For organizations that are expanding and experiencing continuous change, learning is a major part of their growth process. Sure, gaining new knowledge and skills as a team is integral to any company’s continued success, but giving employees the tools and space needed for ongoing individual learning provides even greater opportunities for improvement.
Learning is about gaining knowledge, absorbing useful information and honing new skills. Developing a habit, on the other hand, means making these learning behaviors and actions an everyday occurrence in the workplace. When learning becomes a habit – or part of your employee’s everyday routines – they’ll be able to fully take advantage of the many benefits that come hand-in-hand with professional development, like increased productivity, opportunities for advancement and personal growth.
With the right approach and a determined mindset, your leadership team can help individuals experience a groundbreaking shift in how they approach gaining new skills and experiences by transforming occasional training and skill-honing into habitual learning.
We’ve got a couple of suggestions for how to go about integrating a positive approach to continuous learning into your workflow.
1. Integrate a mentorship program into your professional development strategy.
Peer mentorship is a form of experience sharing that gives employees the chance to both offer and receive advice and to learn from one another’s experiences and previous training on an ongoing basis.
Building on career development with peers gives people the chance to share perspectives and outlooks from a similar standpoint. They can work collaboratively with others who have similar stakes in the company and who are aiming to achieve similar objectives, which can help build confidence in existing roles and provide a more well-rounded skill set. Creating space for collaborative learning helps build lasting professional relationships and a network of mentors that are ready and willing to share information with one another. Plus, it introduces employees to a sustainable style of workplace learning that’s based on individual needs and, in turn, able to endure organizational change.
2. Offer training opportunities that go beyond basic job requirements.
Organizational learning, whether for a group of employees or just one person, requires two main components for success: curiosity from employees and opportunities offered by employers. It’s up to each employee to take initiative, but up to employers to create the right environment and provide engaging learning strategies that will last. In fact, companies that invest in employee training have a 24% higher profit margin than those that spend less.
A language learning program is an excellent way to implement exciting opportunities for learning that will appeal to large groups of people. With globalization diversifying companies and workforces, speaking more than one language is more beneficial than ever. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be able to communicate with the locals while on vacation, or follow the news in another language? The opportunities multilingualism offers are endless, and it’s highly likely that your team will be willing to jump on board with a language-learning solution if given the option.
3. Ask employees what they want to learn.
For generations, many people have dreaded the learning opportunities that their place of work throws at them, which usually come in the form of mandatory training courses or seminars.
As a result, workforces are shifting towards a more progressive approach to employee incentives that demands personalized benefits and rewards. If leaders provide compelling opportunities to engage with learning materials that interest them on their own terms, the likelihood for continued learning goes way up. Instead of making employees feel they’re being forced into compulsory corporate training, offer sustainable options for continued learning that are based on what will engage and benefit them the most. After all, people learn better and retain more information when engaged in interest-based learning.
Employees are at the foundation of every company, and by creating opportunities to refine existing skills and obtain new ones, you’ll be improving workplace dynamics and fostering a dynamic company culture. In the end, make sure that your primary goal isn’t merely to hold occasional training seminars or one-off peer-to-peer meetups, but rather to take measures to effectively create learning habits that will last.
Cassondra Dolan, Language Specialist
Cassondra is a writer, translator and language enthusiast with a passion for exploring the ways culture influences learning. Through her work with Babbel, she aims to promote language learning best practices that focus on inclusivity and diversity.