How to Encourage Learning at Work

How to Encourage Learning at Work
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Importance of Learning in the Workplace
Winning companies continuously enhance their people’s capability to adapt, grow, and thrive. Even though corporations spend between $500 and $1,500 on employee development, our research found that only 1-in-5 employees change their on-the-job behavior and performance from training alone.  To truly develop the skills required for employees to perform at their peak, savvy talent leaders understand that they have to encourage learning at work and that continuous learning needs to be a mainstay of their talent management strategy if they really want to attract, engage, and retain the top talent required to stay ahead of the competition.

How to Encourage Workplace Learning
Leaders play a critical role in establishing a culture of learning that values and supports personal growth opportunities. Leaders themselves need to regularly express and demonstrate that continuous learning matters.

  1. Show Some Humility
    You may be a team leader, but you do not know it all. Do not be afraid to show your curiosity about what you do not know. Team members will not only be flattered if you ask them to share their expertise on a particular topic; they will also appreciate your example of being open to learning new skills. Model the mindset of leaders who are dedicated to their own development.
  2. Embrace a Variety of Learning Approaches
    Learning can be formal or informal. Certainly, targeted training has its place. But do not neglect the chances to learn that are presented daily on the job. Take a team member aside to practice, always look for opportunities for timely constructive feedback, and schedule 1×1 meetings for targeted coaching conversations.
  3. Stay the Course
    Learning is not “one and done.” The best learning leaders are genuinely interested in their employees’ growth and consistent in their encouragement of experimenting with new and improved ways of doing things. Help your team members set individual learning goals and ensure they have sufficient opportunities to reach them.
  4. Empower Your Team
    The micro-manager is the antithesis of a promoter of learning. How? Micro-managers rob employees of the opportunity to expand their skill set, the desire to innovate, and the confidence that you have their back if their experiment fails. Hold employees accountable for directing their own learning and recognize their achievements along the way.

The Bottom Line
With some experts saying that the half-life of skills is only five years, it means that half of what your employees know today will be out-of-date in five years. To sustain a learning advantage, leaders must encourage learning at work by creating a powerful culture of learning that is monitored and rewarded. Are you doing all you can to keep your team up to speed?

To learn more about concrete learning processes and practices to get to the next level, download The Top 5 Training Strategies and Key Mistakes to Avoid

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