There is no denying that new employees need training in order to learn your business model and using the experience and knowledge of those inside of the business is often far greater than sending new hires away for training. There is a difference between training and development though. In many sales and/or customer service related positions, there is a need for development and ongoing training, which is often accomplished by sending people to outside, formal training courses and/or expecting employees to learn the information themselves through newsgroups, books and web searches.
However, the simple facts are that employees are far more likely to learn valuable information through their peers, from someone who already has a good idea of what the business organization is about. When there is less emphasis on training and formal training modules and focusing the concentration on an exchange of knowledge, both the employees and the employers will begin to see a benefit of a more comprehensive training and company knowledge. Peers can be an excellent resource for support and company knowledge, which makes peer-to-peer training an excellent tool to help new employees as well as their peers develop professionally.
What Exactly is Peer-to-Peer Training?
Peer-to-peer training is similar to the buddy system in that it involves people training their colleagues. Peer-to-peer training can be utilized for a range of reasons, such as new hires who need to learn about the business from the ground up or a team that is deficient in a particular area. Someone who is knowledgeable in the area is chosen by a project manager to train others in crucial areas of the business. Peer-to-peer training is often done through presentations where the presenter facilitates open discussions on the topic at hand and encourages others to ask questions as well as voice their thoughts on the subject.
Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Training
Peer-to-peer training is a great way for employees to learn information in a non-threatening way and this form of training is the ideal way for employees to learn from one another. Some of the primary benefits of peer-to-peer training include:
- Team building-through peer-to-peer training all team members are able to come together without the pressures of daily routines. Although they are not “working”, they are still providing value to their work. This type of training allows everyone to learn as a group and those who are not quite as motivated receive the help of their peers who can encourage motivation. Peer-to-peer training is a great way to transfer skills from knowledgeable and experienced team members to others who are less skilled.
- Development-one of the best benefits of peer-to-peer training is it allows for both personal and professional development; it improves the expertise of all team members concerned. Learning information from peers who are more knowledgeable and experienced provides encouragement for others, especially junior staff members. People are more likely to respond positively when they are given information from others who are on or near the same level of the business as they are. It is an opportunity to ask questions without the fear of being ridiculed or dismissed, because they realize their peers have been in the same situation and understand their concerns.
- Quick and easy to organize-peer-to-peer training is easy to organize. There is typically no need to request additional funding from a project, no need for formal approvals and head office signatures. Project managers can quickly select the people who are the most fitting for peer-to-peer training and as the need arises, with minimal effort and cost, peer training can begin.
There are a wide range of benefits with peer-to-peer training. It is an opportunity for those who are more experienced and more knowledgeable in certain areas to pass on their information to their peers. Peer-to-peer training allows for people to learn in a non-judgmental and informal situation, which has been shown to be beneficial for all involved.
Get started with peer-to-peer training here.
Image source: Giphy