There are lots of benefits to lifelong learning that are plentiful. Employees who are always developing their skills will be able to make use of the latest technologies. This leads to better productivity and more innovation. When you provide continuous training for employees, you also improve their loyalty by valuing their growth. How can you encourage continuous learning?
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Allow Employees To Self-Direct Their Learning
There are times when you will need to decide what an employee should learn, such as taking a CSCS test. At other times, it’s better to ask employees what they might want to learn.
Take advantage of their personal interests by encouraging them to self-direct their learning. They will have a better sense of their own learning needs and will know what kinds of training work best for them.
You might be wondering how to encourage continued learning while still having some control over what they learn, even when it’s self-directed. If you want to limit learning options, you could give your team a suite of courses, books, or events to choose from. You can also make it a requirement of performance reviews to share actionable learnings from self-directed learning.
Investing in the development of your team is one of the best ways to encourage lifelong learning. Create a budget to reimburse employees for courses that they take in their own time.
Make Learning Goals As Important As Performance Goals
Employees have limited time. Learning can fall to the wayside in favour of work goals. Instead, you want your team to see learning as an important part of reaching performance goals. Without connecting learning to work performance, your business will never enjoy the benefits of continued learning.
Make learning goals an important goal by talking about individual learning KPIs and milestones with each employee during their performance reviews. Set at least two learning goals per employee per quarter.
These goals should be as clear as possible, such as needing to complete the Level 1 project management course, which will be much more effective than telling them to improve project management skills.
Make sure every employee takes the opportunity to choose training goals they feel invested in, and that contribute toward their job performance.
Use Casual Learning Check-ins
How often are you asked what you’ve learned lately?
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to encourage continuous learning among your employees is to take an interest in what they’re doing. People often don’t think actively about what they’ve been learning, because they don’t have the opportunity to share their takeaways. These check-ins will help your employees to appreciate how they’ve been growing through their training efforts.
Try making a casual learning check-in part of your weekly department meetings, or even in company-wide emails. When you first start asking your employees about their learnings, they might not have much to say. However, if you ask again the next week (and the next), they’ll soon become motivated to share what they’ve learned from their studies.