Professional development benefits both the employee and the employer. The worker is able to advance their skills and improve their knowledge, allowing them to bring a more robust skill set into the workplace. The company then gains access to a more skilled team member, enabling productivity improvements and bringing innovative ideas to the table.
Often, companies need to provide learning opportunities if they want their workforce to embrace professional development as part of the company’s culture. Here are three ways to get started.
1. Experiential Learning
Many professionals prefer to learn by doing rather than listening. When you embrace experiential learning, you create opportunities for them to do just that.
Various forms of on-the-job training qualify as experiential learning. Often, this approach focuses on day-to-day activities that can allow them to grow as professionals. Cross-training opportunities can fall into this category. Upskilling ventures may also qualify, depending on whether the employee is able to be an active participant along the way.
Providing your staff with the decision to choose what type of learning helps them get the most out of this experience. By allowing them to make certain decisions, you enable them to experience the results of their choices, both positive and negative, which may make them more effective in the future.
Often, experiential learning is highly engaging by nature. After all, the worker is taking part in the process personally and isn’t just a bystander receiving instruction.
2. Social Learning
Social learning is typically similar to coaching. Usually, an employee is connected to a peer, mentor, coach or leader within the organization, with that person taking an active role in their growth.
Often, a mentorship program is a classic option for facilitating social learning. A less-skilled worker is paired with a seasoned professional who can guide them through processes, impart knowledge or assist them in crafting a career plan.
Coaching sessions are often used when acquiring a specific skill is the goal. These arrangements tend to be short-term, particularly when compared to mentorships, and highly focused on a primary objective. Learning typically occurs as part of a knowledge exchange as the coach provides clear guidance to help the employee improve.
Social learning is also a more engaged approach to learning as it commonly involves a significant amount of back-and-forth conversation. Since the worker has to actively participate, the experience tends to capture their attention.
3. Formal Education
At times, formal education is the ideal approach for learning a particular skill or increasing knowledge, especially when a gap exists in your current staff. While classroom learning is often the first option that springs to mind, there are more options available.
Online learning can be an incredibly flexible form of formal education, especially if there aren’t strict deadlines for completion. Seminars and lectures may embrace a classroom-style delivery mechanism but, since they tend to be shorter than many classes, they don’t require the same amount of time commitment.
All of the methods above can help encourage your team to keep learning. If you would like to know more, the professionals at smRTpass can help. Contact us to discuss your company’s goals with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.