Most people know that continuous learning is a great way for anyone to further their career and knowledge. The more a person knows, the more they can enhance their career. But there is arguably an even greater benefit to employers who can benefit from offering their employees continuous learning opportunities. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Why Continuous Learning Is Important
Continuous learning has many benefits including:
- Reduced employee turnover. Employees that receive training see that their employers care about their future and the future of the company. Training is a great way to retain valuable employees. Offering continuous learning opportunities also attracts better employees.
- Better productivity and performance. Continuous training helps employees work more productively, respond more quickly to customer needs, become more innovative, and better meet future marketplace demands.
- A good investment. Training your employees costs money, but you will see a high return on your investment. The initial investment will quickly be recouped by better employee performance and increasing revenue in the company.
- Staying on top. As your employees continue to learn and develop new skills through continuous learning, they will always be on top of industry changes. As technology changes, it is important for all employees to stay ahead of the competition.
- Enhanced customer loyalty. When your employees are trained well, they are better able to interact with customers. This creates loyalty for your brand and business. Knowledgeable employees are happy and enthusiastic when dealing with customers. This keeps your customers coming back.
What Are Good Subjects for Continual Learning?
No matter what type of business you are in, well-educated workers are useful.
Whether they sit at a desk all day or work in construction, continuous learning will help them at work.
By keeping their brain active, they will come up with more ideas and understand projects more easily.
These are essential to helping the company.
New subjects they learn can be directly or indirectly tied to your business. Subjects can include:
- Computers: Especially databases and spreadsheets are a mainstay of any business today. Keeping up with new technology will always be important.
- Writing: Being able to write accurately and with more creativity will help in many areas in addition to simply improving communication.
- Accounting: Even if they don’t do this kind of work, it’s helpful to be able to understand and appreciate it.
- Foreign languages: These are useful as the world becomes ever more connected. Being able to speak more than one language makes it easier to interact with peers and customers.
- Graphic design: Although this might sound limited, there are many instances where knowledge of graphic arts can help your company.
You can also spark creative and divergent thinking by encouraging workers to learn new things about related industries or new innovations.
For example: perhaps you own a group of coffee shops; you don’t deal directly with the commodities trade but it would be useful to employ buyers who understand what moves prices. Or maybe you are involved in the blockchain industry and your employees learn about how natural gas flaring is being converted into Bitcoin. That could lead to new project proposals.
And remember: learning doesn’t have to be business-oriented to be useful. Being a well-rounded person can help to make employees better interact with customers as well as each other:
- History: The study of history provides insights into people and how they work together — and against each other.
- Science: This is all about systematizing the world, which trains the mind to think deductively and creatively.
- Sociology: Understanding the dynamics of social interactions is useful in all elements of public life.
Those are just a few examples of subjects that can help your workers and enhance your business.
How To Begin a Continuous Learning Program
Before you begin a continuous learning program, you need to define its goals. An outline might include:
- Defining the objectives and learning goals
- Creating the continuous learning program
- Make sure your employees have the right tools and technology to succeed.
Defining the Goals
Goals need to be clear to everyone, so they know exactly what you want them to achieve.
You will also need to define how this knowledge will benefit your business and each employee. A few examples of goals can be:
- Teaching your sales representatives about boosting sales by selling products more efficiently.
- Informing all employees about new products, benefits, and features as soon as they are released.
- Training partners on how to run the business across various time zones and locations.
Creating the Continuous Learning Program
Once the goals have been defined, it is time to create the program. Your program will be tailored to fit your business needs, goals, and details. An example of areas to focus on can be:
- Onboarding: A program that helps new employees integrate into their new jobs quickly. Onboarding will help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need right away. All new employees will go through this program, which will teach them about the company, culture, policies, health and safety regulations, and any other information they need.
- Professional Training: This type of training could be required once in a while to keep employees up to date on new products and regulations. They could also be used for motivational training.
- Managerial Training: This training can be given to employees that are good candidates to become managers. They will be trained in areas like delegation and the general management of teams.
The Right Tools and Technology
In order for continuous learning to succeed, employees must have the right tools and technology. This includes online learning, seminars, live classes, and workshops. Online digital learning is an excellent tool because employees can access the courses whenever and wherever they want to.
Now that goals have been established, you can start finding the right courses for your employees. You can find online courses for every subject imaginable.
Many online and in-person courses will give you a certificate of completion. Some of the best places to look for online courses include:
- Google Digital Garage offers courses in career development, digital marketing, and data and tech. They offer free and paid certificates.
- Microsoft Virtual Academy is specifically for information technology. Their courses will benefit those in jobs like artificial intelligence, app designing, data engineering, and analysis.
- LinkedIn Learning (formerly called Lynda.com) has a large selection of online courses for all types of jobs. They offer thousands of courses in categories like software design, business, web development, and design.
- Udemy offers the largest selection of video online courses in categories like personal development, business, marketing, IT and software, and computer programming.
- EdX offers many courses from top universities like MIT, Stanford, UC Berkley, and Harvard. They also have professional certificate and degree programs.
These are some of the best known online course websites, and there are many more to choose from. You can, for instance, use courses from specific universities.
Continuous learning is perfect for anyone looking to learn new skills or build on what they already know. Continuous learning is also excellent for companies to help their employees further their knowledge.
Offering courses to your employees not only helps them become better employees but also builds company loyalty. Your employees will see that you care enough to offer them ways to continue to learn and grow in their chosen fields.