Although early ideas on human capital acknowledged the value of workers’ experience, their main emphasis was on formal education and training. Recent studies have shown that learning by doing or learning from peers or supervisors at work greatly influences newly hired employees’ performance. For the development of employees’ human capital, informal learning is significantly more crucial than formal training programs. 

Organizations frequently place a strong emphasis on formal learning options like classroom instruction, training films, and supervised online modules when training new hires or offering professional development chances to current team members. However, between 70% and 90% of learning takes place in informal settings. 

Informal learning at work can occur in a variety of unstructured settings, from break room conversations to a haphazard search on a knowledge management platform to explore a topic of personal interest. Employees might not even be aware that they are learning in such circumstances. 

How can your business leverage this kind of learning without destroying its organic nature? 

Key Takeaways

Strengthscape’s ‘Informal Learning – Creating Experiences that Enhance Human Connection’ Webinar dives deep into what, why and how of informal learning. This webinar differentiates between informal and formal learning and explores the principles of learning in informal settings. Through this webinar you will be able to understand the elements and benefits of informal learning and learn to design content that connects with the audience through the ADDIE Model.  

The following will be your key takeaways from this webinar: 

  • Outline the difference between formal and informal learning and its impact on the overall learning experience 
  • Explore the nuances of informal learning to better understand its unique role in lifelong learning and performance 
  • Identify ways to build social and emotional skills while transitioning to a digital environment to foster human connections through learning in informal settings

Benefits of Informal Learning 

  • The performance of employees is influenced more by informal than by formal training
  • Learning by doing is frequently a natural outcome of successful work
  • In the first year of employment, new hires’ performance rises sharply
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge transfer at work boosts business productivity
  • The importance of maintaining an employee’s abilities through informal learning increases when skill demands vary often as a result of organizational and technological advancements

It might be difficult to fit in formal learning opportunities in a workplace setting that is full of meetings and deadlines. Since there are no exams or quizzes to see if an employee has retained the material, informal learning is also a low-stress activity. Because learning happens in such a natural and spontaneous way, the learner may not even be aware that they are taking in knowledge.