It is a promise we made before: “We will offer additional tools to make it even easier to make continuous learning truly successful”. These six practical steps are a tool to successfully promote and implement continuous learning.
Step 1: Sell the interest internally
HR Consultancy must be part of the culture of the organization. Not something you only discuss during PDP and performance interviews, as traditionally still often happens.
You will therefore have to put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues and understand why it is important for them to release more (IT) training budget. HR managers will be sensitive to attracting the very best top talent.
Board members will want to hear that greater opportunities arise with new customers if their own organization has top talents with up-to-date knowledge and skills. Simple as it may seem, but speak the language of the person in front of you. That's a good start.
Step 2: Get commitment to the higher purpose
Before you even think about training, education or other forms of knowledge acquisition, it is wise to take a rest and stop. Take enough time to determine, together with management, where the organization wants to be in the short term and what the main challenges are.
Perhaps the challenge is that insufficient use is made of the available data, or that people are unable to innovate faster than the competition. In summary, make sure that the knowledge supply is in line with the strategic goals of the organization and keep in mind that a short-term approach is important because the world around us is changing faster than ever.
Step 3: Determine good training indicators
HR Consultancy aims to be permanently up-to-date and your be able to adjust more quickly to everything that happens around us in the field of IT. But what exactly are you going to measure to demonstrate progress?
In any case, it must be measurable, achievable and communicable. For example, the percentage of team members who completed a training, the time in which this happened and the amount of money it cost. But it is especially good to measure on a human indicator, by asking how a study program is assessed. Then the progression can be measured over time.
Is there a negative or positive trend line with regard to continuous learning? With this type of information you can continuously learn to monitor, provide insight and get it to an increasingly higher level.
Step 4: Get balanced attention
We want to advise organizations that want continuous learning to be truly embedded in the organization to also ensure a good balance in the training offer between the different team members.
If you want an IT team to flourish, every team member should be given opportunities. Talk to everyone individually, understand their ambitions and research where everyone's core qualities lie. The main thing is to prevent team members from feeling that other colleagues are favored. Balanced attention in knowledge development ensures further growth within the whole team.
By finding the right mix, team members strengthen each other. Certainly if certain knowledge acquired in terms of content is shared with each other. Because, unfortunately, it is still the case that there are teams that are not well aware of each other's core qualities. And this is exactly what matters if you want to build strong knowledge teams.
Step 5: Clarify the added value for the participants
It is something the acclaimed psychologist Abraham Maslow already knew. On the second step of his famous pyramid on motivation theory it says “Safety and security”. If you want to implement continuous learning well, extra attention is needed to make it clear to employees what their extra time investment will bring for them personally. If you don't do this, you will probably get employees who ‘were sent to the course because the rest went too'.
It does not hurt at all to positively indicate that continuous learning contributes to personal growth, an imminent promotion, but above all to being able to help internal and external customers even better with fewer additional problems.
It makes your own work more enjoyable and professional. If you can clearly clarify the added value, you will get employees who have not ticked off the course as a ‘to-do task', but who really start working differently because they understand the usefulness and will also act on it.
In summary, without accepted added value, no change.
Step 6: Measure and communicate the results
Perhaps this is the most inspiring step, but it is the one that is sometimes forgotten to clarify. Because, what happened after the training? For example, has a new customer been brought in? Which problem could we solve much faster and better? Has it led to better mutual cooperation? Besides discussing the results on the training indicators, nothing is more fun and interesting than sharing the successes with each other. And, it is also the ideal means to continuously receive budget and attention.
Continuity of knowledge development increasingly provides a competitive advantage. Investments in knowledge development are certainly not a cost item in IT, but often provide direct demonstrable benefits. If you want to attract and retain highly qualified IT professionals in the current shortage on the labor market, continuous knowledge development is an indispensable employment condition.
If you have any questions or additional suggestions to raise awareness of continuous learning even better, we are always recommended.