Learning shouldn’t end just because you and your employees are done with school. Creating a culture where your employees want to keep learning will help build a skilled and adaptable workforce.
Your employees will want to expand their skills to help their career move forward and help your company grow. The more your employees learn, the more innovative their thinking will become. They’ll also be better equipped to deal with changes as your company expands.
You might worry that your employees will just take these new skills with them when they find another job. When you invest in their learning opportunities, however, you’re showing that you care about their future, so they’ll stick around to be part of the company’s future.
7 Ways to Encourage Learning at Your Company
If you want your employees to continue learning (and be excited about it), try these 7 ways to encourage them.
1. Host Regular Training Sessions
A great way to encourage your employees to keep learning is to host regular training sessions and lunch and learns. You can discuss new technology, new strategies, or just discuss exciting new projects that are happening in the company. No one likes meetings, so make sure that each training session is worthwhile and teaches your employees something new and exciting.
2. Have Your Employees Do the Teaching
You don’t have to lead every lunch and learn – your employees will get bored, and you want to be able to learn, too. Instead, mix it up and ask different people or departments to host each lunch and learn. You’ll be able to cover more topics. The people leading each session will also want to really dive into the material and learn as much as they can so they make a good impression when they’re teaching.
3. Incentivize At-Home Learning
Your employees might learn better on their own, at their own pace, so encourage them to keep learning outside of the office. This might be difficult to do. They just put in 8 hours at the office, why would they want to go home and do more work?
To convince them it’s worthwhile, remind them that they’ll be able to move forward with their career because they’ll have even more skills on their resumes. Oh, that’s not enough? Make it a competition. Give the department who logs the most educational hours a prize.
4. Be Open-Minded During Hiring
When you’re hiring a new employee, don’t just look at whether a candidate has the exact skills you’re looking for. Look to see if they’re willing and able to keep learning. If they are, they might end up being the best employee you’ve ever had, even if they don’t start with all the skills you want.
5. Create a Mentorship Program
Your employees can learn a lot from each other, so give them the opportunity. Set up a mentorship program so that your employees can learn from and teach each other.
6. Set Learning Goals
During your annual performance reviews and goal setting meetings, talk about learning goals. If your employees have a goal on paper, they’ll be more likely to follow through. The goals could be about learning a brand-new skill or just refining a skill they already have.
7. Host a Book Club
Make learning a company-wide endeavor by setting up a monthly or quarterly book club. Every month or quarter, read an industry-related book together. Then, get together regularly to discuss it and talk about how to use your new knowledge to help the company grow.