As a leader, your endgame is a collaborative, innovative and high-performing team equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your company goals.
So how can you hit this hardest of milestones?
The power of group learning cannot be underestimated in the workplace. Study after study reveals the benefits of groups learning collaboratively. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and when you throw team dynamics into the training mix, the results are supercharged.
In today's fast-paced and competitive work environment, teamwork has become essential to organisational success. Even in the throes of working from home culture, more is needed for employees to work independently. It's an expectation that employees can participate effectively with one another to achieve common goals.
Learning together is a powerful way to build a stronger team and promote better collaboration. Here are the study-backed benefits of team training and how to level up learning together for all your employees.
1 Group learning increases engagement
When your employees are engaged, they're emotionally invested in their work, have a positive attitude, and want to perform well. The good news is that this can – in part – be shaped by your approach to training and nurturing them.
For example, when employees take solo training, they may be required to watch videos or complete tests autonomously, which can lack excitement and breed disengagement. On the other hand, when groups are given a chance to train and learn together, be it in a workshop or peer-to-peer learning session, they are less isolated, have more development opportunities, and feel engaged as part of a valued team.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology examined the impact of collaborative learning on engagement and achievement in college students. Students were randomly assigned to either a collaborative or individual learning group. The results showed that the students in the collaborative learning group had higher levels of engagement and achieved better academic performance than those in the individual learning group.
2 Group learning fosters trust
When team members learn together, they develop a sense of trust and camaraderie. In addition, shared learning experiences create a positive work environment where team members feel comfortable voicing their ideas and opinions.
A study by researchers at the University of California investigated the effects of collaborative learning on trust in a business simulation game. Participants were assigned to a competitive or collaborative group and played a business simulation game.
Researchers found that participants in the collaborative group showed higher levels of trust in their group members than those in the competitive group. So, consider cooperative learning activities like group projects and peer-to-peer teaching to help your team build trust together.
3 Group learning encourages communication and collaboration.
Communication and collaboration are some of the most desired soft skills, and what better way to polish them up than through team training scenarios? Learning together provides a platform for team members to communicate effectively and share ideas.
In a group learning setting, team members are interdependent to achieve the same goal. Their shared responsibility will encourage communication and collaboration. For example, you could create a specific problem-solving exercise where team members must work together to solve a complex problem with limited resources and time.
4 Group learning enhances memory recall and knowledge retention
Learning together helps new information stick in the brain. One study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition revealed that group discussion could enhance memory retention. Paired groups were able to outperform individuals when recalling images they were previously shown.
Another study reported that medical students that learnt collaboratively scored higher in multiple-choice tests than those that did so individually. Let's not forget that group learning is social and, therefore, more fun and ultimately memorable!
When you need your team to absorb and retain granular data or key facts, think about holding group discussion sessions and encourage collaborative note-taking. Group sessions can help your employees reinforce each other's understanding of key concepts to boost memory retention in the short and long term.
5 Group learning fosters a sense of shared purpose and cohesion.
When a group learns new skills or knowledge together, it can create a sense of group identity, as individuals become part of a collective group. This connection strengthens team unity and the feeling of belonging, thus helping your employees better understand your company goals and objectives.
This all-important sense of shared ownership and responsibility is invaluable in motivating your employees to work more cohesively together – and apart. The Harvard Business Review surveyed over 2,000 employees on belonging at work, and the results were clear. A high sense of belonging was linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk and a 75% reduction in sick days.
To use group learning to cultivate shared purpose and belonging amongst your workers, you could consider activities like role play, physical challenges or team-building exercises. All of these will encourage members to work together towards a common goal.
6 Group learning encourages innovation and problem-solving skills.
Group learning can spark innovation when you want the team to think outside the box because it ignites a free flow of ideas. Collaborative learning can help your team think more creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems.
Studies report that individuals working in a group on a problem and considering each other's ideas led to increased conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills - as well as increased confidence in individual problem-solving.
So, provide employees with as many opportunities as possible to experiment, research and test ideas. Maybe you could hold a weekly all-staff meeting where employees can share or teach what they've learnt and discovered?
7 Group learning promotes empathy and personal growth.
Learning together isn't just about helping information stick or boosting problem-solving skills; it can also benefit employees' personal growth. After all, what leader doesn't want an emotionally balanced and intuitive team?
A major meta-analysis of hundreds of collaborative learning studies revealed that social skills like empathy and social understanding were also enhanced.
In many group learning scenarios, be it discussions or brainstorms, individuals can be encouraged to share their uniquely personal perspectives, experiences and insights. By actively listening to and understanding others' perspectives, your team can develop a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that others face, which can help them build empathy by putting themselves in the shoes of others.
Learn and grow together.
Learning together is an essential component of building a stronger team. Teams can become more effective and successful by building trust, enhancing communication, fostering a sense of shared purpose, encouraging innovation, and promoting personal growth.
Encourage a culture of continuous learning and growth with team training opportunities that will nurture the aforementioned soft skills. Group learning should never be a turn-off for them, so get creative and imaginative with how you approach it.
Helping your employees flourish doesn't always need to come from directly being taught something in a formal group setting. You could consider fun team-bonding activities like hiking or climbing, community service days or mindfulness meditation sessions. Although not specifically work-related, they can help cultivate cohesion, empathy and collaboration.
1 Group learning allows employees to train together, so they are less isolated, have more development opportunities, and feel engaged as part of a valued team.
2 Group learning creates a positive work environment where team members feel comfortable voicing their ideas and opinions and learn to trust each other.
3 In group learning, team members are interdependent to achieve the same goal. Their shared responsibility encourages communication and collaboration.
4 Group learning enhances memory recall and knowledge retention through discussion and collaborative note-taking.
5 Group learning creates a sense of group identity as individuals become part of a collective, strengthening team unity and the feeling of belonging to enhance cohesion.
6 Group learning sparks innovation by igniting a free flow of ideas and can help your team think more creatively to develop innovative solutions to problems.
7 Group learning encourages individuals to share uniquely personal perspectives, experiences and insights, which can help members develop empathy.
8 Group learning doesn't always need to occur in a formal group setting. Team-bonding activities like hiking or climbing, community service days or mindfulness meditation can still help cultivate cohesion, empathy and collaboration.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.