In this fast-moving world, we constantly need to learn new stuff. In the workplace, this is particularly important, as I showed in an earlier blog post, where Jacob Morgan talks of the future employee moving from “knowledge worker” (knowing stuff) to “learning worker” (learning new stuff).
So how can organisations support continuous learning at work?
- It doesn’t mean creating more training or e-learning and force-feeding it to people. It means encouraging and supporting individuals to continuously learn for themselves.
- It doesn’t mean trying to manage everyone’s learning for them – and trying to track it all in a LMS, It means everyone taking responsibility for their own learning, and managers measuring success in terms of job and team performance.
Of course, many individuals are already doing this – as a natural part of who they are – and that is what is giving them a personal competitive edge at work (as well as in life). They are always aware of what they learning, they seek out new opportunities to do so, and they share their thoughts (often in their blogs).
Although many organizations are implementing social technologies to support sharing at work, it takes more than technology to underpin continuous learning
Continuous learning is a mindset not a product or technology.
It means ..
- working with managers to help them build a learning mindset in their teams, and to provide the time and space to do so – and to measure success by changes in job and team performance.
- working with individuals to encourage and support independent (self-organised, self-managed) learning, e.g. showing them how
- to extract the “learning” from their daily work
- to discover the wide range of learning opportunities on offer – not just internally but also on the Web through professional networking, “learning the new”– through both people and content, formal and informal; and
- to share the good stuff with their colleagues
- working with teams to support valued (rather than indiscriminate) sharing of learning and experiences
Whereas there is still a need for a L&D department to provide training (and manage that it has been done), continuous learning is not the sole responsibility of the L&D department – everyone has a part to play.
Note: These materials are part of the draft of my Modern Workplace Learning resource book
Want to find out more?
My How to become a Personal Learning Adviser online workshop running 15 June to 10 July
looks at how to support personal learning in the workplace.
More in my next post: The Web is my Workplace (and Learnplace)