How can HR directors support lifelong learning in the workplace? And how will this benefit employees? Remember the days when employees would stay with an organisation for 40+ years? Nowadays, many employees are changing every few years or so, sometimes even to a different sector, enabling them to develop within their career path.
How can lifelong learning help retention?
With HR departments struggling to recruit new members of staff, investing in your current employees should be part of your retention strategy. Lifelong learning can give members of staff not only great satisfaction, but also it will also help with feeling valued in the workplace, increasing productivity and the ability to progress on the career ladder within the organisation.
Learning at the workplace
Should learning at the workplace be limited to just relevant courses that relate to the employees’ role? The answer is no! Employees that are continuously learning feel happier and motivated, HR departments could allocate budgets that enable both. You may not see the value of employees wanting to learn Spanish, photography or Yoga, however you never know how this may come in handy in everyday business, imagine you are going out to a big business pitch and you are up against a competitor, you both equally perform well however there is a personal connection between the CEO and employee that received a yoga course, as a result your company wins a new contract.
How do you encourage lifelong learning?
With employees having limited time, it is often at the bottom of their lists. As part of your lifelong learning strategy, employees should be offered a choice of learning goals for the year – these should be set as KPIs and should be completed within the agreed time frame, it is important that line managers plan in study moments for this to happen.
Inspirational leaders / mentorship programmes
Learning can be a lonely experience for employees – so why not introduce a mentorship programme within your organisation? Partnering a senior manager with a junior colleague can assist with learning on the work floor. Together they can identify learning goals and a senior manager/leader can help support and provide lifelong learning advice.
Investing in lifelong learning will help to retain staff, increase productivity and overall well-being at the workplace, improving engagement and business outcomes.