Learning does not take place only in classrooms. People can learn and get motivated by other people’s experiences as well. White Rivers Media, a young digital marketing agency based out of Mumbai, has introduced a unique informal learning intervention at the workplace, called ‘Snapgyan’.
The format of Snapgyan is very simple. Once in a week, an employee can talk about her/his passion in a 15 minute session at the workplace. “Every session ends with some learning and a call for action,” says Shrenik Gandhi, CEO & co-founder, White Rivers Media.
Employees can talk about whatever they are passionate about in life, and how they are living it or fulfilling it. In terms of learning, two things happen for the employees—one, they develop public speaking skills because it takes courage for anybody to talk in front of 100 people; two, other employees who are listening to the speaker get inspired and motivated.
Revealing the story behind how Snapgyan started, Gandhi talked about a very humble and shy intern who had once joined them. This intern, who hardly ever spoke, had a tattoo of Chhatrapati Shivaji on his arm. One day, Gandhi asked him about the tattoo and was surprised to hear him answering very confidently. At that moment, Gandhi realised that people can actually talk on subjects with immense confidence if they are truly passionate about them. From the intern’s eloquence that day, Gandhi could clearly make out that he was passionate about Chattrapati Shivaji’s deeds and could talk about the brave warrior at length. This gave birth to Snapgyan at White Rivers Media.
The Company claims that Snapgyan has become very popular, as it allow the employees to speak on topics they are feel strongly about, with ease.
“This initiative is such a big hit that employees have to book their slots a month in advance to get an opportunity to talk,” says Gandhi.
Apart from this, White Rivers has also introduced a learning programme for its employees this year, called WRM ALPS (White Rivers Media Accelerated Learning Programme). The intervention offers a certificate learning programme in advertising and marketing, in the form of short-term courses, in marketing and advertising.
It is a classroom-based learning programme, where the Company invites professors to take classes at the workplace.
“This initiative is such a big hit that employees have to book their slots a month in advance to get an opportunity to talk”
The Company also keeps track of the progress of the employees in learning, and maintains a mark-sheet and a scorecard for the same.
“A lot is changing in the advertising and marketing field. People need to be updated with all the latest trends in marketing,” shares Gandhi.
The course is a bit different from other courses offered at the academic level. “When it comes to diploma or degree courses in digital advertising, the content and education tend to become outdated within the year. To combat that, the WRM ALP is designed for real-time relevance. Which means, the case studies used for a particular module in the initial sessions will not be repeated for the same module in the next set of sessions, as there will be newer, more relevant material by then,” explains Gandhi.
Informal learning clearly overcomes all the limitations of the traditional forms of structured learning. With the learning often taking place without the learner even realising it, this surely is the way forward.