14 December 2020

Kayleigh Tanner

Creative Marketing Manager, Totara Learning

Kayleigh Tanner, Creative Marketing Manager from Totara Learning explains the benefits of collaboration in the digital world and how this can increase engagement.

In Brandon Hall Group’s 2020 report, Optimizing Learning to Drive Performance, 44% of organisations say that a lack of learner engagement is a key challenge when it comes to achieving critical learning outcomes. At the same time, over 80% of organisations say that incorporating social and collaborative tools into their learning programs will play an important role in improving achievement of these learning outcomes.

But traditionally, businesses haven’t been the best at supporting collaboration and knowledge sharing. Collaborative learning, or “social learning,” is often considered a distraction from “real” formal learning. Surely encouraging people to talk during working hours can’t lead to an improvement in results?

Actually, that’s not the case. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which online collaboration drives employee engagement.


You’re missing out on great ideas

Think how many conversations happen in your organisation every single day. Whether it’s a casual chat in the kitchen, an off-the-cuff instant message or a spontaneous chat over someone’s desk, people are constantly coming up with great ideas. But what happens to all these ideas?

Providing a dedicated space for collaboration ensures that ideas and useful information are captured, discussed and readily available for other people to discuss. This ensures that good ideas are surfaced, and don’t remain trapped in private conversations where nobody can act upon them.


Online collaboration gives introverts a voice

Not everyone is comfortable speaking up in a meeting, and some people’s voices get lost in particularly loud, overpowering groups. This means that some people’s ideas never get heard, while others dominate the conversation and get a disproportionate amount of attention.

Moving these conversations online, or supplementing in-person conversations with online discussions, is a good way to coax ideas out of quieter members of your team. This gives them the chance to mull their ideas over outside a fast-paced meeting environment, and allows them to articulate their thoughts in writing. Many people express themselves better in writing, and they can also add documents and links to support their points, potentially leading to richer, better-informed conversations.


None of us is as smart as all of us

Maybe person A on your team knows around 70% of what they need to know about a topic. Rather than using formal learning to hopefully plug the gap, why not just let them speak to their coworkers to find the missing knowledge? Person B may be able to provide a remaining 20% of the knowledge, while person C is an expert on the final 10%.

We all have different areas of expertise, and crowdsourcing knowledge with online collaboration is a highly effective way to raise everyone’s understanding of a topic. Even in a group of experts, everyone will have different specialty areas, so “pooling” knowledge in a central system ensures that this information is recorded and can be shared easily.


What is a learning experience platform (LXP)?

The best way to share information and learn collaboratively online is with a learning experience platform (LXP). An LXP supports social learning for teams, project groups and even entire organisations, and provides the space for discussions, knowledge sharing and informal learning online.

Totara Engage, the brand-new LXP from the creators of Totara Learn, integrates seamlessly with your LMS to complement your formal learning efforts with informal, peer-based learning. Coworkers can collaborate on projects in dedicated workspaces, create curated content playlists for their colleagues and post discussions, surveys and polls to gather information from a wide range of their peers and share information quickly and efficiently.


How an LXP drives employee engagement

LXPs drive employee engagement because people like being asked for their own opinions and input into decisions and ideas in the organisation. If people feel like their voices are being heard, they are more likely to stay engaged, motivated and interested in their work.

Getting new people started on the LXP from their very first day also gives them a great opportunity to ask questions, get to know their new coworkers and check out the company culture. It’s a powerful tool for onboarding new starters, who can supplement their formal induction training with tips and advice from their colleagues.

Additionally, sharing knowledge and information is useful not just for the other members of the group, but for the “experts” themselves. Explaining what they know to others is a great way to clarify their understanding of a topic, and their input can be used to create additional learning resources in time.

People like learning from and with their peers, and an LXP gives you the power to support, facilitate and drive these conversations, wherever they’re happening in your organisation.

If you feel like a LXP would work for you, then get in touch and request a callback using the form below!

Request a callback.
It’s easy

We're Here to Help

Whether it's about upgrading your current platform, starting from scratch with an LMS of your choice or you need guidance on where to begin, we'll be happy to help!


Samsung Backstage, an LMS for retail staff

This year’s full platform refresh gives our users what they’ve been asking for and more: a significantly upgraded learning experience across web and app, bite-sized learning content that makes learning even more fun and engaging and a points system that rewards them for their investment in the platform. We’re really proud of this work, and we are excited to build on this year’s innovations going forward.

Mike Edwards

Retail & Contact Centre Director

Samsung Backstage Logo
A finance LMS for money transfer giant Western Union.

Sometimes you expect to be able to work with a platform straight out-of-the-box, but there are always quirks when it comes to adapting to your systems. Synergy Learning were instrumental for us in providing the development and consultancy we needed.

Tomas Lionikas

Senior Manager for Global Agent Training

Small WU Logo
NFRSLearn, an award-winning public sector LMS

We were impressed with the flexibility and the level of consultancy that Synergy Learning was able to provide. They were able to understand our requirements and create a user friendly learning portal for staff, and one that we can amend and be comfortable using without having to go back for minor changes.

Steve Wass

E-Learning Team

Save the Children's LMS, an example of an LMS for charities

Synergy Learning is always really responsive. The team is very approachable and communicative – they reach out to me a lot and stay in contact even when we don’t have ongoing work. Given a short deadline, they are always able to work to really tight timelines. They’re also very flexible when those timelines change.

Caroline Quane

Global Learning Technologies Manager

Healthcare LMS for NHS UHB

We would like to thank Synergy Learning for turning this project around so quickly. UHB is one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England and we are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, along with our colleagues across the rest of the UK. We are very proud to be launching this platform in the West Midlands and hope it helps alleviate some of the worries I know many colleagues have.

Tracey Starkey-Moore

Deputy Director of Education

Samsung Backstage Logo
Small WU Logo