When someone’s pursuit of knowledge is “ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated”, it can be called lifelong learning. Lifelong learning takes a holistic approach to education and development, actively encouraging people to learn throughout their entire lives while enhancing their human potential as a whole. Lifelong learning is different from continuing education of job-based skills development: it has a broader scope and more creative outlets, such as online tools and courses.
There are many benefits to lifelong learning, including a better understanding of the world around us and the ability to find better opportunities for ourselves. According to educational researcher Cassandra Whyte, “lifelong learners tend to find higher-paying occupations and leave monetary, cultural and entrepreneurial impressions on communities”. When you bring a lifelong learning mindset to the workplace, it will have a positive impact on employee retention (job satisfaction, motivation), as well as creativity, productivity, problem-solving skills (fostering innovation and competitiveness), diversity and inclusion.
What can you do to encourage your employees to become lifelong learners?
Highlight the benefits
Explain the value of learning, whether it is in a professional or in a personal context. Focus on the benefits and provide clear examples.
Be a role model
If you are a lifelong learner yourself, there is no better way to walk the talk. You can also recognize learning as an achievement and offer rewards for learning activities completed, even if they are not related to people’s jobs: this shows you value learning, and they should too.
Offer training and development opportunities within your company
Having an online training academy is a great way to offer a development hub your people will be drawn to. Make it easy to use and available 24/7 and stock it with great learning opportunities (with both corporate training and more personal, life-skills courses, such as healthy eating, wellness, yoga…). A simple and beautiful platform, customised according to your company’s visual scheme, will make it easier (and more inexpensive!) for you to keep, manage and update all of your training materials.
Make your corporate training relevant
Don’t forget to make your job-related training relevant to each function. Having a different roadmap for different functions, and creating small, modular units that can be sliced and diced according to individual needs works better than forcing people to go through a ton of content when not all of it matters to their specific role. Additionally, give people the freedom to choose their own topics. Besides the compulsory training they’ll need to go through in order to do their jobs, allow them to choose what they want to learn and suggest additional topics for the future.
Offer diverse learning opportunities
There are plenty of things you can do to create more opportunities for learning. You can offer subscriptions to online learning hubs (Masterclass, Lynda, Skillshare, HBR); encourage people to share different learning platforms; foster and feed course discussions; create a book club or a book lending programme; or have a monthly “lunch and learn”, where you invite experts (or staff members, leveraging the power of peer-based learning) to present on a certain topic.
Implement a learning culture
All of the tips above should make up for what we call a learning culture: one where learning is an integral (and enjoyable!) part of working at your company.
We hope this article has inspired you to foster lifelong learning within your company. We are sure about its benefits and are looking forward to helping you boost a new energy across departments and functions, amplifying your impact and increasing your staff’s happiness levels. Are you ready to try bugle?
You may also find interesting:
How to implement a learning culture in your company (article)
12 Tips to choose the right training platform (article)
Free tools for low cost professional looking video production (article)
How to get your team onboard with training without making it mandatory (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you with developing a learning culture in your company? Let's talk.