hesitations, and general impressions about collaboration and future of work initiatives. It’s great for senior level leaders to hear directly from employees and vice versa. Sadly this type of back and fourth communication is rare so when it happens, very interesting things can be learned and uncovered! These workshops are relatively easy to do and can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days (broken up with a few hours each day). They can also be broken up by seniority level, department, or any other way you wish. I find that workshops are also a great way to help kick-start organizations to help them speed things up a little bit and get employees excited and inspired.

On-demand content

Again, my team and I have done many of these on-demand pieces of content (with lots more coming soon!) and they are also very effective, or at least they can be. With on-demand content people don’t just want to be educated they want to be entertained. This means that you might have amazing information to share but if it’s delivered in a poor way then nobody will be able to connect with it. The great part of on-demand content is that employees can access it when they want to not when they have to. Topics can range from general trends which are helping shape the future of work to specific walk-through’s of a collaboration technology to strategic or tactical tips and best practices.

Lunch and learns

I’m a big fan of lunch and learns and many companies do these once a month or even once a week, typically on a Friday. It involves having either a guest speaker or internal subject matter expert present on a particular topic while employees get to have lunch and interact with each other. Typically lunches are provided by the company so it makes for a fun and sociable event. They can last an hour or more and can be done in a series where a new topic is subsequently covered at each event.

There are also other valuable ways to educate and train employees which organizations can consider as well, these include:
  • Buying copies of a book for employees to read
  • Sharing research, use cases, or best practices
  • Having speakers from other organizations come in and share their stories and experiences
  • Reverse mentoring (where one employee who is a subject matter expert mentors someone who isn’t, regardless of seniority level)
  • One-on-one sessions
What have you done at your organization that has shown to be an effective way to educate and train employees around things related to the future of work and collaboration (or other)?

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About the Author:
Jacob is the principal of Chess Media Group, a social business consultancy focused on developing Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0, and Social Media strategies for mid and enterprise size organizations. Jacob is also the author of Twittfaced, a social media 101 book for business. Jacob authors a top ranked blog on Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 and can be found on Twitter @JacobM.
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