An office full of confident, proactive employees is an office bound for success. A powerful way to establish this mindset within your workplace is to develop a learning culture, that is, to instill values, practices, and conventions among your employees to encourage continuous learning.
The advantages of promoting continued education among your staff members are vast. This is a great strategy that will not only benefit your business, but your employees outside of work as well, thus creating deep appreciation for your company’s values. Some perks include increased efficiency and productivity, a continuous wish to grow within the company, a developed sense of accountability for one’s role, and an increase in collaboration among your employees. It is important to remember however, that the strategies implemented in developing a learning culture must be effective and relevant to your business.
The first consideration, though it may appear strict, is to make participation mandatory. For a continued education in your workplace to take off, all members will need to make a conscious effort in participating. Training and development plans that are seen as optional will not come off as serious events to your staff. Stress the importance of learning and growth in order to be an effective team member in your business. The nature of these seminars can range from changes in technology that directly affect a certain aspect of your business, to promotional opportunities within your company.
Encourage your team to share their knowledge. Through these required programs ask individuals to share a new thing they learned in the past week or month given the necessary timeframe to promote a sense of learning. Formalize this process to make sure everyone is able to voice their findings and experiences, and give recognition to those that do. Employees who understand that their input is valued and appreciated are more likely to share information to their coworkers and managers.
What may seem counterintuitive to some, inspiring your staff to seek professional development opportunities outside of the workplace is extremely constructive. Networking groups, guest speakers, or workshops are regularly occurring events that you should have all of your staff members attend whenever possible. In doing so, these employees should be rewarded or reimbursed for their diligence in continuing their education.
To inspire your employees in attending these events, set goals or milestones such as attending one motivational speech every three months, or, as mentioned before, sharing one new thing they’ve learned every few weeks. This can encourage your team to seek growth opportunities outside of the office, thus further developing a learning culture within it.
Be sure to share the results of your employees’ hard work, showing them how far they’ve come, and much time and effort they’ve contributed to continuing to learn. Not only is this another form of recognition and appreciation, but it’s a tool that may inspire other employees who have been hesitant to take part in these platforms to now join this effort. Promoting continued education is a mutually beneficial for your business and staff, and can greatly inspire everyone involved to put their best foot forward within your company, and even in their personal lives.