The most motivated, proactive employees are almost always those with the most confidence and work ethic, the employees that the others emulate. But where do they find this untethered confidence to succeed?
Often, the most confident workers are those who have received the proper training and obtained the required knowledge to own their jobs. This type of employee is what we consider a “lifelong learner” because they value learning and consistently use it to their advantage in the workplace.
If you’re a leader seeking to encourage a stronger culture of learning within your workplace, then these are the top six ways to promote lifelong learning.
- Make sure to encourage and reimburse professional development opportunities outside of the office. In just about any business community, there are several opportunities for professional development happening every day. Whether it’s a networking group or informative speaker, or something more elaborate like a conference or workshop, your employees should be encouraged and reimbursed for their diligence to ongoing learning. Places that don’t offer reimbursement for professional development are hurting their retention numbers.
- Be a company that offers support, even reimbursement, for college tuition. There are many ways to show you promote ongoing learning, but none so bold as offering financial support for furthering education. The leading companies in the world offer reimbursement for higher education, and it makes sense since it encourages ongoing learning and employee development.
- Intertwine learning goals into overall goals. Setting learning goals is a great way to show your employees that the company they work for is invested in their learning and development. Set team-wide goals for learning achievements like “attend one workshop per quarter” and “devote 1 hour each week to learning and professional growth.” These goals will motivate your employees to seek learning opportunities and helps develop a learning culture within your company.
- Host frequent lunch and learns. Figure out a frequency that works for your team, weekly, biweekly or monthly, to host a “lunch and learn” where your employees attend an in-house workshop and eat lunch together. This is another way to show the company’s investment to learning, as well as promote a culture of learning within your organization. Vary the topics and the speakers, and order in lunch for your team. This will become something they look forward to during their busy weeks that promotes ongoing learning in the workplace.
- Start an office “library.” We’ve suggested this tip before because it’s a clever idea to promote ongoing, informal learning. Start an intra-office library in which employees can bring and take books as they please. This promotes ongoing learning and staying abreast to current events, and can be a great way to encourage collaboration amongst employees. Try working the “library” idea into your goals, for example, a goal could be that every employee reads one book from the library per month or quarter.
- Share the results to keep encouraging your employees. When your employees are making ongoing learning a priority in their work-lives, give them attention for it! It will help them stay motivated and encouraged, and it can better engage the employees who aren’t as interested in learning to start.
To create lifelong learning within your organization, try these ways to encourage and promote ongoing learning for your employees. You’re on your way to a healthy culture of learning!
Sources: “How Making Employees Lifelong Learners Can Help Your Company Succeed” by Aaron Skonnard, entrepreneur.com.