Why is continuous learning and development important for businesses?
Rather than struggle to adapt and pivot to the new environment, it can be worth it to be prepared. Continuous learning helps to ensure that the employees are always equipped with the latest knowledge to run processes. On the flip side, failing to encourage a culture of growth can lead to a disengaged workforce that may seek development elsewhere. This can result in higher turnovers or an undesirable output. Investing in corporate learning and development can help organizations reap long-term benefits. In fact, 94% of employees would stay in a company that helped in career growth. Hence, according to LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2021, 60% of employees globally believe that learning makes them more adaptable and resilience to new changes. It's about time to adapt growth mindset that focus on helping employee develop and perform well at work regardless of upcoming challenges.
“It’s not just about learning to cope exceptionally well with challenges, but also learning how to thrive and reach your peak.” - Gemma Leigh Roberts.
If your employees are eager to learn, here are some ways to empower them to continue learning and growing.
Encourage an “asking” culture
Employees are curious. They are constantly exploring new concepts, methods and applying learnings at work every day. During this time, it is crucial to support continuous learning by encouraging them to ask questions. This can help to enhance their knowledge by promoting a culture of growth and allowing them a space to learn. It can be beneficial to appoint a mentor or manager for every project to support the team members.
When business leaders put a focus on continuous learning, it will show their employees that pursuing new information is not a sign of weakness but a willingness to prosper with new knowledge. Often, when individuals are dismissed over simple inquiries, they may be discouraged the next time, out of fear. Other individuals may be too shy to reach out. Emphasizing a learning culture will help employees step out of their comfort zone to learn new things.
Leverage on digital learning
Most workplaces are often distracted by driving productivity in their daily operations that they overlook the learning aspect. Or they may be too focused on the physical workforce while neglecting the needs of digitally-enabled employees. Shifting to a digital learning model can help promote scale learning, cut down on transport and workshop venue costs.
As many organizations continue to offer employees the flexibility to work at home or in the office, blended online learning is here to stay. Blended online learning is learning experiences with a mix of virtual instructor-led training (VILT) and online learning. Participants can learn at their own pace, share knowledge with the community and ask questions in online groups. Companies are offering employees online courses to upgrade their skills and learn together with other team members. 86% of companies participate in LinkedIn learning believe that employees who learn together are more engaged and it helps create a sense of belonging (92%)
Ensure that they have enough time
One of the common reasons that discourage employees from learning is the lack of time. This is certainly valid; outside of long office hours, employees must strike a proper work-life balance. Overloading or putting immense pressure on individuals to pick up new knowledge can lead to over-exhaustion or burnout. With back-to-back tasks, it seems almost impossible to schedule in time for a new module.
Perhaps the reason for the lack of growth isn’t that they don’t have any opportunities. Instead, they’ve so burnt out from their daily tasks that learning is the last thing on their mind. The first step is to get this out of the way by conducting a calendar audit. Is your organization overworked? Are employees facing an unreasonable workload? Then, you can start to take a look at learning options.
Weekly or bi-weekly check-in with employees on their learning progress is another way to support their development. Make sure that they have at least 1 - 2 hours per week to learn and that they have access to learning sources.
Address employee needs
Diverse organizations are made up of employees with unique personalities, interests, lives, and preferences. What may work for an individual may not work for the next. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the needs of your workforce. A report by LinkedIn revealed that 68% of employees preferred to learn at work, and over half of them wanted to learn at their own pace. Thus, the misconception that employees are not interested in talent development is not true; they’d just rather do it their way.
If you find your employees disengaged and unmotivated, it may be time to reevaluate your methods. Find out what they need, such as when, how, and how often they would like to learn. Are they learning too much but have no chance to apply the knowledge? Those learnings must be applied to their work as people tend to remember longer through experience. It will help HR and leaders decide on ways to tailor personalized experiences to fuel lifelong learning.
The bottom line
To keep up with the fast-paced work environment, businesses must take the time to educate and allow their employees to continue learning and growing. Not only does it foster a learning culture in the organization, but it also shows that you take developing people seriously and care about their growth. It is a long process that will take time and effort, but the result is worth it.
How can we help?
If you want to get started with new employee development process and build a learning culture, get in touch with our team today. Our solution helps companies find untapped potential and bridge the gap between now and the future by creating a culture of continuous learning and development