Creating a Continuous Learning Environment

In our previous blog, we discussed how to conduct an engaging training session. However, a formal training session is only one part of the learning process. To truly influence the knowledge, habits, and behaviors of your employees, you have to create an environment that continuously fosters learning. Research indicates that employees, especially millennial employees, desire continuous learning and development opportunities. Integrating learning into the daily activities of your organization will help employees continuously learn and grow and, in turn, help you retain and engage your staff.

Here are some suggestions on how to create a continuous learning environment:

Implement Learning Events

Technology companies are notorious for using “hackathons” to spark creativity, teamwork, and learning. But “hackathons” are not just for technology companies. These types of collaborative learning events can be implemented into any organization. The key to a “hackathon” is to provide employees with time away from their daily activities to work together to solve a problem or create something new. During these events, employees are encouraged to come together to discuss, debate, and create. By doing so, employees learn from each other, increase their collective knowledge, and hopefully emerge with a valuable idea or solution.

Other types of learning events can include workshops, seminars, guest speakers, competitions, learning lunches, job observation/shadowing, and off-site learning activities. Events should focus on employees sharing their experiences and ideas with their peers. Successful implementation relies on event attendance, which must be encouraged and employees must be supported in their learning goals.

Use Reinforcement Tools

Other types of learning events can include workshops, seminars, guest speakers, competitions, learning lunches, job observation/shadowing, and off-site learning activities. Events should focus on employees sharing their experiences and ideas with their peers. Successful implementation relies on event attendance, which must be encouraged and employees must be supported in their learning goals.

Employees are bombarded with new information every day, so it can be easy for valuable information learned during a training session to fade away. Learning requires repetition, which is why reinforcement tools are so crucial for continuous learning. Reinforcement tools include things such as posters, computer screen savers, pocket-sized information cards, daily pre-shift cards, and eLearning modules. As with any tool, you have to use it to get results. Supervisors and managers must take the time to reinforce learning by utilizing the tools as a catalyst for conversations. Employees should be engaged in regular, brief training conversations, tips, or reminders—whether it is during a pre-shift meeting, during one-on-one feedback, or as part of an end of day recap meeting.

Use Reinforcement Tools

Learning opportunities must be consistently delivered to create a sustainable learning environment. Learning cannot simply be the fad of the month, quarter, or year—it must be a priority each day. Daily trainings must become a part of the culture. Your team attending learning events should be not only encouraged, but also rewarded. Organizations should tie learning achievements to employee evaluations, and reward individuals, teams, and departments that achieve learning goals. By enabling and encouraging your employees to learn, you will reap the benefits of a well-trained, engaged, and productive staff.

At SGEi, we create motivating, memorable, and effective continuous learning programs to help your employees succeed. Connect with us to learn how we can partner with your organization to create your customized training program.

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2018-07-01T06:27:09+00:00