We’ve made it no secret at Omega that we believe in personal and professional growth. We have also explained why we pay our employees to read. Why does Omega invest in our people and encourage growth? We believe that investing in our people is a smart business decision, and that it’s the right thing to do. We subscribe to the notion of continuous learning, which we explore in greater detail.
What is Continuous Learning?
As the name implies, continuous learning is the process of constantly building new knowledge and skills. This can happen in many ways, from taking formal courses to informal social learning. It involves taking on challenges and self-initiatives. While it can take place in various aspects of your life— home or at work, for example—we are focusing today on continuous learning at work.
Benefits of Continuous Learning
Building a learning culture within your organization is an efficient way to boost innovation and performance, and it also improves employee retention and satisfaction. Here’s why:
Knowledge is power
The more knowledge employees gain, the more effectively they can perform. The better they perform, the more they can contribute to the organization. Employees then invest their time, energy, talent, and their best in the success and vision of your company.
A worthwhile investment
Investing in employees costs money, time, and effort, but it’s a worthwhile investment. In addition to seeing improved performance, investing in employee development is cheaper than retraining and hiring new employees. Employee replacement costs can be twice (or more) your salary. Building good relationships with your employees by investing in their talents can save you the cost of losing skills, hiring and training new employees.
Building company culture
Lifelong learning support shows employees that you value them and care about their career development. When investing in employee growth opportunities, employees are happier at work, and they are likely to share their job satisfaction with their networks. It not only makes your current employees happy, but it can also attract job seekers who share your company’s values.
Continuous Learning Opportunities Employers can Offer
With ever-changing markets, evolving customer demands, and technological developments, employee skills can quickly change. Ongoing learning keeps their skills appropriate and relevant. Skill development also helps keep employees motivated and avoid workplace stagnation. Without this, the business could quickly lag behind its major competitors. The following are continuous learning opportunities employers can offer their people:
One of the most common ways to offer lifelong learning opportunities is to organize face-to-face training courses. It may be in an external location or your office. Sessions vary according to needs, and groups vary in size, from large auditoriums with presentation-style education to individual one-on-one learning.
In the mentoring program, experienced team members work closely with younger, less experienced employees to share their knowledge and insight. This helps in the development of essential hard and soft skills. You can also retain valuable knowledge gained through years of experience. This knowledge can be lost entirely if an employee leaves the company, for example, due to retirement.
Instead of offering a more formal training course, such as an online course with a final question, make it part of your working day in an office or work environment. If training or education focuses on behavior rather than research, employees may be more likely to participate and succeed.
Conference attendance—in-person and virtual—is a great way to promote continuing education. At meetings, employees listen to keynote speakers, attend seminars, talk to top professionals, and more. There are many ways to learn. It’s a fun way for employees to learn new things, and employees appreciate the time away from work.
In closing, investing in your team can be a powerful investment that will become increasingly important to the success of your business. You will need to monitor your progress to ensure that your employees are taking advantage of and benefitting from your investment in them. It can be challenging to get everyone involved. Some companies, for example, incentive their staff by rewarding those who have participated. Implementing any of these tips, and truly creating a culture around continuous learning, will give you real financial benefits and make your business more competitive in the long run.