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Encourage Your Employees to Learn

Your employees may need a specific training, but is it best to just sign them up for a training that teaches them that specific skill? 

Your employees may need a specific training, but is it best to just sign them up for a training that teaches them that specific skill? Perhaps not, according to Mary Frenson at EdSurge News. Corporate learning programs can benefit by encouraging learners to look for – and take advantage of – training outside the organization.

Many learners are already aware of the particular skills they need to develop, and they are ready to jump at the chance to learn them. They may have already identified ways they can learn on their own. If your organization encourages employees to learn, they will be more likely to want to seek out their own trainings. This speaks to their need for autonomy in their learning, their ability to choose what they want to learn, when they want to learn, and how they want to learn it.

Many types of training groups are presented in ways that address the needs of learners who prefer to learn in different ways. For example, some would prefer to sit in a class over a weekend to get the skills they need. On the other hand, some learners want to learn through short byte-sized videos in an online or mobile application that they can access any time, any place. The point is for your employees to have control over their learning, to be able to make their own decisions about the logistical and content-related details of their trainings.

Although it is not always possible to give employees free reign when it comes to choosing their own trainings, it is possible to give them choices about their trainings. If there are specific skills that they need to learn, let them choose which they want to focus on first, next, and so on, whenever possible.

Look around for different trainings that cover the same material. While you may need to send employees to in-house trainings for some topics, you can encourage them to seek out other options or to give a few choices of training providers and lesson delivery format for other trainings.

Employees typically want to learn, and one way to encourage them to continue doing that is to provide them with choices in how and when their trainings occur. Let them select the content, delivery method, and timing, when possible. Also, try to find ways to encourage them to pursue knowledge in an area they are interested in outside of work to demonstrate your commitment to knowledge for its own sake. For example, your organization might let workers take off a day to attend a training, class, retreat, seminar, or other learning of their choice. They could then come back to work and share what they learned with their co-workers if they would like. 

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Stories by Kelly Wilson