Telus links social, traditional training

Canadian telecom extends use of Microsoft tools to integrate classroom programs with training social network, videos and blogs

Dan Pontefract
Dan Pontefract oversees learning and collaboration at Telus

When a major Canadian telecommunications company wanted to change how it handles employee training, it turned to social networking.

Telus, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, had long run formal programs -- mostly classes and lectures -- to train its 35,000 employees around the world, but found they were becoming a bit too stiff, said Dan Pontefract, head of learning and collaboration.

Some workers have difficulty learning in formal settings, and can better master new tasks by communicating directly with friends and colleagues.

Learning, after all, is social, says Pontefrac. The training should be social as well, he added.

"We always thought training was an event," he said. "It was something that you went to. We had a plethora of formal learning options."

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