By the time employees join your organization, they’ve likely gone through traditional learning at school. But while they’ve had this experience in conventional classrooms, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easier to train them. The truth is that we all have different learning styles, and we learn best when we want to. Therefore, companies need to be more flexible and understand the various drivers that motivate learning. Here are the best methods to help employees learn:
Build a culture of self-direction and continuous learning
Employees join companies knowing that a certain amount of training is required to supplement their existing skills and ensure they’re compliant with the organization’s rules and regulations. To ensure they retain the knowledge, they need the right motivation and learning environment. Creating a learning culture starts with defining the ecosystem that enables and nurtures learning. Beyond communicating its message, leadership should understand employees’ areas for development and provide them with learning resources.
Apply the right motivators
Motivation is critical to learning because it helps activate the behavior needed to sustain learning. When leadership promotes the mindset of taking ownership of learning, employees tend to feel more driven to seek learning opportunities.
To apply the right motivators, leadership needs to involve both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. While intrinsic motivation refers to learning for the joy of it, extrinsic motivation relates to relying on external rewards to encourage learning. For employees, these motivators may involve achieving performance goals, mastery of skills, and other career-related ambitions. Therefore, giving employees objectives relating to their growth within the company is crucial.
Support personalized learning
Because people learn differently, standardized learning models are often ineffective, and not everyone will benefit. Tailoring training modules may seem like a vast undertaking, but ultimately, it pays off. It doesn’t mean customizing training to individuals, but rather, creating different modules for the various learning styles. For example, creating video content for visual learners or making knowledge centers accessible anytime.
Assess strengths and skill gaps
Employees can take ownership of their learning by recognizing both unique skill sets and learning opportunities. By knowing their strengths and weaknesses, they better position themselves to fill gaps in their skills while also leveraging their strengths more effectively and productively. Assessing the level of their skills also opens up teaching or peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Identifying skills gaps in tenured employees also helps leadership understand areas to focus on during coaching and re-training sessions.
Micromanaging employees has proven to create toxic work environments, lowering productivity, stifling creativity, and increasing stress. The truth is, employees prefer autonomy and opportunities to show their skills without constant control and criticism. If you can’t trust employees to work without supervision, then both recruitment and leadership have failed. By trusting employees and promoting autonomy, they’ll be more encouraged and maintain continuous learning.
Promoting a culture for learning and encouraging employees to seek knowledge continuously needs to be a consistent effort. Employees need to understand the value of learning and its impact on their personal and professional lives.
Do you agree? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the conversation on the best practices and environments that help employees learn.