Home Thinking Aloud Does Social Learning Benefit People Of All Socioeconomic Backgrounds?

Does Social Learning Benefit People Of All Socioeconomic Backgrounds?


employee training

by Nellie Wartoft, Founder & CEO of Tigerhall

Talent development programs can be a powerful tool for business growth. When used to boost the knowledge and skills that employees have at their disposal, they unlock untapped potential and open the doors to new opportunities.

Too often, however, talent development programs fail companies by empowering only a privileged few. To be truly effective, the programs must be accessible and applicable to everyone. Programs that fail to serve people of all socioeconomic backgrounds will have limited impact and will send the message that career advancement is open only to an exclusive group.

Social learning is the best tool for businesses that want to unlock the potential of their entire organization. Unlike many talent development tools, social learning provides all employees with equal access to information and learning opportunities. It breaks down the hierarchical barriers that limit the effectiveness of traditional learning models, fostering a sense of inclusivity and belonging that is essential to the success of startups.

The key features of social learning

Social learning packages talent development in a highly accessible platform that mirrors the features and functionality of social media. It allows employees to get relevant and actionable insights from real-world business leaders by connecting users to a supportive community of fellow learners. Social learning brings talent development into an environment that is familiar, convenient, and flexible.

Social learning platforms also allow businesses to capture and capitalize on internal insights by empowering business leaders to quickly and easily share solutions specific to their organization’s unique challenges. It is a tribal knowledge tool, equipping employees to pursue collaborative learning with coworkers across the organization who face the same challenges and seek the same success.

A platform for equitable learning

Accessibility is one of the top benefits that social learning brings to the world of talent development. It opens the door for every employee to learn from senior business leaders, whose wisdom and insight are typically accessible only to those in the highest levels of the socioeconomic strata. Regardless of your background, social learning gives you the opportunity to learn directly from leading CXOs in a way that is searchable, applicable, and affordable.

By creating a community of learning, social learning also empowers people from all socioeconomic backgrounds to learn from each other in a rich and diverse environment. This aspect of social learning ensures that content is practical — rather than theoretical — and sensitive to the social context where it will play out.

Consider the challenges faced by those who grew up in an environment where the social cues and unspoken rules of business were not taught. Traditional talent development ignores those topics, forcing “outsiders” to learn “the hard way” through first-hand experiences that can lead to embarrassment, shame, and discouragement. Social learning creates an environment where those topics can be spoken about explicitly in a safe and encouraging environment. It doesn’t shy away from challenging topics and it leaves no one on the outside.

Social learning also promotes the idea that the “right answer” has everything to do with context. Its user-generated content provides multiple solutions that flow from a diverse group of real-world business leaders. This approach acknowledges the value of equity and diversity, encouraging learners to find the best solution for their personality and situation.

A platform for personalized learning

Another key benefit of social learning is its capacity for personalization. Each worker operates in a unique context, which means their learning needs are unique. A platform is only valuable if it considers who the worker is and what they are expected to do. Programs that provide sterile, academic, one-size-fits-all content bring zero value to organizations seeking to empower all employees.

Social learning happens in the flow of work. It delivers relevant content when you need it, where you need it, and in a way that addresses your specific context. It considers your geography, your industry, and your seniority level, as well as the meetings on your calendar, your personal and corporate long-term goals, and the specific challenges you are facing at the moment.

On the organizational level, social learning gives talent development the agility that it desperately needs. It allows learning goals and content to pivot quickly as new business opportunities arise. Today’s businesses don’t have years to gear up for meeting customer needs. Social learning provides the speed that organizations need to rapidly equip and empower their teams.

Today’s highly competitive and rapidly evolving business landscape demands a new generation of talent development tools. Businesses that want to maximize their talent development efforts will find social learning to be the only tool capable of unleashing an organization’s full potential.


Nellie Wartoft is a Swedish entrepreneur who launched social learning platform Tigerhall in 2019, revolutionizing how professionals learn from one another in the real world. Under her leadership, Tigerhall has quickly gained traction with users across 32 countries, and employees in 12 markets. Tigerhall’s customers include global Fortune500 firms in technology, FMCG, professional services, and financial services.