Encouraging daily learning in the workplace

We know that learning is a continual journey that allows us to grow, attain new skills and prepare for new roles in leadership. In order to create a workplace culture that promotes daily learning, we have to look at it as a team effort. Today, we’re talking about the best ways L&D teams, managers and learners can work together to encourage a culture of daily learning at work.

Notes for the L&D team

Just because the information is available — or required — does not guarantee your employees are learning or retaining it.

You might not be able to control employees’ interest in the subject matter or their desire to participate in eLearning, but you can implement methods to motivate your team to learn.

1. Make learning accessible.

Not all learners work at desks. In fact, 80 percent of the global workforce — about 3 billion people — is deskless. So how can you best reach them?

You can start by utilizing the BYOD (bring your own device) method. Roughly 95 percent of adult Americans own a mobile phone, and about 77 percent own a smartphone. eLearning can exist right in their pockets, making it available any time, anywhere. You can deliver consistent training and reinforcement without disrupting your team’s daily workflow.

Incorporate microlearning sessions so your learners can quickly learn new skills and apply them immediately. The more accessible the learning experience is, the more likely your learners will utilize it.

2. Create engaging content.

Let’s be honest: Safety or compliance training isn’t always the most interesting content to develop or learn, but a well-developed, interactive eLearning experience can elevate content. Consider adding videos, strong visuals, a conversational tone and quotes to help catch learners’ attention.

Add games or quizzes into the eLearning that have a competitive edge. Consider creating a scoreboard or other gamified element to allow users to demonstrate what they’ve learned while pushing them to do their best. For even greater engagement, consider AR/VR training. You can immerse your learners in a new reality or augment their current reality and introduce scenarios that employ both hard and soft skills.

When learners are engaged, they’re more likely to feel motivated and absorb what they’re learning.

3. Form and encourage routines to stay on track.

Healthy habits are built from practice, so make sure the training you implement is consistent and continual. Encourage learners to make time for learning, and offer them results so they can see their progress. People enjoy success, so give them all the resources they can to make it happen.

Related: Choosing the best Modality for VR Training

Notes for managers and leaders

Your team looks to you, so walk your talk. A good leader doesn’t just set expectations; he or she is the expectation, and your team will model your behaviors. Here are a few ways you can support your team and encourage continual learning.

1. Become a coach.

And, be open to learning how to coach. Research shows employees want mentors but don’t have any. In Olivet Nazarene University’s study on mentors in the workplace, 54 percent of respondents said they didn’t have a mentor, while people who do have mentors tend to be happier in their jobs.

We know that when a manager focuses more on building their employees’ strengths, employees tend to feel more engaged at work as a result. Offer constructive feedback that puts an emphasis on strengths and areas for improvement.

Lastly, reward what you say you value. To build a strong learning culture, place value on how your team accomplishes a task, not just what tasks they’re completing.

2. Support taking risks and failing.

Failure is not a bad thing; it helps us learn. Create spaces for your team to fail, and encourage them to keep going. Remind them that failure doesn’t mean they’re worthless or bad at their jobs. Work with them to form plans for when a failure occurs, and coach them on taking risks.

3. Refresh your knowledge.

Learning begins with you. In order to support your team, you should have an understanding of the material they’re learning — and that means keeping your SME status up to date.

In your role as a coach, you’ll need to speak to your team’s strengths and the areas in which they can improve. Open yourself to keeping up with how your team is performing in their training. Ask for any handouts they receive or for an outline of what they’re learning.

Related: A Safe Space for Failure: eLearning that Changes Behavior

Notes for learners

1. You are responsible for changing your path.

You are responsible for changing your path. What you put into your learning determines what you take away from it. You’ll benefit more if you give training your full attention and effort.

In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for the things you want or need. If you have a great idea for your eLearning, talk to your L&D team and your manager. If there’s something you want to learn about or if there’s a skill that you want to improve, ask about it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve, so don’t feel like you only have one option.

2. Make a plan for change.

How can you directly use your new skills or knowledge? What habits can you form? How can you become the best at what you do? Where do you go from here?

Setting short-term and long-term goals help us self-motivate and keep us on track for growth. Set some personal goals, give them a tentative deadline and do your best to meet them.

It’s OK if you don’t meet a goal when you were planning to. Set a new date, and keep working. The important thing is you’re working and doing your best. We miss all the shots we don’t take, so even if you miss, you’re still making more progress than if you had never tried at all.

If you’re struggling to find what works best for you, talk to your coach or manager about how they approach training and advice on managing a personal learning schedule. Once you’ve mapped out your goals, you can begin achieving them.

3. Communicate plans to your manager.

To make sure everyone is on the same page and you’ve learned the skills you need, talk to your manager about your plans for success and how you can improve at your job. Seek feedback and be open to honest critique. You might not like the feedback you receive, but be open to applying it. Your manager/mentor wants to see you succeed. A rough critique doesn’t mean you’re horrible at your job; it does mean you have room to grow. Work on yourself and your skills, and strive to be the leader you want to be.

Some of your biggest commitments should be made to you. Quitting is easy. Never starting is easy. But life isn’t easy, and in order to ensure we reach our personal goals, we have to make new commitments. These commitments are the most important because they’re directly reflective of where we see ourselves in the next few years.

When you make a plan to learn every day, stick to it. Do as much as you can with however much time you have. Your hard work and effort will pay off in the long run — after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep building yourself.

Roundtable Learning provides a full-circle perspective to deliver training that meets your learners’ needs and produces real performance results. Contact us today to learn more about how Roundtable’s custom learning solutions can benefit your organization.

Related: Mind your Es and Qs Part 3: Designing eLearning for Emotional Intelligence