A Professional Student: Fostering a Culture of Learning in the Workplace

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They say that learning never ends, but have you ever considered the role that learning plays in your workplace? Now more than ever, employers are recognizing the immense benefits of creating a culture of learning in their businesses. Promoting continuous professional development in the workforce is not only linked to improved performance, but also significant improvements in job satisfaction, loyalty, and motivation. Read on to learn more about how you can transform your business into a center of learning—and why you should!

Training—Yesterday and Today

Once upon a time, workplace training was usually limited to exceptional events, such as the onboarding of new employees or the introduction of some significant change in policy or procedures. In-house training was rare, a brief diversion from the real and meaningful work at hand. In the 21st century, however, things have changed. The business world is continually evolving, thanks to globalization, technological innovation, and a rapidly shifting global market. For businesses to remain competitive, their employees need to be continuously updating and enhancing their existing skills, as well as acquiring new ones.

Taking Advantage of eLearning

Promoting a culture of learning in your workplace is now easier than ever, thanks to the advent of eLearning technologies. You can use eLearning to speed the onboarding of new employees or facilitate the training of established staff. There are pre-fab e-Courses in an array of subjects, often at a discount for employers purchasing more copious amounts of training courses. You can also turn to one of the many highly reputable eLearning content providers to order engaging (even fun!) classes customized to the specific learning needs of your company and your employees.

Incentivizing Learners

Of course, no matter how exciting or rewarding the learning opportunities your company provides may be, employees aren’t going to take the bait unless they know what, specifically, is in it for them. One of the best strategies for motivating employees to keep on learning is also the oldest: by paying them. More specifically, you can tie your employees’ training and professional development efforts to their compensation, the schedules for which should be fully developed and published in your employee handbook.

 

When employees earn a new degree, certification, or license, for example, they can receive a raise. The certainty of even a modest increase in compensation can give employees the motivation they need to persevere, especially when the days grow longer and the learning gets tougher. To make the most of these learning incentives, though, you’ll want to make sure your staff is aware of how they will benefit, from pay increases and bonuses to other perks, for every degree, certification, license, or additional professional development opportunity they pursue.

Cultivating Your Capital

Another benefit of cultivating a culture of learning is that your company grows as your employees do. As your employees acquire new skills and develop existing talents, your company’s talent pool grows. Research shows that it is far more cost-effective to promote from within than to hire new employees. If you can help your employees chart their career paths within your company, they’re going to be more motivated, and more efficient, in pursuing the education and training they need to make the plan a reality.

Empowering the CLO

If you’re thinking of going all-in on creating a culture of learning in your workplace, you should strongly consider hiring a Chief Learning Officer (CLO). A CLO is, basically, the entire package when it comes to ensuring your employees are the best trained, most well developed, and highly skilled personnel around. That’s because a CLO not only typically has at least a decade of industry success under her belt, but she also has an advanced degree, usually a doctorate, in education or a related field. That means that the CLO knows how to bring out the best in your staff.

 

The CLO will oversee and administer onboarding education and required routine training specific to your files, such as annual and semi-annual refreshers in cybersecurity, sexual harassment, or privacy regulations. But the CLO’s role extends far beyond this because the CLO will develop, implement, and optimize custom training protocols to perfectly align with your company’s ever-evolving needs, goals, and strategies. This development includes providing customized training and education for individual staff members, teams, and departments, as well as institution-wide development programs.

The Takeaway

Knowledge truly is power. Nowhere is that more evident than in the world of business today. In an increasingly competitive, cutthroat marketplace, the survival of your business depends on having the most highly skilled workforce possible. That also means having a workforce capable of adapting to the constant evolutions and upheavals of the global economy. Cultivating a culture of learning in your workplace will not only help you to optimize the performance of your workforce, but it will also make for more engaged, motivated, and loyal personnel. Fortunately, advances in eLearning technologies make it possible to access customized content across practically all industries and skillsets, so whether you are looking for individual, departmental, or institution-wide learning content, the options are virtually endless. 

 

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