If you were to pick an employee at random from your company and ask them “What did you learn last week?”, could you be confident that they would have an answer for you? Perhaps they’ll need some time to think about it. But too long and you may start to wonder if your organisation’s approach to learning and development is in need of some attention.
On the other hand, you may strike gold and get an employee who enthusiastically starts to tell you about their long list of learnings. They are a very valuable resource and a team member you may wish to thank later.
Why is it important that my employees keep learning?
You may feel as though your workforce is already very highly skilled and know how to do their jobs well. This is an excellent position to be in, but is it enough?
Continuous learning is a key ingredient for success and a way to future proof your company. A team that engages in lifelong learning will not only remain relevant, but can also aspire to be one step ahead of the competition. They are also more likely to keep business running as usual in the absence of key team members.
Implementing a learning and development strategy can ensure that continuous learning and training become core values of your business. Through this technique you can level-up and empower your current employees, whilst boosting your recruitment process and attracting recruits with a keen willingness to learn.
So where to begin? Kick start your new learning and development strategy with our top tips below.
Filling in the gaps
Before applying or enhancing your learning and development strategy, it’s a good idea to conduct a skills gap analysis to see if there are any stand out areas for improvement. There are several ways in which you can do this, such as a group problem-solving session, 121 interviews or online tests.
Your findings should help you to decide if you need to consider external trainers to come onboard, or if some internal knowledge sharing may be beneficial.
Use it or lose it
Remember that employee who followed you around to give you a detailed answer of their learnings? Their enthusiasm and desire to share could come in handy for some social and collaborative training sessions with the rest of the team.
Peer learning is a cost-effective and dynamic way to motivate your employees. You can get fun and creative with your team through an encouraging and open learning environment.
It’s worth noting that while peer learning can be a great technique, it’s not for everyone and should only form part of your L&D strategy.
Make it memorable
You may feel as though you’re already investing in learning and development, which is great! But if your employee can’t remember it well enough to tell you what they learnt, are you investing in the right type of development?
People learn and absorb information in different ways. Therefore, it would be wise to avoid a linear approach to L&D, and include a combination of methods such as text-based, audio, video and practical training.
And if you really want them to remember it, bring it to life and have some fun. Reward those that remembered the most or take photos of group sessions and pin them to a staff notice board.
Repetition is key to learning and making it stick. When a skill or behaviour is repeated it becomes stronger and gives a learner more confidence in their abilities. So to ensure that your team are really taking onboard new training and development, be sure to include recaps and repetition into your strategy.
The best part of revamping your company learning and development strategy is seeing your team flourish and feeling confident that they are one step ahead of where you need them to be.
So, after all the above, try asking that question again “What did you learn last week?” and get peace of mind knowing that you are continuously learning too.
Developing a team learning environment, where mistakes are shared and talked about for the common good, without blame or shame can be very powerful. The idea is that the rest of the team won’t make that mistake too. This can be departmentalised in team meetings etc to keep it relevant.
The HR Dept offers training courses on a range of topics all designed to help your business thrive. The lessons learned will be invaluable to your staff. Contact your local HR Dept professional today and we’ll take your team to the next level.