Learning communities are a great way to build informal learning into your organization’s culture. But sometimes, just because you build a forum doesn’t mean your colleagues will flock there to learn. That’s why Dan Jones shared his secrets for how to engage your learning community members.
(This advice is taken from Dan’s on-demand webinar, How to Start, Grow, and Manage a Learning Community of Practice.)
Organize Face-to-Face Gatherings
As a learning community manager of two different areas of practice at Zurich Insurance, Dan had the challenge of engaging members across countries and continents. No matter the geographic distance, Dan recommends face-to-face gatherings whenever possible. This builds trust between your members, which will make your learners much more willing to share information and participate in the community.
Keep It Casual
Just because it’s face-to-face doesn’t mean you need to put extra pressure on your colleagues. Host informal lunch and learns and networking gatherings so anyone can join at their convenience.
Dan’s tip: offer free food, and there’s no need to make it mandatory.
You can also think outside the box to organize events that will excite your learners. Dan recommends organizing a “field trip” on a relevant topic. For example, his team organized a trip to the construction site of a Zurich tunnel to learn about project management.
Grow Your Own Conference
Finally, Dan recommends dedicating resources towards a larger event about once a year to bring as many of your global members together as possible. Organize a conference or workshop where members give presentations and share skills. Be sure to include networking in the evening, and consider organizing an activity for team building.
Learning communities can be rewarding experiences for all those involved, as long as you know how to engage your community members. Get more of Dan’s tips for starting and growing your community with this on-demand webinar!