The Strategic Impact of Continuous Learning in the Modern Workplace

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Businesses are increasingly concerned about their bottom line. Layoffs are rampant, and employees are growing anxious concerning job security. This is a trend in companies large and small, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. However, there are ways you can stave off this uncertainty and create a work environment more conducive to long-term, productive employment. One of the most notable ways to do so is through proactive, continuous learning in the modern workplace.

The Importance of Investing in Employees

Investing time and money into employee betterment can be risky if not approached correctly. However, it is a worthwhile investment that can be highly successful with proper preparation. If done well, training and activities can address skills gaps in the workplace, reduce turnover, and boost employee engagement. Some examples include mentorship programs, training and development, online courses, and trips to industry seminars.

If your employees aren’t up to date on the latest tech advancements, for example, they may be missing the skills needed to effectively contribute to your organization’s productivity. Without the opportunity to learn these skills and grow in their careers, this can lead to employee frustration and, ultimately, resignation from the company. When employees are more engaged with the organization and feel like they are advocated for, they are more likely to be more productive.

Instead of succumbing to staffing shortages and disgruntled employees, foster a culture of continuous learning. This commitment to their well-being is more likely to evoke positive perceptions of your organization, increase retention, and boost your bottom line. Try some of the following to instill in your staff that you care about their career trajectory within, and even outside of, your organization.

Upskilling and Reskilling

Continuous learning can look a few different ways in the workplace. Upskilling refers to the enhancement of current skillsets to propel promotions to higher positions within the same department or general field. This can be valuable when explaining to employees how you will tackle advancement opportunities throughout their employee lifecycle. Having a vested interest in their growth allows you to gain their trust and loyalty, and gives you the opportunity to shape employees’ skills to best suit your needs down the line.

Reskilling is the process of teaching current employees a different set of skills. This may lead to a promotion or a lateral move, but this move is typically within a different department with job requirements that vary from what they are accustomed to. This type of training can be useful for both the employee and the company, giving them marketable skills while opening up the breadth of their usefulness and expertise across the organization.

Protecting Your Business and Employees

Continuous learning can also go beyond just retaining employees and ensuring that your business is taken to the next level. It can also go hand-in-hand with efforts to protect your employees, and your business assets themselves.

For instance, in an increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is paramount because hackers are often looking to exploit company or personal information for financial gain. One example of this is cyberattacks that increasingly target company executives because they often have privileged access to data that is off-limits to other employees. In addition, their higher salaries, and increasingly higher profile, make them a compelling target for thieves who are looking for big payouts.
Educating all employees in your organization about cybersecurity risks, different types of fraud, and other schemes not only protects your business assets from being stolen but can also serve your workers well in their personal lives. In the case of executive security measures, all employees can learn about good cyberhygiene so that as they move up in the organization and become more likely to be targeted by these types of attacks, they will know how to act appropriately.

Mindfully Choosing Courses

Going forward, pick courses that are sure to benefit your unique workforce. Whenever possible, garner feedback on the current training programs you have implemented. Beyond identifying gaps in productivity, make it a point to ask employees where they would like to improve. They may have interests in specific fields that you may not otherwise be aware of. This can give them the autonomy to be in charge of their continuous learning journey, and it can also diversify the information funneling into your organization. This sense of purpose along with the influx of diverse perspectives can fuel creativity and innovation in your organization that may have never occurred otherwise.

Certain courses, like digital marketing classes, are a great choice to solidify current skills, as well. Just as financial tech is changing quickly, so are many aspects of marketing. Traditional marketing is still around to some degree, but keeping your staff up to date with current, digital marketing techniques is crucial to keep afloat in any competitive industry. Look at courses on subjects like:

  • Google Analytics;
  • Adobe Creative Suite;
  • HTML emails;
  • Video production.

The more your employees feel confident that they are equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way, the more productive they can become. Whatever subject you are teaching to employees, make sure it includes the most recent updates. Further, choose courses that have a solid track record, in and outside of your organization. If the course material isn’t engaging, then your efforts may be all for naught.

Moving Forward

Continuous learning is called that for a reason — it keeps going. A perpetual interest in the education of your employees is essential to the security of your business. Not only will you retain the employees that you have, but you will also see improvements in their performance and start to garner interest from outside qualified professionals. Recruitment success, productivity boosts, and company culture can all benefit greatly from continuously putting effort into employee education.