When people think of their jobs, learning at work isn’t usually the first thing that springs to mind – for some, their days of learning feel long gone, but learning at work can become a really enjoyable part of your role.
The subject of learning might not always evoke feelings of excitement and people often wonder how they can fit it in to an already busy day but that’s an important point to start with. We can get so caught up in the day to day tasks that we overlook (often for long periods) the importance of updating our skills and working on our professional and self-development.
Choosing a topic or subject of interest can keep things interesting at work. While we are working on something that grabs our attention we are also working on our wellbeing – learning something you have been interested in for a while or researching a subject you have always wondered about can be a part of our self-care too.
It’s not just employees who can benefit from learning at work, but employers and organisations should see learning in the work place as a vital part of staff development and an essential part of business growth.
Learning at work encourages positive working relationships and great opportunities to network as well as a brilliant opportunity to get some new ideas going, boost morale, foster collaborative working and sharing knowledge.
There are so many options when it comes to learning at work. It can be formal or informal, it can be related to work or not, you could bring somebody in to do a talk/ seminar or it can be an in-house training session. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of time. In fact, there is something for everyone.
If learning at work hasn’t been the focus for a while, or you just want to introduce some new activities, Learning at Work Week is a brilliant opportunity to arrange a planning meeting and get your thinking caps on. This is always the perfect excuse for a brew and some cake (if you need one) and a good time to get to know some of your colleagues a bit better – who knows what hidden skills, knowledge or talents they have that they could share?
Here at PAPYRUS, we are always learning – we are a diverse group with a wide skill set and we are a generous bunch, so not only are we given different training opportunities but we are asked if there is anything we would like to do or develop. We also share knowledge and deliver in house training to each other. In fact, we can fully recommend this style of learning!
Each year there is a different theme for Learning at Work Week and this year’s theme is ‘Shaping the Future’. The theme invites you to look at how you can shape your own future and that of your organisation – how can you introduce new ways of learning? What would your team benefit from? It’s a great way to hear some new ideas and identify where there is room for improvement or gaps in training.
Some of the benefits of organising an event for Learning at Work Week:
Changing attitudes to learning and work
Stimulate ideas, feedback and perspectives
An increase in motivation, productivity and morale
Greater awareness of opportunities to learn
Increased knowledge and understanding of the opportunities for learning and development all year round
Increase the take-up of learning and development opportunities
Bring employees from different parts of your organisation together or partner organisations in to share knowledge
Greater employee engagement with learning
Discover and recognise internal talent
Not only can your organisation can benefit from your new found skills and knowledge but also from improved productivity, better profitability, higher rates of staff retention and it makes for a better place to work all round (in turn reducing staff turnover, recruitment expenses and a reduction in absenteeism).
So, what’s in it for you? Here are just a few of the advantages of learning at work:
You can choose a topic that you are really interested in
Improved confidence and motivation
You can fit learning around your work – short training sessions are ideal for this
It is relevant to you and your organisation
The learning is relevant to your current work
Work based learning programmes can be studied part-time, in the workplace and often through distance learning
Meet new work challenges
Meet needs of employers
Learn new qualifications and skills
Fit in and round work – earn as you learn!
No need to move out of home area to study
Improved wellbeing and self care
A good start is to learn what your colleagues would like to learn. Or your first job could be to deliver a presentation on the benefits of learning at work.
The benefits for everyone are clear so what’s not to love about Learning at Work Week?