Using Social Learning to Create Happiness at Work


With the Bootcamp on Learning Strategies less than two weeks away, ellicom is pleased to present a sneak preview of the themes that will be covered by its speakers.

By François Lavallée, President, Aliter Concept

Fake news: “Twenty percent of people are happy at work”

No, this isn’t another dismal statistic from a study conducted in some far-off country. In fact, it isn’t even a valid statistic. I recently attended a conference on organizational agility where one of the panellists asked the audience of one hundred people, “Who here is happy at work?” About twenty hands went up.

I hesitated before raising my hand—after all, being a consultant was my choice, and I wake up in the morning looking forward to another day of enjoyment. I felt like raising my hand was sort of cheating. But when I looked around the room, I was shocked—and so was the panellist who had asked the question. Could there really be so few?

Barely recovering from the shock, I took the opportunity to get a better understanding of the situation. So I asked the audience, “Those of you who raised your hands—how many of you are self-employed?” Almost all of the same hands went up again. There was a burst of laughter—but it was hardly a happy thought.

So where does that leave us? Aside from the self-employed—who enjoy life altogether too much—about two in eighty people are happy at work. It’s a disturbing finding, and it raises the question: “How did this happen”?

Blame Taylorism, blame structural hierarchies, blame the status quo… We can point fingers left and right—but you know who is really to blame? All of us! We are all responsible. We all play a part—by accepting this situation, by staying in jobs that are killing us, by tolerating the foolish decisions of our governments and our administrators, by not protesting, by fearing the consequences of dissent… And we all pay the price.

Two in eighty

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to help people realize their immense potential to do things the right way, and—even better—simply to do the right things for the right reasons.

I have often been called an idealist… but the good news is that people are starting to see that I was right. And as it turns out, I’m not alone! As social media has shown us, those unhappy people are also the ones who want to be more involved—to make a difference. The influx of millennials and outflow of baby boomers in the work world is disrupting our structures and our training models.

Training is slowly giving way to social learning. As Philippe Carré so aptly said, “One always learns alone, but never without others”. Social learning is on its way to replacing traditional education, which is a very flawed model. Indeed, human beings have always learned from others—and not from just one other person, but from many others. Social learning enhances the impact of teachers by allowing their students to share, exchange, confirm and communicate the new knowledge they acquire, as well as to validate it and test it in order to apply it in the best way possible.

Going forward, we need to reflect and to implement new knowledge transfer strategies to ensure the sustainability of our organizations, and to do so in a way that is radically different from what we have done before.

We must unlearn in order to learn anew. However, if there’s one thing social learning can teach us, it’s that the solution won’t come from you, the manager, but from rather from us, the community!

The complete program can be found on the event website.

Click here to register and take advantage of the group discounts!

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