Remember when you learned to ride a bike or when you learned to swim on your own? What about that feeling when you learned to read, write and do math? We don’t even need to go back in time that much! Do you remember when you finished high school and got your college or university degree? Do you remember how happy it made you feel? How proud you, your friends and family were? Tell us: so why would you put a hold on that wonderful experience and stop learning as soon as you have a degree?!
Exactly – You shouldn’t!
A life-changing attitude!
In a constantly changing world where technology, industry and business are quickly evolving, we can’t permit ourselves to stand still. The increased digitalization and globalization in the labor market leads to extreme flexibility of employees and the needed skills regularly morph as tech advances. If employees continue to be agile and adaptable for the long term, they’re much more valuable than any machine or robot. In other words: they have to adapt themselves to this new changing world by constantly learning and developing their skills!
This goes beyond the workplace – It’s also about personal development! Maybe your employees feel like they’re being lived by their life instead of the other way around? It might be because they’re not challenged enough or in the wrong way. The solution is simple: become a lifelong learner. Humans are made to explore and push boundaries, whether they’re personal or not. Learning something new strengthens one’s mind, improves memory and increases self-confidence. All this will lead to greater happiness and contentment in life.
The invaluable person in your company
Today the whole ‘learn, do, retire’ thing is an outdated concept. The employees who don’t keep up with the evolving society, technology, and business are the ones who get left behind. It’s important to ensure that talent remains agile, adaptable and ready to fill the next organizational gap. This doesn’t mean employees should live in fear of losing their job! On the contrary, learning and optimizing skills is a part of life and everyone should embrace it!
That’s exactly what lifelong learners do. They also have a positive attitude towards the ever-changing nature of the world. A lifelong learner is always looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge and understanding.
5 steps to encourage lifelong learning
Now that you’re convinced and totally excited about lifelong learners, there’s only one important question left: how to motivate your employees to keep learning? Once they understand the benefits of both professional and personal development, they’re already 10 steps ahead. Great! Here is some more advice to turn your team into lifelong learners:
- Develop a growth mindset.
Turn I can’t and I will never into I can’t YET and I WILL! A growth mindset embraces challenges and accepts that skill acquisition requires effort. Improvement is always possible and there’s nothing that can stop your progress!
- Take responsibility to mold your progress.
Give your employees the power to make changes, let them own their decisions and actions, whatever educational or professional background they have. Give them opportunities to learn.
- Discover and follow your passion.
Encourage your team to try and find passion in the job they’re doing now. What makes their job meaningful? What makes them a value to other people? How can they enhance this value by learning additional skills? Passion fuels learning more than anything.
- Stretch beyond expectations
Contentment is the enemy of success. Never ever think your people are done learning in this rapidly evolving world. Let them avoid the negative stress of trying to hang on to a job by facing the positive stress of learning new skills. The lifelong learner is never done learning and stays relevant.
- Find the right tool
The possibilities to educate and develop oneself are endless (thanks, covid!). Think of the multiple chrome add-ons, online courses, workshops, mobile training,… Go and explore this wonderland! Find the tool that fits your company and integrate it in a way it makes learning accessible for everyone at any time!
Now you know the importance and the concept of lifelong learning and how to encourage this, your team can become the best version of itself. We believe they can and so do you (growth mindset, remember?) !
Learn long and prosper!