4 Continuous Learning Benefits
From a young age, the default setting is to go to school, graduate, get a job, and build up your career. Of course, there are also some personal milestones thrown into the mix. Few of us actually enjoy school though, so we only stay long enough to qualify for the job we want. Then, once we get hired, we often lose interest in education, at least for a little while. We may eventually realize we need further skills for a promotion or raise. On the other hand, we may notice stagnation lowers our interest in our jobs. This can happen even while we’re disinterested in advanced learning. So why does continuous learning matter in the corporate world? And how can it benefit your organization (and its employees)?
1. Provide A Sense Of Growth
For some of us, our jobs are means to an end. We don’t expect to enjoy them—so long as we earn money. But that sense of boredom and apathy has a bigger effect than we realize. Working on autopilot does affect output quality. And for certain personality types, this feeling of boredom and “stuckness” can have them dusting off their CVs. In this sense, ongoing learning keeps them invested. They realize there’s still more to learn. If their job doesn’t challenge them enough, their training sessions do two things. One, they absorb their extra energy and enhance their skills. Two, they equip trainees to upgrade their job titles or expand their workplace responsibilities. This creates a better fit for the trainee and helps your bottom line. You don’t have to pay to hire and train their replacements since you’re giving your top talent plenty of room to grow and hone their abilities.
2. Detect Emerging Gaps
When someone says they’re bored at work, it’s a bad sign for turnover. Getting to the bottom of their boredom will help the individual’s career path. It helps the organization too because you can figure out why the staff is unhappy and how to fix it. Chances are the staffer is feeling underutilized. Setting them up with relevant training programs can quickly resolve the matter. On the other hand, staff members sometimes feel underqualified for their position. It goes beyond the famed impostor syndrome. This is about feeling genuinely inadequate at a given aspect of your job. And being too afraid to ask for help, because you fear being labeled incompetent, or worse, fired. A continuous learning LMS helps because everyone undergoes the same training path, so nobody feels singled out. But they still have the chance to customize the experience based on their needs. You can opt-out of topics you’re familiar with. Ongoing learning systems include (anonymous) self-assessment to spot and plug skill gaps.
3. Promote Self-Driven Learning
Assessment programs are often restricted to new hires. The concept is to place them in positions that match their expertise. But continuous assessment helps the company spot its dearth in a non-punitive manner. Instead of focusing on pain points, it spots potential vulnerabilities and works to fix them. To avoid trainees feeling left out, these skill gaps can be tackled holistically. For example, if your LMS discovers car insurance has gone up, they could sign up everyone for refresher courses. Cover defensive driving, urban parking, and insurance basics. These add-ons will draw in some trainees who are (erroneously) secure in their driving skills. Also, with a centralized training system, you can nudge trainees to take the review (driving) course without necessarily tying it to their troublesome car insurance claims. The idea is to get trainees interested rather than making them feel targeted. If they feel picked on, they’ll pay less attention during the course, which can be a problem if it’s a course they genuinely need.
4. Maintain Corporate Cohesion
An online learning program surpasses traditional learning in one crucial area: self-pacing. Trainees can select their own study time, location, and duration. This is a key component for adult training because we’re self-motivated learners. And it matters because the corporate space isn’t static. Even if your job requires a basic skillset like lifting boxes, there will be adjustments. New packaging materials have to be handled differently, e.g. stackable boxes vs suction cups. Also, people develop (professionally) at different rates. Some colleagues may be content to unthinkingly follow directions to achieve the objectives. Others are researching at home and acquiring self-taught qualifications. This mixed skill set could lead to workplace clashes. By offering continuous training options to your staff, they can pick and choose. And while some may still refuse to engage in available courses, they’ll at least have the option. It’s better than the alternative of talent leaving once they realize there’s nothing new to learn.
Continuous learning programs may not seem beneficial. It can feel like training employees for their next job by equipping them with new skills and real-world experience. In reality, it keeps your staff with you longer because it shows them they can grow without leaving. It helps them feel fulfilled at work, which deepens their loyalty levels. They see their job responsibilities increase, along with their title, description, and even their income. They get more proactive in spotting and correcting skill gaps, both personally and departmentally. They also have the power to develop initiative via self-driven learning. And their workplace camaraderie is enhanced because they’re all advancing along the same cohesive training path. Those are key ingredients in the recipe for employee retention and improved profit margins.
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Download our eBook Continuous Learning In The Workplace: How To Harness The Power Of An LMS For Your Teams to extend training beyond employee orientation.