With increasing competition in every existing industry today, organizations require employees that can interpret and continually develop a breadth of knowledge themselves. And with so much information available at their fingertips, it has become much easier for employees to learn by themselves. Owing to technology, things are changing at a pace like never before, and being skilled is just not enough in an employee. The future requires employees who can rapidly adapt to the changing times on their own. We need learners who are self-directed in their quest for learning. But such self-directed learners are hard to find. What if organizations could teach their employees to be self-directed learners? Actually they can, or at least encourage them to be. In this article, let us read how.
- Establish A Learning Culture In Your Organization
Employees spend the larger part of their day in the organization they work for. An organization that actually cares about learning will not just have regular employee development training, but will create a learning culture in the organization. A learning culture is where both learning and learners are valued. Give value to learning, and employees will be motivated to self-learn. Recognize and reward employees who have upskilled themselves on a remarkable scale. Others will be motivated to follow suit. Give the learners the freedom to learn wherever and whenever they want through mobile learning i.e. learning which can be accessed on their smartphones.
- Assess Their Current Level Of Self-Learning
In order to motivate employees to self-learn, organizations first need to understand their current level of self-learning. Do they self-learn often, or not at all? Create a self-learning assessment by writing down a skill or competency required by learners, and then asking them rating their level of self-learning in each skill or competency from 1 to 5. As you can see, honesty is required of employees for this assessment to work accurately. Unless learners cannot be honest with themselves, they are not ready to self-learn. An assessment will also help them understand which areas should they focus on.
- Set Goals For Them And Encourage Them To Do The Same
Give your employees learning goals to fulfill, and encourage them to set some learning goals for themselves. Give each employee a personalized roadmap of what they should strive to achieve based on where they lack. You could also provide them with external rewards such as promotions and compensation advances as mentioned before, but remember, there is no reward like self-satisfaction. If your employee believes that the learning goals are aligned with their personal goals, they’ll readily work hard to achieve those goals. So make sure that that they do.
- Offer As Many Learning Resources And Tools As You Can
This is important, especially in present day. Modern learners readily consume tons of information, provided you give them the resources to do so. Give them full access to all the courses available in your organization’s learning management system (LMS) and not just what you think is relevant to them. Give them the choice to learn whatever they want, and make sure that they can access it on their smartphones. In addition, provide them with physical learning materials like periodicalsand books as well as access to webinars.
- Help Them Understand Themselves
Each learner has a method of learning which suits them the best. For example, while some may prefer to learn through simple text, others may like infographics or videos as the best learning method. Give them the choice to choose how they would like to learn, and encourage them to try them all in order to determine what works best for them.
Inculcating self-learning in employees is a slow process, in fact, it is a skill in itself. Give learners time to develop the skill of self-learning, while offering them support and encouragement. Self-learning is something that is personal, and hence cannot be forced. Help your learners shed their dependence on the organization for learning, get them interested in learning new skills to fulfill their personal and professional goals, involve them more and more in the organization’s learning culture, and finally set them free to blossom. You’ll be surprised to see your employees take responsibility for their learning, direction and productivity soon.
CBLPro is an eLearning solutions provider that specializes in creating tailor-made or bespoke eLearning for corporate organizations using avant-garde eLearning technologies, strategies and methods. If you require our services, contact us @ www.cblpro.com.