Whether you are a receptionist, logistics manager, or CEO, there is no time like the present to take advantage of the numerous opportunities out there to become lifelong learners.
To be clear, lifelong learning is not necessarily about acquiring new job skills. There are several types of lifelong learning, including learning how to make podcasts, run webinars, or taking online courses. Great leaders are those who encourage their employees to pursue lifelong learning, even if it is unrelated to their day-to-day responsibilities.
There are tangible advantages to be gained by leaders and teams who encourage people to pursue any form of lifelong learning. Fostering a learning culture may increase employee engagement which can lead to a host of other benefits.
For managers and teams to reap the same benefits of lifelong learning, there are three easy measures they can take immediately to build a better work environment:
1. Lead by example
Executives should lead by example and engage in lifelong learning. It is essential that you be open to trying new things and sharing the experiences you’ve had — from reading a fantastic book to taking a course to pursue a passion project — and that you share what you learn with your team members.
This openness will not only promote a sense of camaraderie among your team members, but it may also drive them to pursue their hobbies via a course, podcast, webinar, or other means.
2. Do you know what your team members’ interests and passions are?
What do they wish to study? Ask them. You can’t know what your staff are interested in as a leader until you inquire. Direct feedback is considerably easier and more successful than a top-down program that invests time or money in solutions the team may not be enthusiastic about.
Giving workers the chance to invest in themselves might have a good effect on their performance and, in the long term, benefit your firm. Ask your group! If they want to take humanities classes online, learn creative writing, study economics, or even learn to SCUBA dive, it’s all fair game and should be considered without judgment.
3. Provide incentives
This may seem apparent, yet the price tag is frequently the single factor preventing individuals from acquiring new knowledge. Many individuals will be motivated to pursue personal growth if you offer to pay for whatever form of enrichment they want.
If you are concerned about the return on your investment, you should recommend that participants write a reflection article or host a lunch-and-learn to discuss what they’ve learned. Moreover, if there is no money in the budget to pay for each course or training, you may offer employees an additional day of personal time off to offset the expense.
We have all been forced to adapt and change at some point in our careers, if not most certainly in the past couple of years, and change is one of the few certainties we can make about the future. By encouraging your team members to be lifelong learners and serving as an example of lifelong learning yourself, you may better secure the happiness of your team, the success of your business, and possibly even your personal happiness.