Are your introverted employees knowledge sharing gurus?
Some employees take every opportunity to mingle in the workplace. They thrive in social settings and enjoy the idea of mutual feedback. Then there are others who prefer to fly solo. These introverted employees often avoid interactions among co-workers, even though their talents can be beneficial to the team. How do you bring them out of their proverbial shell without feeling singled out? These 7 employee training activities give introverted employees the push they need to share insights and break down communication barriers.
7 ways to encourage employees to share their expertise
1. Host live event mixers
Live events can be just what introverted employees need to easily get into an online learning community, especially if they’re informal events where they can post comments and interact with colleagues remotely. Host mixers using your web conferencing tool to encourage knowledge sharing in training and break the ice. Participants can introduce themselves, discuss interests and discover new perspectives. However, they can also experience first-hand the benefits of social learning and overcome their fears. Some introverts seem reserved because they fear rejection or judgment. Live employee training mixers show them there is nothing to fear. Interns may even be so energized that they decide to host their own, but don’t push them into hosting duties until they’re ready.
2. Start a social media group
Live events can still be too direct for some employees. Especially those who are afraid or reluctant to engage in real-time discussions. However, social media groups provide them with a more private platform to share their thoughts whenever it is appropriate. They can post tips or leave comments that shed new light on a topic when the mood strikes them. Introverts essentially engage without being forced into awkward conversations with co-workers. They engage on their own terms, making them more willing to make a contribution that leaves a lasting impression.
3. Start a Peer Coaching program
Peer coaching does not have to involve large groups of employees exchanging information every week. In fact, smaller teams are best, or even one-on-one coaching sessions that make things more personal. Encourage introverted employees to mentor co-workers and pass on their wisdom. Conduct surveys and questionnaires to find the best matches based on personal interests and goals. Then schedule regular meetings via video conferencing or PM platforms. Each team sets its own guidelines and goals in the employee training LMS, which encourages employees to take the lead and create their own mentoring strategy.
4. Create a company blog
Company blogs encourage knowledge sharing in training twice. First, employees can leave comments on blog posts to express their opinions or ideas, which opens up dialogue between remote coworkers and facilitates ongoing feedback. Second, introverted team members can start blogs based on their area of expertise. They can choose a layout, create content and upload links to resources. It’s their own little online training corner where they can be themselves and articulate their thoughts.
5. Inclusion of group projects
Group projects require more social interaction, but smaller teams help introverted employees tread the waters of collaboration. Give them a problem to solve or challenge groups to create a presentation or resource. Everyone has a chance to benefit from the skills of co-workers and explore new perspectives. Even better, it happens organically instead of forcing them to interact. For example, they must work together to come up with three possible solutions and create an action plan for each. They need to assign roles, come up with solutions and dive into the pros and cons. Introverted employees gradually get used to group dynamics and offer feedback when the time is right without any pressure.
6. Gamify Training
You might assume that badges and rankings are divisive training tools that aren’t suitable for introverted employees. After all, the competition will drive them away instead of bringing them into the knowledge sharing group. However, online gamification employee training can motivate employees and encourage collaboration. It’s not about the rewards themselves, it’s about the gamification framework. Everyone strives for a common goal: to get enough points or reach the top of the leaderboard. While some employees may overdo it a bit, your top talent sees it as a social learning opportunity. They can help their peers get ahead so everyone benefits. Plus, it’s not as much fun competing with peers who struggle with content. On the other hand, introverted trainees can still achieve rewards on their own if they wish. For example, they can autonomously pursue badges to prove they have what it takes.
7. Preliminary assessment to identify strengths
Employees need to know what talents they have in order to teach them. So do a pre-assessment to highlight hidden strengths and encourage introverts to share them with peers. For example, a pop quiz will reveal that your customer service representative is an expert in product knowledge. Simulations and scenarios are another great way to uncover untapped capabilities. Along with the assessment results, include links to forums, live event announcements, and blogs where they can use their newfound talents. Or meet them one-on-one to discuss mutual coaching and mentoring opportunities. You may find that introverted students are not naturally reserved. They just don’t realize how to use their skills to support their peers in online training.
Employees should not be forced to share knowledge or penalized for not participating. The secret is to make them feel included and valued without taking them too far out of their comfort zone. These staff training LMS activities welcome employees into the community while respecting their privacy. In this way, they are more willing to share their skills and expertise with co-workers instead of avoiding social learning opportunities.
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