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Developing a Culture of Lifelong Learning in the Workplace

There was a time when it was sufficient to graduate from high school, trade school or
college and be done with it. After school you settled into your career and that
was that. Any additional learning was done on the job, and careers often went
years with only minor changes. That time has passed, however, and today the
trend is toward lifetime learning. Changes in technology, communication and the
increasingly competitive job market has made continuing education and training
a must.

 Developing a Culture of Lifelong Learning in the Workplace

The case for lifelong learning

Aside from the advantages of academic learning, many people also view lifelong
learning as anything that provides enrichment and self-development. While not
always tied to a specific job skill, these types of learning can still make you
an attractive candidate, as well as improve your overall quality of life. Some
examples of this:

•  Learning a foreign language

•  Attending a course in social media

• Communication and public speaking
classes

•  Find an online degree program that
resonates with your interests

The benefits of lifelong learning in the workplace are many. Competition in today’s
business world is fierce, and those who do not update their skills are often
left behind. The recent recession has only served to increase this competition.
Whether you are updating skills, obtaining a degree or learning new skills in
preparation for a career switch, continued education will give you an edge.

Education in the workplace

For employers, encouraging an atmosphere that promotes lifelong learning benefits
them as well. Corporations frequently lose business to other countries due to
educational deficits in their workforce. It has become increasingly common for
employers to partner with educational institutions to develop training
curriculum specific to their employees.

Employers
who embrace a workplace culture of lifelong learning can be assured that they
will have available talent with relevant, up to date skills. There are many
ways that employers can encourage continued learning and training among their
employees.

• Offering specialized training
programs within the company.

• Offering incentives for employees who
seek continued education.

• Offering flexible schedules for
employees who enroll in classes.

• Providing financial aid or other
assistance.

The skills needed to succeed in today’s business go beyond technology and
job-specific training. Cultural competency, social intelligence and
collaboration are more important than ever. These skills are can be acquired
through seminars, online courses and training brought in to the workplace.

Employers
who embrace a culture of lifelong learning in their workplace are investing in
themselves as well as their employees.


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