Informal Learning, or the spontaneous process of obtaining knowledge, is a key component of impactful organizations learning strategy. Whether it’s observing or asking questions, organic learning discoveries are essential in a workplace culture. With that being said, here are three advantages of informal learning in the workplace. This is not the same as curated learning, yet having a culture that promotes learning will help make your learning programs more effective.
- Information Freedom
Any person in your organization can take advantage of the informal learning process by asking questions and making observations. A workplace where development is encouraged makes learning informally more inviting, and with no tests or typical classroom training, learners have more freedom to seek and acquire information. Whereas formal learning sessions present large amounts of information in a short amount of time, informal learning allows for natural learning to occur. [i] The skills and knowledge that people attain can be used right away, and the ability to access new information at any point is one of the biggest benefits of informal learning.
- Greater Fulfillment
An employee who might be afraid to ask a question in a formal learning setting reaps the benefits of informal learning, and its naturalness, by being in greater control of what they are learning. The ability to learn independently and through daily work experiences, whether it is via a colleague or through self-directed learning, is extremely fulfilling. The nearly instant gratification of finding an answer to a question pushes the learner even more so to acquire new learning.
- Continuous Exploration
Having an employee in your organization who is in complete control of what they are learning – and the pace at which they learn – is extremely beneficial to their skill development and overall job performance.[ii] With all the different ways for a learner to take advantage of informal learning nowadays, from videos or podcasts to various social media platforms, the knowledge that they control their learning pace and information accruement is motivation in and of itself.