There are plenty of ways employers can promote learning at work and it is hugely encouraged for engagement, inspiration and productivity. This week (13th - 19th May) marks Learning at Work Week 2019, so we’ve highlighted some of the benefits and added some tips of how to implement workplace learning programmes. 

Continuous learning can only strengthen the knowledge of the workforce. The purpose of Learning at Work Week is to build learning cultures at work by highlighting the importance of continual learning and development. 

Research shows that 87% of millennials think development is important in a job. In fact, the same survey conducted by Gallup reports "59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job."  This highlights why organisations should encourage workers to learn new skills.

This further emphasises why continual learning is crucial in the workplace. Learning at Work Week encourages companies the chance to run an annual branded learning campaign that is linked to a national event. There are also different ways to engage your employees all year long. 

benefits of workplace continuous learning.

  • Attitudes to learning and work will be improved
  • Perceptions of learning and development will be more positive
  • Productivity and motivation will be increased  
  • Increased employee engagement 
  • Employees will be more likely to participate in different learning opportunities and projects. 
  • Inviting and collating feedback, ideas and perspectives that help future planning
  • L&D opportunities will pave the way for recognition of internal talent
  • Encourages collaboration in the workplace
  • L&D tasks will push employees to use their own knowledge, passions and interests to create engaging activities 
  • Employees will figure out which way of learning is more effective for them
  • Employees will receive increased recognition for being an active learner
  • Increased familiarity with new platforms and new ways of learning i.e. training through social media and webinars
  • Workers will be able to recognise, identify and clarify  business priorities and agendas 
  • Encourage employees to use this opportunity as a way to share important information about the business and its direction by having stimulating conversations with employees with different agendas and policies 
  • Bridge information gaps left by workplace silos 
  • Bring different functions of the organisation together to learn from each other

ways to encourage learning at work.

There are numerous ways you can promote learning in the office; from courses to peer to peer learning sessions and away days. The management team in any organisation should make it evident that they support employee learning. When employees know that they have the support and backing of senior authorities their desire to learn and develop skills will be reinforced.

courses and training programmes.

Various online/e-learning courses are available for employees to join and develop their skills. This is convenient as the courses can be organised around employees work hours or when it’s suitable for them. Additionally, courses and training sessions are often recognised and accredited which is an added bonus. 

reimburse employees when necessary.

There are various accessible events, seminars, and exhibitions where industry thought leaders come and share their knowledge about particular subjects. These events are a great opportunity to learn from accredited experts. 

It gives employees the opportunity to listen, learn, and gain new perspectives to overcome work related problems.

By encouraging employees to participate in these events they will gain valuable knowledge that could be beneficial for your organisation. By reimbursing your employees, and paying for these valuable learning experiences you’re sending a clear message that you support their efforts.

However, make sure you set a budget to avoid overspending. 

away days and group development activities

A great HR head will initiate engaging group activities, these can be in the office or offsite. These days can involve activities to stimulate learning a new skill. You could organise games to encourage healthy competition among your colleagues. 

This will help employees to understand how their individual goals contribute to the teams goals and ultimately the goals of the company. Educate employees about the similarities between the tasks they’re doing and the work environment.

Turn reading into more than just a past time

Gift employees with a tranquil reading space with books that enable learning. Not only will this allow employees to add value to their personal and professional life, reading is also a great way to reduce stress which can be handy in an action packed office. 
Books that are inspirational, or about self-development and management would be great to have in your office library. 

shaping the future.

There are various ways to develop a workforce. The best way to figure out which is the most effective for your organisation is to trial and error your top choices and message the success rate using your chosen metrics. Ultimately, investing in the development and future of your employees can only better your workforce.