Survey: Use of social media as a learning tool in the workforce is rising
Corporate learning and training leaders view social media as a valuable learning tool in the workplace, according to a new survey, which polled five sectors, including the healthcare industry.
The survey, which was conducted by consulting firm the CARA Group, Inc., polled 125 professionals from industries including: healthcare, pharmaceuticals/biotech, telecommunications, financial services and insurance. Participants came from organizations of all sizes, including small- and mid-sized firms, as well as global enterprises that exceeded more than $40 billion in annual revenue.
Ninety-eight percent of survey respondents agree that social media are changing how employees are learning and accessing information. Over 80 percent of respondents said they used social media and networking tools to advance their professional skills and resources, and thought it offered valuable opportunities for the workforce.
The survey, however, reveals that respondents are not without their doubts about social media and cited security issues and "poor resource control" as their top concerns. Poor resource control issues had to do with concerns about the legitimacy of the source. The survey also revealed that there is also worry from businesses about whether social media is a distraction from work.
"The survey findings reveal a tension between social media's perception as a valuable learning tool and companies' ability to govern its impact on productivity, security and information verification," says CARA Senior Vice President Jane Ehrenstrom. "With the millennial generation joining the workforce with a sense that social media tools and technologies are the norm, companies would do well to understand and leverage this trend to their advantage sooner than later."
The survey report lays out three strategies for companies to keep pace with learning resources and habits to successfully manage, train and cultivate their workforce.
Strategy one is about choosing which social media tools will be most beneficial to your workforce. CARA advises for sectors like the healthcare industry, which have stricter regulations, creating social media tools internally might reduce security and confidential risks.
Strategy two focuses on building a code of conduct for social media use, or social media plan for employees, and strategy three suggests hosting sessions for employees via an internal social media tool, to help them grow more familiar with the technology.
For a copy of the report "How Informal Learning Is Transforming the Workplace: A Pulse Survey on Social Media's Impact on Informal Workplace Learning," click here.