Say what? No time to learn?
That’s like saying you don’t want to be up to speed with what’s happening in your industry, profession or even your customer market – the same one you’re servicing but I get it. Work is busy. People are busy. You’re busy.
When your priority is to get through emails, attend back-to-back meetings or finish that PowerPoint presentation that your boss asked you for the umpteenth time, making the time to switch your brain from ‘busy mode’ to ‘learning mode’ seems daunting.
Instead, we think about the work that we will need to catch up on and instead, put our learning off for another day. However, if we don’t make time for learning at our work every day, it means that you are behind your peers, competitors, customers and your market – and that is an easy position to get into when the world is constantly changing.
So what do you do if deep down, YOU understand this but others in your work team might not? How can you encourage your business team to consider ways of learning from each other and with each other at work?
Integrate Learning into Their Daily Work
If you’re a manager who would like to build the capabilities of your team so that they are up to speed with the latest developments in your business or industry, then stop looking at external training courses as the only solution to any learning needs.
By the time you find the right training course that fits your needs and your budget, it’s likely that the information in it will have been made redundant with the pace of change being the way it is.
Instead, look closer to home. Look at your own workplace and in particularly, the actual tasks or activities your team is doing within their job roles.
In our professional lives, one of the best opportunities to learn is through our job. After all, we spend many hours there every week so why not look to the workplace being the new “classroom” or learning environment.
An environment where everyone happens to be the teacher.
Taking this approach we look at every task, activity, event or interaction with someone in our jobs as an experience for connection, peer-learning and collaboration.
So think of work from a different perspective – one as gaining an experience to achieve a certain outcome or business performance:
- Your team is not attending a sales meeting – they’re gathering and brainstorming ideas to generate revenue for new business product ideas
- Your team is not attending a training workshop – they’re experiencing an opportunity to practice new skills to capture customer feedback from angry and hostile customers in a safe work environment so they can reduce the cost to your business in lost orders
- Your team is not wasting time adding reviews into the IT Help system on the intranet – they’re actually saving your company money by ensuring the processes outlined are current and correct thereby saving the company $49 per call to IT asking the same question
- Your team is not creating a PowerPoint presentation – they’re sharing the story of how your department saved your company $357 600 by altering the alignment of one of the shop floor machines that came from an idea that a team member saw on Snapchat by someone he follows who was using a similar machine to make drill parts
Learning does not mean that you have to remove yourself from the office and sit in a classroom and be lectured at by someone else.
Learning is “acquiring knowledge or skills through experience” and we have many different experiences at work every day.
In my next blog post, I’ll share some tips on how you can start with your work team to look at learning differently in your workplace.