//A new trend is taking companies by storm

A new trend is taking companies by storm

In October last year,
SAP rolled out TeachHub, an application employees can use to share skills and learn from peers. Colleagues looking for help in particular areas of emerging technology—or even hobbies & interests—discover ‘experts’ (other employees who specialise in that knowledge) who are willing to help, and get guidance on the topic in question.

At MasterCard, employees who are subject matter experts, are now doubling up as internal trainers, teaching classes on design thinking, Agile mindset, AWS basics, DevOps, blockchain, and other such topics. There are currently 65 active trainers who conducted more than 80 classroom sessions on different technical and behavioural topics over the past year. Over 2,200 attendees were trained as a result of this initiative last year in India, the first market globally for the company to roll out this initiative.

Across industries, companies are actively encouraging peer learning among employees, with the objective of imbuing agility in their learning and developing initiatives. As participants shed their designations and the junior senior mindset comes on a level playing, collaborative field, there is a transformation in the way teaching happens, said Pallavi Jha, MD, Dale Carnegie of India.

LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER

At Yes Bank, the focus is on creating an internal core group of digital evangelists across the organisation. This group is making knowledge sharing a mass movement within the bank, through train-the-trainer sessions and cross-team transformational projects. Peer learning is also taking place through ‘Yes Knowledge Hacks’, TED Talks-inspired weekly sessions on banking and technology where senior leaders share knowledge on risk management and data analytics.

Subex’s peer learning intervention is similar to that of SAP— employees can learn from each other through the technology platform ‘Everything, Everything At Ericsson MOAI, the ‘30 on Thursday’ programme is dedicated to peer learning among employees in sales. It takes up topics on winning deals, learning lessons from losing deals, Core3 in action, trend reports and developing sales leadership. The company now plans to extend this programme to other functions as well.

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Priti Singh, MasterCard’s vicepresident of HR for South Asia, says, “With employees teaching other employees, there is a sharper relevance of content delivered and an increased comfort level that aids in better learning.”

SCALING IT UP

At MasterCard, peer learning started off in a small way. “Some employees initially volunteered to deliver technology trainings through bite-sized modules, and we connected them with potential learners. We have since scaled it up; now, more than 90% of our technology training is delivered by experts within the company,” Singh told ET.

The initiative has led to India registering the highest learning hours per employee at Master-Card since the rollout. Technology hubs in St. Louis (US) and China have started following peer learning as a model, inspired by the success story in India.

Accenture runs the ‘Managing Director Momentum’ programme, which puts new MDs through specialised learning and coaching over two years. This March onwards, participants in the programme will interact with a peer cohort of 6-10 senior leaders—also MDs at the company—who will help undergo experiential learning modules and handhold them during the journey.

“In a rapidly changing business environment, we are focusing on democratising learning. This new addition to our MD Momentum programme is aimed at using peer learning and a modern-day apprenticeship method to develop future leaders more effectively,” said Rohit Thakur, lead of human resources, Accenture in India. Participants will be learning from their peers on innovating for results, building collaborations across the ecosystem, and inspiring vision in the company.

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