Tik Tok and Instagram's impact on workplace training

Social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram could be having an influence on workplace training programmes.

Both platforms are active thanks to user-generated content – material created by individuals rather than brands which is posted online.

David Wilson, CEO of HR analyst Fosway Group and David Perring, Fosway’s director of research, said more businesses are leaning towards user-generated content to train their employees than ever before.

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Speaking at the 2022 Learning Technologies Conference, Perring said: “User-generated content is enabling our businesses to create learning experiences.

“It's reflective of this creator economy, such as Tik Tok where people are putting their dances on screen. I’m not sure if the dances translate into great learning but it might create the habit of learning - if you can create the nuggets which trigger someone at the right time and they look at it every day."

There is a chemical element to user-generated content, Wilson suggested, which makes it a useful learning tool.

He said: “Learning engagement is all about releasing dopamine – that feel good factor that makes you want to come back. You’re competing with the likes of Tik Tok and Instagram for eye space. We can give people that dopamine hit, through giving positive feedback, encouragement, and enforcement.

“Overall, the push is to see more and more digital learning.”

Rather than HR, Wilson argued that learning and development teams would be better placed for the task.

“It’s HR and recruitment that’s driving the agenda around skills,” he said. 

"It’s not being driven so much from a learning and development perspective – which is completely perverse.

“If you think about it, if you have 30 years of history invested in building learning solutions that help build skills in organisations, to not be part of that process is critical.”