Many employers want to focus more on how they can retain and keep their employees engaged in the coming years, but they don’t focus enough on how they can keep their employees continually learning, which is becoming concerning. Why?
Seventy-three percent of adults currently consider themselves lifelong learners, according to Pew Research. Additionally, one-third (33%) of Korn Ferry survey respondents said that they wanted a new job because they were “bored” at work and needed a “new challenge.”
Also, 94% of respondents to a 2018 LinkedIn survey agreed that they would be less likely to leave a company that offered them more development and learning opportunities. This is important because, due to digital innovation rapidly changing different industries and influencing everything, the essential skills employees acquire now only last around 5 years on average.
Keeping those statistics, studies, and information in mind, here’s more about why you should want your employees to be lifelong learners.
You’ll Increase Your Organization’s Employee Engagement Rates
Research shows that learning is the cure for boredom and increases levels of engagement. When you encourage your employees to continually learn new things while at work, they will be far less likely to become disengaged.
Continual learning will increase the engagement employees have with their everyday responsibilities and their time at your organization long term.
You’ll Decrease Your Organization’s Employee Attrition Rates
If your employees are bored at your organization, they are more likely to leave for better job offers elsewhere that will offer them learning and growth opportunities.
Employees will also leave your organization to pursue opportunities to learn new skills so they can be efficient at their jobs and in their fields if your organization doesn’t encourage lifelong and continual learning, as most skills don’t last long and are constantly changing.
You’ll Amplify Your Organization’s Overall Competitiveness
According to Oracle, organizations that have an effective learning culture or that encourage their employees to be lifelong learners are more competitive and successful, as they:
- Are 32% more likely to be first to market and are 17% more likely to be market share leaders,
- Experience 37% greater employee productivity,
- Have a 34% better response to customer needs,
- Have a 26% greater ability to deliver quality products, and
- Are 58% more likely to have skills to meet future demand.
The bottom line is that ensuring your employees are lifelong learners is a win for everyone. Lifelong learning benefits your employees, your organization, and your organization’s entire industry, as well as its customers and consumers.
Now that you understand the importance of having lifelong learners working at your organization, here are five tips for how you can encourage your employees to be lifelong learners.
1. Implement a Learning Culture
If you implement a learning culture at your organization, your employees will become more invested in their own learning and contribute to the learning of their colleagues. Such an environment is ideal and necessary for lifelong learners, and as a result, your employees will become more engaged and innovative.
2. Provide Social Learning Options
To increase your employees’ engagement in learning, allow them to participate in social learning experiences whereby they can interact with and learn from one another. Social learning experiences will not only increase their levels of engagement with learning and their desires to be lifelong learners but also increase collaboration and innovation. They’re also usually flexible, convenient, and cost-effective to implement.
3. Boost Transparent Communications
If your employees are to engage in successful social learning experiences, learn from one another, and cultivate a learning culture at your organization, then transparent communications, as well as a transparent company culture, are necessary. Transparent communications allow employees to build trust with and learn from one another freely and enable them to ease their learning and communication anxieties.
4. Allow Employees to Be More Autonomous and Proactive
Currently, 73% of adults consider themselves lifelong learners, according to Pew Research. And most adults pursue their own paths in continual learning. So, if you allow your employees to be more proactive, they will most likely seek out their own learning experiences.
As a bonus, proactive employees are also happier, more productive, more innovative, better at solving problems, highly accountable, and effective communicators.
5. Pair Employees with Mentors or Coaches
Employees can learn from master mentors while on the job, encouraging them to be lifelong learners. And Millennials—who now make up the bulk of the workforce—want high-quality mentors because they value learning in the workplace. Additionally, career mentors on the job help employees learn faster and excel in their careers long term.
If you want to encourage your employees to be lifelong learners, then be sure to follow the tips highlighted above.