How to Encourage Lifelong Learning in Employees

Goal Management
Engagement & Motivation
August 7, 2023

Career growth and upskilling are some of the most significant factors behind employee retention. The HR Reporter reveals that nine out of ten Canadian employees feel stagnant in their roles, leading to hesitations on whether they should stay at their current workplace or find another job. It isn’t for lack of trying, though, as almost half of the current workforce has expressed the desire to develop their professional skills. The problem is that many employees don’t know where to begin. As such, it’s up to an organization’s leaders to provide opportunities so employees can learn these new skills. This way, they’ll have a chance to grow professionally and become lifelong learners who are also more engaged in their work. Below, you’ll find some tips on how to accomplish this as a business leader.

Include learning as a performance goal

Employees must have work targets in order to succeed. It guides them on what is expected of them, essentially serving as motivation in the form of objectives to hit. Considering that workers would be focused on this, it would be highly beneficial to include a learning aspect in performance goals. In fact, a survey revealed that 88% of Canadian employees believe that goal setting impacts their job performance. Examples of accomplishments that fall under this category are a license or a certification from platforms like Coursera or Google, proving that they studied and learned how to do a specific skill. By incorporating these into their goals, employees would have something concrete to work towards, and it would also serve as a measure of their growth.

Provide access to learning resource platforms

Effective leaders invest in the development of their employees, most often in the form of seminars or digital tools, as outlined in our post "How To Stay Ahead of the Curve". Apart from the more common group programs, self-directed learning opportunities have also been proven successful as long as employees have the proper resources. One such platform that provides world-class learning materials is Studocu. Available online, it offers over 20 million educational resources from an active study community across the world. Signing up opens up a selection of higher-education course materials on a variety of topics at different skill levels. This allows employees to easily tailor the study materials to their needs. Employees can also benefit from a platform like Scribd, which hosts millions of eBooks, journals, and audiobooks. Giving your employees access to these avenues equips them with the tools that can help them learn at their own pace and personal style.

Create social learning opportunities

Although leaders play a huge part in the growth of employees, over 55% of Canadian workers report that they also learn a lot from their peers, as per a recent Canadec survey. This is the social learning theory in practice. Introduced by Canadian-born psychologist Albert Bandura, this theory states that people learn behaviors from interacting with and observing others. It’s highly useful in a workplace setting as employees will typically have a diverse pool of peers to learn from. With this, employees can be more competent and well-rounded as they gain insights by watching others work. Thus, it’s the role of a leader to provide avenues in which employees can engage with one another. On top of encouraging in-person breakout sessions, providing communication platforms such as GSuite and Slack can streamline communication efforts and give employees a tool to learn from their colleagues.

Recognize employee achievements

Celebrating team

A report from Benefits Canada found that 57% of employees feel that meaningful professional recognition can increase the likelihood of them staying in a role. Similarly, feeling valued by bosses can increase engagement, which is critical for better productivity. That being said, in terms of encouraging lifelong learning, it can be worthwhile to acknowledge when an employee has finished a course or a training program. A service like Qarrot can help you reward employees who contribute to your company in various ways. For instance, you can track and appropriately incentivize an employee who finishes an upskilling course. With an employee recognition program, your employees can be further motivated to continue performing and learning for their roles.

As a leader, it’s important to prioritize the growth of your employees to get the best out of their performance. Follow the tips above to help them engage in lifelong learning. For more ways to strengthen workplace engagement, try Qarrot today. 

Ruby Jasmine