G2G: How Google mastered P2P learning.

Why P2P Learning ?

If done right, not only it is the biggest catalyst for the culture of learning but also teaching others is perhaps the best way to learn there is.And do you know who has mastered this? None other than Google.

"Googlers tell us that when they really need to figure something out, they ask each other. They turn to their colleagues for information, advice, and support"
KAREN MAY, VP of People Development @Google

While most of the organization I know are currently grappling with the concept of social learning, Google started experimenting with it back in 2007. Yup, that's 12 years ago.At Google, 80% of all tracked trainings are run through an employee-to-employee network called “g2g” (Googler-to-Googler). This volunteer teaching network of over 7,000+ Google employees dedicates a portion of their time to helping their peers learn and grow. Volunteers — known internally as “g2g’ers” — can participate in a variety of ways, such as teaching courses, providing 1:1 mentoring, and designing learning materials, and they come from every department of Google.

So, what do you need to start?

Leadership support. The most important thing is to get their support and not just permission. Initially, Google themselves made this mistake when they asked all volunteers to get permission from their managers. This had to be corrected very quickly and the managers were educated on the benefits of employees participation supported by performance data. Google managers are now encouraging participation and making space in employees’ workloads for activities that benefit the larger organization. 

What's in it for employees to join the program?


- The facilitators get a company-wide recognition

- They facilitators get recognition from their managers

- They get a certificate or a physical award

- Milestones are celebrated. Eg: 5th session or 10th session or 100% satisfaction score

Simply put, there is an active engagement program run by the L&D program manager to engage the facilitators.

Recruitment of facilitators:

A selection process. Not every person who is interested joins the facilitation team. There is an interview process. This upholds the value and quality of the G2G program.

Content Strategy:

Microlearning: Most of the courses run via G2G program are bitesize lessons also called "Whisper Courses" and are created to make a message stick. These 'Whisper Courses' are most often used in Leadership development, reminding managers to engage and show appreciation on a regular basis. Apart from also product and sales learnings.

An Internal analysis shows that Google managers who receive a 'Whisper Lesson' on a particular behavior, improved that behavior by 25% by the next survey.

Skills needed to establish successful peer to peer learning:

Program Management and Marketing.

The role of a learning department is not what it use to be 10 years ago. It is not about getting newer platforms and create a massive amount of content to push people towards its consumption. You need marketing skills to entice people towards peer to peer learning and program management skills to successfully engage with several stakeholders once they are part of your network.

Peer to Peer learning is perhaps the most effective way to create a learning organization, however, it requires diligence and different skill sets to get momentum. But once you get it right, there are an enormous benefit for employees as well as the employer.

The Journeyman Ratings:

Management Support: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Learning Leadership: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Learning Culture: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Learning Innovation : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Employee Feedback: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

These ratings are based on the research is done and personal findings.

If you want to know more, please feel free to ask.


The Journeyman

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