According to our recent Learning and Development survey, the biggest priority for L&D departments in 2018 is to assist their managers in helping their employees learn.
HR has long been a function that facilitates as well as drives personal development, but one of their main enemies is the frantic nature of modern business. Managers have so many competing priorities that they rarely have enough time to listen to them, let alone dedicate the time to do what they need to do.
Every now and again, learning strides forward can be made with a concerted internal PR effort, but for learning to be a habit, managers need to make it part of their daily routine.
As with any habit, the motivation has to come from within.
No matter how keen a manager is on supporting the development of their team, in order to make it a habit, their team has to first buy in to its benefits. They too have their own priorities and pressures, so for them to dedicate time to develop themselves, they have to believe that it will do them some good. You only keep up a fitness regime because you can see yourself losing weight and getting stronger – it is much the same with personal development at work.
We have all worked in teams where everything is disjointed, firefighting is common and people are unhappy with the chaotic nature of their existence. Everyone knows that something needs to change, but nothing changes.
The manager then takes everyone on a time management course and people get better at prioritising. He chairs a series of workshops on organizational effectiveness and people feel more in control. He talks to individuals about how they can improve their relationships and everyone seems more accommodating.
All of a sudden, people are noticing that training has an impact and before you know it, they are talking amongst themselves about what training they need next. This is what happens when learning becomes a habit – when people own the development of the wider team they can’t fail but contribute to better outcomes.
When training is a one-off event, it is easily dismissed as a “sticking plaster” measure. When continuous training leads to continuous improvement, why would it not endure?
In our work sourcing training for companies, we find that the majority of our clients come back for more. We get to know their needs over a period of time and it is rare that we will do a piece of work for a client and then never speak to them again. Training is something that evolves with the development of your, and if you make it a habit, then the potential for continued growth is genuinely limitless.
If you go to work with the expectation of learning something new about yourself and about those around you, your daily routine will never be routine.