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How Continuous Learning Benefits Employers and Builds Better Teams

We all know that a company’s growth and development is essential to its longevity, but what about the people who make up that company? While businesses can run smoothly with everyone performing their roles, by continuing to enhance and support your employees' learning, you are fostering not only their success but also the success of your company. Continuous learning is described as the ongoing expansion of one’s knowledge and skillsets. In the context of professional development in the workplace, it's about developing new skills and knowledge, while also reinforcing what has been previously learned. While learning and development had previously been thought to have been an added benefit for employees, it is now being seen as crucial to a company’s success. LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2021 shows that 63% of Learning and Development professionals agree that Learning and Development should have a seat at the executive table.



People working around a table

 

Methods of Continuous Learning

 

Various strategies can be put in place to foster good continuous learning practices in the workplace. While the obvious option is for traditional learning methods such as online lectures or workshops, there are other ways that continuous learning can be implemented in a more casual way that allows employees to integrate the learning into their daily routines.

           

Formal Learning is the traditional method of sharing information. This often occurs in classroom settings and would include online lectures, in-person workshops or training days. This method of learning is tried and tested and can be useful if your company is introducing new software or a new method of working. The downside to formal learning is that lecturers and workshop hosts often need to condense a wealth of information into a short session. This method of learning often doesn't provide employees with the time to explore new systems in order to form questions or opinions.

 

Social Learning occurs by observing and mimicking the behaviours and skills of a colleague. This is most often done in the form of shadowing where a trainee will follow and observe a more experienced member of their team in order to develop specific skills and learn to handle day-to-day situations. Social learning is an effective method of helping individuals learn soft skills such as negotiating, problem-solving and conflict resolution.

 

Self-Directed Learning is a method of development where the employee carries out their own learning in their own time. This can involve completing training course or simply reading up on industry insights. Self-directed learning allows employees to study topics that they are interested in and increases learner autonomy. This method is the most convenient for employees as they can adapt it to their current schedule.



Professionals in a meeting

 

Benefits of Continuous Learning for Employers

 

One of the greatest advantages of incorporating continuous learning strategies into your business plan is that it offers abundant benefits for both your employees and your company. In a world where industry practices are continuously learning and evolving and new software is being created every day, it is vital for both employees and employers to stay up-to-date on their training.

 

Improved performance

 

Continuous learning initiatives in the workplace have been shown to increase productivity and improve employee performance. By fostering an environment of learning and development, employers are ensuring that there are no skill gaps in their team and that each employee is keeping pace with any changes in their industry.

 

Faster growth

 

The most effective way of ensuring the growth of your company is to support the growth of your employees. By having an awareness of changes in your industry and adapting to new ways of working, you are ensuring that your business is at the forefront of new ideas. Allowing employees to learn about new practices and allowing them to experiment means that companies are better able to adapt, innovate and improve, resulting in quicker growth for the business.

 

Employee Retention


Continuous learning plays a pivotal role in employee retention by fostering personal and professional growth. LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of workers said development opportunities would keep them in a role. When employees have access to opportunities for ongoing development, they feel valued and invested in by their organisation. This leads to increased job satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment, reducing the likelihood of turnover. Moreover, continuous learning keeps employees engaged and motivated, as they are constantly acquiring new skills and knowledge that can contribute to their career advancement.



A team working together

 

 Benefits of Continuous Learning for Employees


Continuous learning doesn't just benefit employers, implementing these strategies will also have a positive effect on your team, boosting morale and instilling confidence in your employees' abilities. By fostering a culture based on learning and development, you are not only improving your employee retention, but you are also directly ensuring the growth and success of your company.

 

Career progression opportunities


In 2020, Gartner found that 45 per cent of HR leaders reported struggling to develop effective mid-level leaders, and over a third struggled to develop senior leadership. Continuous learning can develop the skills necessary for employees to move into these leadership roles and excel. By fostering the growth of your employees and allowing them to advance into new roles, you are also limiting the need for external hiring and contributing to higher employee retention.

 

Professional Confidence


Having team leaders who are confident and secure in their roles has a knock-on effect on the rest of your company. By engaging in ongoing training and development opportunities, employees acquire new skills, knowledge, and perspectives, enhancing their competence in their respective roles. This constant growth allows individuals to adapt to evolving challenges and technologies, instilling confidence in them and when employees feel confident in their management, it contributes to a more resilient and self-assured workforce.


Implementing continuous learning strategies within your company can be achieved in numerous ways, such as offering online courses, organising workshops, and establishing mentorship programs. However, for these strategies to be truly effective, employers must first create a culture that supports and celebrates continuous learning. This entails encouraging open communication, providing resources for skill development, and recognising and rewarding employees who actively engage in learning initiatives. By fostering such a culture, employees are more likely to embrace learning opportunities and contribute to the overall growth and success of the organisation.


 


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