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7 Ways to Build a Culture of Lifelong Learning

7 Ways to Build a Culture of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is a practice that inspires and motivates employees to continuously acquire knowledge for personal and professional development, creating value for themselves and their place of employment. Therefore, organizations should know how to create a culture that promotes lifelong learning.

This blog will cover the following topics:

  • What is a culture of lifelong learning?
  • What are the benefits of lifelong learning?
  • What are the risks of not continually learning?
  • Seven ways to build a culture of lifelong learning

Lifelong Culture Explained

Lifelong learning is a commitment to continued curiosity and growth. This can include formal training like courses or university, and informal training like self-motivated exploration.

People with growth mindsets:

  • Make a commitment to learn
  • Are more apt to try something new
  • Continually want to improve their performance and production

Lifelong learners thirst for knowledge for several reasons including professional and personal growth. By increasing their skills and knowledge base, they can be more creative, make more informed choices, and advance their professional and personal prowess. Businesses that genuinely want to excel need to build a culture of lifelong learning that inspires and motivates team members. Building a culture of lifelong learning within a team helps the organization to thrive and reach even greater heights.

Why is lifelong learning important?

A LinkedIn survey of 2,400 professionals revealed that the lack of growth opportunities is a major reason to leave a place of employment. Respondents also stated that professional development was roughly twice as important as getting a raise and their relationship with their manager. In a Forbes survey, over 55% of employees consider career growth and opportunity more important than salary, while 47% surveyed are unsatisfied with their employer’s learning and development programs.

To industry, the importance of lifelong learning is immeasurable. As the job market continues to transform and companies eagerly push technological advancements, the necessity for individuals to acquire new skills is critical to successful transformations. Creating a satisfactory experience for employees is also critical to retaining top talent.

The takeaway: Lifelong learning is important to creating happiness for employees, reducing turnover for employers, and enacting growth for all.

Benefits of Lifelong Learning

They say rising tides lift all boats—an aphorism particularly applicable to a culture of lifelong learning. A work culture that champions learning is advantageous to employees and employers and, in turn, customers.

For employees, lifelong learning helps people to stay connected, inspired, and fulfilled. And with a happier, more skilled, and more engaged workforce, employers are in a better position to innovate. Customers get the benefit of the most up-to-date products and services and delivery on expectations as a result.

Benefits of a culture of lifelong learning for employees:

  • Addition of new skills and qualifications
  • Increase in transferable skills
  • Increased opportunities to earn more money
  • Mental stimulation increases job satisfaction
  • Recognition of personal interests and goals
  • Improved confidence

Benefits of a culture of lifelong learning for organizations:

  • Increased innovation
  • More skilled workforce
  • Fewer skills gaps
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Higher employee retention/less turnover
  • Workplaces are often recognized for being amongst the best to work

Lifelong Learning and Digital Transformation

The connection: These two concepts are closely tied because digital transformation is much more successful when backed by a culture of lifelong learning.

Digital transformation, also referred to as DX, is the adoption of new digital technologies to improve business processes and customer experiences. To make effective use of new technologies and keep pace with innovation, employees must continually develop new aptitudes. Developing and retaining these new skills is more likely in a culture of lifelong learning as the knowledge workers are already motivated to acquire knowledge. And with the momentum, employees will continue to devour new technology initiatives and be true catalysts for DX success.

Risks of Not Continually Learning

By not working towards a culture of lifelong learning, organizations put their short-term initiatives and long-term goals at risk.

Consequences of not building a culture of lifelong learning include:

  • Plateaued self-confidence as no new goals are being reached
  • Stunted growth both personally and professionally
  • Less preparedness for upward mobility
  • Lack of creativity in the workplace
  • Fewer informed decisions lead to more errors
  • Digital transformation is much more difficult to achieve

7 Ways to Build a Culture of Lifelong Learning

While lifelong learning is a self-determined initiative, employers can still take steps to create a culture that enables it. Ways to build a culture of lifelong learning include:

  1. Incentivizing training with certificates and professional development; allowing for choice of corporate training topics
  2. Offering diverse opportunities to learn including online learning platforms, subscriptions, and lunch and learning sessions with guest speakers
  3. Promoting the benefits of learning at the managerial and corporate levels
  4. Making training relevant; Leadership needs to act as role models and “buy-in”
  5. Having a library of learning resources readily available to employees
  6. Creating mentorship opportunities for employees
  7. Encouraging collaboration for peer-to-peer learning

Lifelong Learning for Lasting Impact

Lifelong learners exhibit their desires to continually develop and grow on both a personal and professional level. Building a culture of lifelong learning within a team organization strengthens morale, prepares employees for future leadership positions, sharpens skills, and increases employee retention.

The diversity and complexity of workplaces and distributed teams further displays the importance of retention and potential cost savings for organizations. Employee growth continues to be a motivating factor behind job satisfaction. If your organization hasn’t instituted a culture of lifelong learning, it’s never too late! A lifetime still starts with day 1.

To learn more about digital transformation strategies, be sure to check out Apexon’s Digital Strategy services, or get in touch directly below.

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