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How Organisations Can Foster Life-Long Learning

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May 16th to May 22nd marks Learning at Work Week 2022, with this year’s theme surrounding ‘learning uncovered’, focusing on our ‘understanding, knowledge and engagement in lifelong and continual learning’.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, however, it’s that we don’t necessarily know anything. Meaning that as we continue to journey through our lives and careers, we should take a proactive approach to learn so that we’re ready for whatever might come our way.

This considered, it’s not easy for organisations to simply flip the script and change their learning models right away, but there are ways that they can foster continuous learning and keep employees ahead of the curve.

working

1. Provide Tailored Training 

First and foremost, if organisations want to get anywhere when it comes to truly cultivating a life-long learning culture, leaders must first establish tailored training practices for their employees.
What we mean by this is that learning should not be approached with a ‘one size fits all’ framework. Different employees, depending on their working roles and other responsibilities, will have different needs and, ultimately, varying levels of availability for upskilling. 

This is why providing tailored learning that shapes to an employee’s individual needs is so important. While there of course needs to be a limit to what is offered and when, the key here is that employees need options to learn effectively and flexibly.

This means offering a variety of technology, media, and other innovations to accommodate an employee’s learning preferences.

Microlearning’, for example, is becoming a popular way to upskill. A concept where employees participate in bite-sized training or learning sessions that they’ll then apply immediately on the job. Employees are then asked to fill out a report describing results, lessons learned, and any questions they may have.

In other words, companies that are successful at implementing lifelong learning find ways to make learning fit within the flow of their employees’ day-to-day life.

workplace learning

2. Embed Learning in Workplace Culture 

These days opportunities for talent development have become one of the leading factors in workplace wellness. As mentioned, however, most employees can often only set aside a short period of time for formal learning everyday which can stifle their potential and career progression long term.

This means that if organisations don’t stay on the ball when it comes to properly implementing and maintaining life-long learning in workplace culture, they risk underutilising their best talent and perhaps even losing employees to organisations who better prioritise their development.

The good news is that while the thought of ‘embedding’ life-long learning seems daunting, there are simple ways that leaders can help implement it right away, including:

  • Practical, ‘on-the-job’ learning
  • Collaborative learning across departments 
  • Individual and group mentoring, and 
  • Sharing best practices

goals

3. Create Goals and Provide Incentives 

The thing about life-long learning is that, for most of us, there needs to be a certain level of motivation when it comes to taking on new opportunities to learn.

To this end, organisations need to create goals and provide the necessary incentives at work so that employees stay inspired to build on their existing skills and knowledge and career development, effectively building a growth mindset.

Fostering learning is as simple as offering employees the time, resources, and support to learn and work towards their career goals. This might look like this:

  • Providing formal training programmes for employees 
  • Creating forums for employees to learn collaboratively, and 
  • Giving employees opportunities to reflect on their progress on a regular basis


If your organisation is stuck on the right incentives to implement to improve employee engagement and encourage staff to expand their skill sets, a few ideas include:

  • Monetary incentives, including cash-based perks or vouchers 
  • Giving employees a day off when they invest in their learning,
  • Creating a number of new roles for particularly motivated employees, or 
  • Simple recognition and awards

chatting

As you can probably tell, lifelong learning is not only beneficial to employees but beneficial to organisations as well.

In the midst of the pandemic, technological advances, and economy changes, organisations can take learning and development to new heights by creating more agile, innovative, and flexible workforces.



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