Top Ten Tips for... Encouraging Lifelong Learning

Top Ten Tips for... Encouraging Lifelong Learning

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is taking place in February and the theme this year is ‘Skills for Life’. Here at cHRysos HR, we believe that when development stops, so does growth and it can be hugely beneficial for both employees and their employers to foster a culture of lifelong learning and progression.

Read on for our Top Ten Tips...

1. Discover the benefits of apprenticeships

In today's ever-changing world of work, many students are choosing to take part in workplace learning over traditional classroom environments and many organisations are seeing the benefits of this. A huge one being that your apprentices will be building skills that are directly relevant to your business. Furthermore, if you have made the choice to develop an existing member of your team then any knowledge they pick up throughout their training can be applied straight away as they work to progress within their job role. A win-win for both the apprentice and the employer!

2. Allow employees to take charge of their own development

Whatever way your employees would like to develop their skills, why not let them self-direct their learning? Take advantage of your employees’ personal interests and ask them how they would like to progress within the business – they will have a much better sense of their learning needs and will also know exactly which kinds of training will work best for them. If you still want to maintain a degree of control over what your team members are learning, you can always offer them a selection of courses, qualifications or workshops to attend.


Related: How to Deliver a Great Training Session


3. Set learning goals and objectives

To create a culture of lifelong learning in your workplace, a great place to start is by setting realistic goals and objectives. These can be for individual employees and also as departments or the organisation as a whole. Ideally, the goals should be manageable, measurable and in line with the needs of the business. Perhaps you would like your team to log so many training hours a month or attend a certain number of workshops and webinars?

4. Make learning goals as important as performance goals

Similarly to the point above, there would be no point setting these learning objectives if they are the first thing to get put on the back-burner during a busy working week. By prioritising learning and the development of your team, you are showing them that they are not only valued, but also an important part of the business as a whole. However you track performance goals within the workplace, make sure to add these new learning objectives to the list!

5. Implement regular check-ins

Hopefully you are already having regular communication with your team, whether these are weekly team meetings or formal reviews. However, if your employees are also undergoing training or studying for a new qualification then there might be more to discuss – do you need to up the frequency of your check-ins? Set aside time as often as you feel is necessary and don’t forget to evaluate your new goals and objectives – you can also create new ones as you begin to tick them off the list. These catch ups will give you a valuable opportunity to check in with every individual and to deal with any potential issues as and when they arise.

6. Provide plenty of opportunities

Whether you choose to develop your employees through apprenticeships and in-depth qualifications or through smaller, more manageable learning techniques, it’s important that you provide plenty of opportunities for your team. Would any of your staff benefit from refreshing core skills such as Maths, English or IT? Are there any upcoming seminars or webinars your employees can take part in? You could even implement regular, in-house training days where your employees can learn from each other.

7. Connect your employees with mentors

Workplace mentoring can be a powerful tool to help make sure your business and its employees continue to grow. Learning new skills isn’t always easy and for some, it can be challenging and lonely. So, how can you make sure your team feel supported during this time? By connecting your employees with more experienced colleagues, you are giving your team the chance to discuss their ambitions and goals with someone who understands. These mentors can also help with any challenges their mentees may face during the learning journey.


Related: How to Develop Staff Through Effective Mentoring


8. Build a resource library

For your employees who may have more demanding lives and job roles, they may prefer to learn in bite-size chunks, as and when they have time. Also known as ‘Microlearning’, this flexible approach is something you can easily facilitate in your workplace. Why not dedicate a corner of your office and fill it with books and resources that your team may find useful and interesting? If you’re struggling for physical space or have mainly remote workers, then you can also build a bank of resources online that your team can dip in and out of whenever they get chance.

9. Fill the skills-gap

Helping your employees develop these ‘Skills for Life’ will of course be hugely beneficial for them but you can also use lifelong learning as a way to improve your business.  Consider what qualifications or skills your employees need, do these goals also align with any skills gaps within your organisation? By up-skilling and investing in your existing employees, you can also help your company’s bottom line by preventing costly recruitment and on-boarding expenses. 

10. Respect employee time

As you go through the process of encouraging lifelong learning, it is also vital to consider and respect your employees’ work load and their time. In this ever-digital world of work, employee burnout is at an all time high and it’s important that organisations create learning solutions that are manageable and individualised to each learner. By doing this, your team should be in a position to strive towards their goals and objectives and help your business go from strength to strength.

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cHRysos HR Solutions are a UK wide HR training and consultancy company CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on info@chrysos.org.uk or call 03300 562443.