When thinking about learning and work, most people think of gaining qualifications, building their CV, and nailing the interview. Once the job is landed, then the learning can stop.
The attention goes to completing tasks, meeting deadlines, and collaborating with colleagues- all high priority focuses.
However, the onus moves from learning. Learning and growing gets put on the backburner in favour of higher priority tasks.
It is imperative that companies promote learning and development for their employees.
Why is it important to promote learning?
Encouraging your employees to continue their learning and development during their employment with you is great for both you and them!
Helping them to boost their skills and expand their knowledge will support your company as you grow, giving you another member of the team with up-to-date knowledge and support in a new or existing area.
There can be concerns that ‘upskilling’ allows employees to expand their CV, encouraging them to look for other jobs. This should not prevent you from encouraging learning in the workplace.
Promoting learning is part of ensuring employee satisfaction. If your employees are satisfied in their roles and the workplace, they won’t feel the need to look for employment elsewhere.
How can you promote learning?
There are a multitude of different ways to facilitate a learning culture in the workplace, all depending on the financial support you can offer and the time you are willing to spare.
Often companies provide the training themselves, bringing external companies into the office or having a member of their own team leading the sessions. This is typically a cost-effective and manageable way of ensuring several employees can participate at once. This is the option that you may choose if you are looking to conduct more generic training, such as leadership and management training that staff across multiple departments would benefit from.
Another option is external conferences. Depending on the sector you work in, there are usually external conferences throughout the year, featuring a multitude of experts and advisors on a variety of subjects. This type of training can typically be quite expensive and can require your employees to travel in order to attend. However, the opportunities and socialisation aspect of it can be extremely valuable to your company. Employees may have the chance to hear people speak on brand-new and exciting topic that they can then feedback to you and your team!
CPD options can also be a cost-effective method of encouraging your team to gain additional qualifications. These can run differently depending on the organisation that you go through, however, many of them are independent and encourage employees to work through tasks themselves. A CPD qualification may work for you if you are happy to let employees take a few hours out of their week over the duration of their qualification to study and complete their tasks. If you would prefer for employees to complete their training within longer sessions over a shorter period of time, such as a day or two then CPD training may not be for you.
Alternatively, if you would prefer not to invest any money into this, there are always apprenticeship schemes or the hiring of university students. As long as you are willing to be accommodating with their time, then this may be a great way of encouraging development and learning, as well as gaining support and help in your department. However, this only works as long as you are willing to give your employee the time to study and gain their qualification. If you are looking for a full-time dedicated employee, then one of the above options may suit you better!
How does this work in practice?
Pentagon Play, based across the UK with offices in Middlewich and Bristol, allocate a £1000 training budget to their employees, that they can choose to use however they like.
This is a benefit awarded to all employees following their 6-month probationary period, and it allows them to take/attend any training courses or conferences that they feel will benefit their role at the company.
HR Manager, Lucy Challis, said “It is incredibly important for each employee to have the opportunity to grow and develop. Our £1000 per employee annual CPD budget empowers each member of the Pentagon Play family to choose learning opportunities that spark their genuine interests. This helps to increase employee motivation as well as overall performance, leading to increased opportunities for career progression and greater productivity.”
Creating a culture within the workplace that promotes and supports learning is key in ensuring your employees are satisfied with their position. It enables your employees to feel accomplished, confident, and aware of their ability to grow within their role. Promoting a culture of learning is beneficial for everyone involved.