Continuous learning and development are key priorities when someone is considering a new job. Candidates are often interested in the training and development opportunities as much as the role itself. Failure to invest in learning has long-lasting consequences. A shortfall in learning and development activity has consequences for business performance, attraction and retention of employees. Here are some tips to help you, as a leader, encourage a continual and effective approach to learning within your team:
Keep your strategy focused
Examine the skills gaps within your organization and reflect on their longevity. Are they only temporary or will they be the same in 5 years’ time? Think carefully about where to allocate your resources – don’t prioritize the present at the expense of the future.
Try to fit training around the way your employees work. Is a whole day in a meeting room going to be conducive to learning, or can you modify your approach? Short “lunch and learn” sessions are excellent opportunities for team upskilling alongside a more tailored programme of classroom, on-the-job and one-to-one coaching according to what suits individual employees.
Utilize your own expertise
Look at the expertise that already exists within your organization and determine how your experts can guide other employees in the right direction. Take a holistic approach to identify talent – who is the best speaker, the most familiar with a piece of technology, the best salesperson? Recognize and reward these experts by creating opportunities for them to mentor others, whilst simultaneously creating learning opportunities for your wider workforce.
Keep training accessible to all
Training should not just be the territory of the new starter. Professional development opportunities should be identified at every level of an organization and learning resources made visible and accessible to all. Don’t be afraid to offer employees control over their own learning.
Lead by example
The most successful people never stop learning. Make it clear that continuous learning and development is intrinsic to your workplace culture and something your people managers should actively encourage staff to invest time in.