Sometimes the most valuable online training assets aren’t pre-built courses or customized support tools, but human resources. In this article, I’ll share the top tips to identify your in-house eLearning mentors so that you can take advantage of peer-based knowledge sharing.
eLearning mentors: Know the ones among your workforce
Many companies overlook the importance of peer coaches and mentors. They spend countless online resources developing personalized online training courses and engaging activities. And while those tools are essential for ongoing growth, there’s something to be said for peer-to-peer interactions.
eLearning mentors are one of the most cost-effective ways to spread knowledge throughout your organization. They give you the power to tap into employee skills, expertise, and experience in an organic way. How do you find them? Here are some insider tips to spot those in-house eLearning mentors who are hiding in plain sight.
1. Use LMS analytics to find top performers
LMS reports can shed some light on who demonstrates which skills throughout the eLearning process. For example, an employee breezes right through the customer service course and exhibits strong communication skills during the branching scenario.
The key to successful eLearning mentorships is to take a niche approach. Find out exactly what your learner is good at and how they can pass that information and experience on to others. LMS reports give you the opportunity to see how their online training performance can translate into peer-based knowledge sharing.
2. Host live events to identify hidden talents
Host live events to see which learners stand out from the rest and are particularly vocal about a topic or skill. Which attendees are always at the ready with an answer to your question? Who goes above and beyond in the comments section to help a fellow learner who doesn’t understand the discussion topic?
These individuals are more likely to become eLearning mentors because they already have a knack for peer-to-peer support and show empathy. Once you’ve identified the eLearning mentors in the crowd, invite them to host their own events to disclose hidden eLearning mentors who attend their events.
3. Run pre-assessments that highlight areas of expertise
Pre-assessments give you a glimpse into your learners’ areas of expertise, backgrounds, and pain points. You can use the data to highlight eLearning mentors and disclose which specific skills or knowledge they can offer. Then, you also need to determine which peer pairings or teams to assign.
Let’s say, for example, that assessment results show your learners are particularly adept at IT skills. But they fall a bit short in the interpersonal skills department. So, they can step into the role of an IT mentor and be encouraged to join the interpersonal skill-building team. They bring their strengths and bridge existing gaps all at the same time.
4. Launch a social media group that brings coaches to the forefront
Start a social media group that helps you determine which learners are natural-born leaders and eLearning mentors. Discussions can organically reveal who possesses which skills or knowledge. But it also gives you the chance to see how they interact with peers.
You’ll also determine if they have enough communication, empathy, and interpersonal skills to become effective mentors. It’s one thing to have the necessary expertise or experience. But it requires specific talents to be able to pass it along to others.
5. Use simulations to disclose untapped practical know-how
Develop simulations that focus on distinct skills or training topics. Then evaluate the results to see which learners outperform their peers.
Simulations are unique. They don’t just reveal how much someone knows, but how well they apply it. It gauges practical know-how that they can impart to others to help them improve performance and productivity.
Use the simulations to find personal areas for improvement, too. That way, you encourage the in-house eLearning mentors to become mentees for topics, tasks, and skills that fall outside of their range of duties.
6. Carry out peer surveys to get co-workers’ perspectives
Sometimes the best people to ask are those who work or learn alongside a potential mentor. Conduct surveys that focus on others’ strengths. For example, ask the participant which of their peers stand out as IT or sales experts. Or, which one they always turn to for help with customer service issues.
This gives you a good indication of how employees feel about specific peers – and offers an insider perspective. Keep in mind that, often, people don’t even realize they have areas of expertise or unique skills. They simply use the talents they have to get through the workday or overcome challenges, without even acknowledging that their abilities are uncommon.
7. Encourage group collabs to explore team dynamics
You can tell a lot about someone’s talents or experience level by how they engage with fellow team members. So, you can develop group collab projects that allow you to evaluate their performance in a team setting.
Who displays skills that were previously undisclosed, thanks to the fact that they’re in new surroundings? Which group members step up and take on a leadership role without even being asked? Who seems well-versed on particular training topics?
You can even conduct surveys after the fact to get the team’s point of view and identify eLearning mentors – as well as which skills or tasks they excel at.
The beauty of in-house eLearning mentorship is that employees can pave the way for others – and receive guidance in return. It’s all about giving and taking, which means that every member of your team can broaden their experience. Even new hires have something to bring to the table. It also cultivates a sense of community: everyone feels like they belong to something bigger.
Now that you know how to identify your in-house eLearning mentors, it’s time to put their knowledge and skill sets to good use. Read the 5 Tips To Incorporate Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training to get helpful insight into how positive peer influences help corporate learners open up and explore new perspectives.
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