The term continuous learning and development is used to describe the process of acquiring and improving your knowledge and skills regularly. Courses in professional development, internships, and apprenticeships are all examples of this type of training.
Many of the skills you acquire through continuous learning and development will be useful in other contexts, whether we are talking about obtaining vital leadership, communication, and collaboration skills, through enrolling in the Managing Happiness program, or through training in more concrete matters, such as mastering a new piece of software or improving a certain technique.
By learning new skills, you can improve your chances of getting a promotion or landing a new job. Investing in yourself by continually expanding your knowledge and skillset can help you get where you want to go in your career.
Formal vs. Informal Workplace Learning and Development
The majority of employees and workplaces take part in both formal and informal learning and development opportunities. Due to its flexibility and lack of prerequisites, informal learning is by far the most popular method of education. Experienced workers who want to hone their skills, learn by doing, or learn from colleagues by working alongside them will benefit greatly from informal learning opportunities.
Unlike formal learning, informal learning is never or rarely standardized or evaluated. In fact, it’s usually something that happens so naturally that you might not even notice it.
Lunchtime conversations with coworkers about preferred methods of using various software programs, inquiries into specific tasks performed by coworkers, and newspaper articles on work-related topics are all examples of workplace learning and development opportunities. And this still counts as professional development even if it’s not formally offered or even recognized by management.
The leadership of a company or organization is more likely to establish formal training as a norm. A common feature of formal learning and development is the use of a variety of learning methods to impart knowledge and an assessment at the end to determine how much was learned by participants and whether the objectives of the training were met.
Benefits of Formal Workplace Learning and Development Activities
Organizations can benefit from continuous training to thrive in today’s dynamic and increasingly competitive business landscape. Investing in employees’ growth through workplace learning and development is beneficial both for the individuals involved and the organization.
From an employee’s perspective, it can help them grow professionally and personally. From a manager’s perspective, on the other hand, investing in their employees’ growth can be a great tactic for boosting productivity, morale, job satisfaction, and so on. As a result, they will improve the company’s performance and ultimately increase their profit.
1. It Improves Employee Performance
Better job performance is one of the many benefits of learning and development. Accompanied by newfound knowledge and competence gained through training that clarifies an employee’s role in the workplace and how best to carry it out, employees are likely to find their confidence. And, if they improve their abilities and self-assurance, they’ll certainly be able to do a better job.
Having more highly skilled and productive employees is a major perk of fostering a culture of learning in the workplace. A well-trained workforce not only produces better results for the company as a whole, but also increases productivity, promotes safety in the workplace, and serves as an example to other employees. Productivity and efficiency typically rise after receiving proper job training.
2. It Boosts Job Satisfaction
In organizations where employees can learn continuously, everyone has a firm grasp of the fundamentals of their position and is made aware of the company’s genuine interest in their development as a whole.
Job satisfaction is infinitely important for companies, and providing learning and development opportunities is a great way to boost it. Employees are often motivated by the possibility to advance in the workplace. Workplace learning and development activities can also be a source of personal challenges.
Overall, this has the potential to boost morale and make work more enjoyable. And since happiness boosts productivity, job satisfaction has a direct impact on how long they stay with a company. This also has a positive financial impact because it reduces the need to hire and train new workers.
3. It Enhances Certain Skills
No matter how experienced or educated an employee may be, there is always room for growth in one or several areas of their job. Through some learning and development activities employees can take their skills to the next level, or can help them develop new skills necessary to better perform their tasks. If team members can count on each other to get the simple things done, the overall team productivity will improve.
Even though you can improve your abilities in any setting, the workplace is a particularly useful environment in which to learn and grow professionally. Learning and developing new abilities can be accomplished in various ways, some of which are initiated by the employer while others are taken up by the employee. While some forms of training do involve formal, classroom-based instruction, others do not.