Life is a continuous learning journey and as humans, we are meant to grow, change, and evolve. So, when I hear of organizations who don’t encourage, provide, and promote learning and development opportunities it puzzles me that there are still people who don’t get this basic concept.
Gallup, a leading employee engagement analytics and advice firm, knows that these learning opportunities are expected of employees and encourage organizations to include these two questions on their Employee Engagement Questionnaires:
“Q06. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Q12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.”1
In LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, it’s noted that the Number 1 driver of a great work culture is “opportunities to learn and grow.” 2
A recent article from SHRM (The Society for Human Resources Management), “Five strategies for company leaders to develop a culture of continuous learning that encourages employees to stay and flourish and also positions the business to thrive” offers the following strategies:
“Work Backward - First, determine the desired end result, then work backward.
Let Employees Drive - Put employees in the driver's seat and let them learn in the ways—and at the pace—that work for them.
Act Fast - "Whatever type of learning we put in front of people, it has to be 'sticky' and it has to be second nature, or it won't be effective," Marsen says. How can organizations make learning stick? By letting their people put the skills they learn into practice, experts say.
Plan Ahead - Learning should develop professionals, not just deliver skills. And companies with the best learning programs develop people beyond their current roles.
Go Virtual - Work isn't the only thing that suddenly went remote with the arrival of the pandemic; training and learning did, too. As virtual learning expanded, so has its reach.” 3
I hope if you are a leader in an organization, you can take the above and make or influence some important changes as needed. But if you are at an organization and your influencing is taking longer than you want, I encourage you to still work on your own growth. Here are some things that you can control and that feed into the lifelong learner mindset:
Ground yourself in what you want to learn – What do you need to work on? What interests you? What do you want to know more about? How can you get better in a skill you have? How can you build a new skill for your current or a future role?
Set a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goal or two – make sure your goal follows the SMART criteria and break your goal down into small steps. Remember small steps lead to big journeys!
Take action! It’s awesome to do the first two steps above, but without action, you have done nothing.
Some ideas on how you can learn something new:
Ask questions in meetings (show your natural curiosity)
Attend a training session or a class
Report out / Teach the three big takeaways from that training session
Hire a coach
Read articles and books
Listen to podcasts
Hold a lunch and learn
Ask your supervisor or someone else to show you how to do something
Pitch an idea (including conveying your rationale, who you’ve already spoken to, what you still need to evaluate) and get feedback on it
Seek feedback from a trusted person
Try new things
Attend a mastermind session
Get on or participate with an Industry roundtable
Hold a discussion group
Work on a project with people you don’t know
Research a topic
Experiment and explore
Practice something different
Don’t forget that growth comes from continuous learning – it’s not a one and done type of thing. Get started with something of interest and build from there! Happy Learning!
Need someone to help you dig into this work with you? Reach out for coaching.
To assess where you and your organization are in your employee engagement culture journey, download my “Culture Pulse: Employee Engagement Questionnaire” here.
I look forward to providing monthly pulse points to help you stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
About Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified
Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.
About Pulse Point
Pulse Point is a monthly blog to stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
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