Learning is a life-long process, be it in personal life or professional life. Anyone who is not learning, stagnates their growth. Events keep repeating in a person’s life until the lesson is learnt, and the necessary changes are made. To see progress in the working of an organization, it is important that the employees grow professionally so they can contribute towards the growth of their organization. Leaders can bring about change in the working of their business process by implementing experiential learning at their workplace.
First things first.
What is experiential learning?
As the name implies, learning by experience is termed as experiential learning. It imparts practical knowledge to your employees and not just theoretical concepts. A Chinese proverb rightly said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”. When leaders direct and instruct the team members to perform specific work tasks or practice skills, it provides hands-on training which helps the employees understand important information.
Here are some examples:
- Customer support executives handling customer queries and issues by phone role playing with their colleagues on the conversation with the customers.
- Case studies of construction companies handling natural and man-made disasters being presented to the white-collar employees of a construction business to widen knowledge of implementing safety measures.
Advantages of implementing experiential learning at workplace
- Develops and increases capability to adapt to new situations
Students who learnt only theoretical concepts find it difficult to implement the concepts in situations. Whereas students who practice the learnt concepts in an internship can relate to the subject and concept while implementing it. Since interns have hands-on experience, it becomes easy for them to work on-the-job. It is also easy for the management to train employees who have internship experience when compared to freshers out of college who have not been a part of any internships.
Similarly, employees who have been in the organization for a while can be deployed in a process where learning is by practice and not using presentations alone. Such employees have high adaptability to new situations and are more agile.
- Practice the theory
Any high-risk profession involves students to practically implement the imparted knowledge. It is usually done under supervision to ensure that there are no losses. The best example for this is medical students. They practice experiential learning – the process of practicing the theory learnt.
The same, when practiced in a company setup, helps balance the delivery of instruction with the resources provided by the instructor. These learnings can later be utilized in experiential learning programs as well.
- Accepting failure as a learning opportunity
Gone are the days when failure of a new task by employees was viewed in negative light by the management. When trying out new processes or new ways of working for an existing process, employees might fail at the experiment. Companies have begun to consider it as a learning opportunity, giving the employees a safe space to fail. Afterall, unless one tries different ways of working, they wouldn’t be able to find out that one new way which will work for them.
- Delivers increased Return on Investment (ROI)
Experiential learning involves employees learning during the normal course of work. Since it does not involve deploying employees in a training, it saves the time, cost and energy of the employees and the company.
Since there is continuous productivity from the employee’s end, there is increased return on investment for the company.
- Analyze data using experiential learning tools
Any activity produces a result that can be read and analyzed. But being able to analyze data during the DevOps training process to gain insights on how effective the tools and techniques will be is very helpful. Companies can use experiential learning tools to find out the skills that are useful and those that require more focus.
Now that you know all the benefits of implementing experiential learning at the workplace, it sure must be tempting to try it out to see exponential growth in your organization. Gamification, experiential learning, and geofencing are not trends, but necessities to bring about changes in working format to provide exceptional customer experience.
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