Fostering a culture of learning in your workplace can accelerate your business's growth potential. Discover how you can implement continuous learning practices into your business to improve engagement, increase productivity, and position yourself and your employees for success.

The most successful business people never stop learning. They are curious, interested, and always looking to develop their skills and knowledge further. As a busy business owner, it can be challenging to find ways to incorporate continuous learning into you and your team’s schedule. However, committing to ongoing learning can help keep you and your team at the top of your game.

In addition to improving your company’s performance, continual learning opportunities can boost employee engagement and ensure that employees feel valued and continue working hard for your business. Implementing ongoing learning doesn’t have to compromise your regular work duties. There are plenty of ways to learn while amplifying employee engagement and enthusiasm. Consider these five ways to build learning into your business culture.

Join the club.

One method to increase employee engagement is to launch a monthly learning club, in which staff members participate in individual activities and meet to discuss them. This can be in the form of a book club or a podcast club, where members either read a book or listen to a specific podcast on their own, and gather to discuss it together. In a similar vein, you could start a research group, in which members research an assigned topic and bring articles to the discussion.

If a monthly learning club sounds like a culture fit for your company, start by introducing the first book, podcast, or topic. You can even and consider buying all club members lunch for the first meeting. For subsequent months, ask group members to make topic suggestions in order to expand your thinking and improve your professional lives.

Go digital.

Online learning is easy to integrate into your day because it can be available anytime and anywhere. There is a wide variety of accessible online learning opportunities, such as webcasts, free online courses, podcasts, and learning apps.

For instance, LinkedIn Learning offers video courses taught by experts on a wide range of business, technology, and creative topics. With a premium LinkedIn subscription, your employees can select their classes, and managers can recommend specific courses. You can also use the site’s analytics tools to keep track of employees’ progress, as well as the topics that other industry experts are studying.

You can also join an online learning portal specific to your industry. For instance, tech professionals might choose Treehouse, an online technology school that offers courses in web design, web development, and mobile development. If you’re not sure where to start, your industry’s professional association likely offers online training, or they can recommend a good option for your line of work.

Find a group. 

Small business owners and their staff can broaden their perspectives and stimulate fresh thinking by joining alliances with other like-minded business people and connecting with them regularly. 

One way to do this is to join or create a mastermind group—a group of peers who help each other solve problems and mentor one another—with other small business owners or small business employees.  If you can’t find an existing mastermind group that works for you and your staff, consider starting your own. Online resources such as The Success Alliance can show you how.

Take a field trip.

Sometimes getting a fresh perspective can be both informative and rejuvenating. So look for opportunities to get your team out of the workplace for educational trips. For instance, take your team to visit vendors, customers, or other successful businesses to see firsthand what’s working well. Don’t just show up and look around; talk to your hosts in advance and develop a few essential objectives that you and your team can especially learn from the visit.

In addition to visiting other businesses, you can set aside a budget for team members to attend conferences and other learning events. You might even consider requiring staffers who participate in off-site events to present their learnings to the rest of your staff.

Bring learning to work.

The traditional classroom style of learning still works, and you can recreate it at your workplace. Bring experts into the office to deliver sessions on relevant topics of interest, such as a speaker to discuss financial wellness or a thought leader to share updates about your industry.

By taking the initiative to integrate continual learning into your workday and workplace culture, you can improve productivity and skills, as well as boost employee morale and loyalty. There are a wide variety of creative, interesting, and engaging ways to build continuous learning into your business. Take steps to start learning—and encourage your workforce to do the same—today. 

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