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The Learning Curve Is The Earning Curve

Posted by Mathew French

7 February 2017

According to Bersin, providing Employees the opportunity for learning and development in the workplace has become a paramount attractor in the job market, particularly given the number of Millennials in the workforce and their focus on just that. It has been posited that today's youth will potentially have 70+ year careers, and they understand that their ability to grow, learn and progress is perhaps the most important driver of their future earnings potential and job satisfaction. Companies that focus their culture on career growth and learning, outperform their peers in innovation, long term growth, and employee retention.

Learning Is One Of The Top Ten HR Trends For 2017

In case you missed 'Which HR Trends Matter To Your Business in 2017,' learning is one of the top 10 most important trends for HR in 2017 and beyond. Deloitte's annual Human Capital Trends report for 2016 illustrates the fact that 'learning departments are changing from education providers to content curators and experience facilitators, developing innovative platforms that turn employee learning and development into a self-driven pursuit.'

Given that the issue of 'learning' in the workplace is becoming more important every day, what does leadership and HR need to consider when considering how to structure learning and development?

Learning and Development Are Major Enablers: Learning Curve As Earning Curve

Education and skills are perhaps the biggest driver of an individual's own personal earnings potential throughout their career, so organisations that offer training, lots of developmental assignments, and a coaching culture, are now the premium places to work. As more and more robotics and artificial intelligence enter the workforce, Bersin's learning research indicates that for individuals, the 'learning curve is the earning curve.' However, this will eventually extend even further and as work evolves, it will be an individual's ability to continuously reinvent themselves that forms the very foundation of their potential to adapt in a changing world and be skilled-up for success. That means that Employees of every persuasion will be looking to their Employers to provide the kind of work environment that makes continuous learning and reinvention possible.

As an HR or business leader, you are responsible for finding ways to provide your Employees with relevant, real-time learning opportunities at the same time as providing a platform for the continuous reinvention of your organisation. The capacity to do this in an agile manner, including the technology and operational agility to pivot in real-time, will require emotional resilience in your teams and the adaptibility to willingly upskill at the same pace.

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As you can see from Bersin's high impact learning culture model above; the seven elements of a robust learning culture are not insignificant challenges for an organisation to meet:

  • Building trust,
  • Encouraging reflection,
  • Demonstrating the value of learning,
  • Enabling knowledge sharing,
  • Empowering employees,
  • Formalising learning.

Embedding such strategies within your business has the potential to shift the needle on multiple business outcomes in a positive direction. However, setting up such a culture in the workplace also requires dedciated effort and robust revision.

Enable and Empower Your Employees By Building A Culture Of Learning

There are many quick wins your organisation can put in place to enhance the ways in which your Employees can learn on the job. Lay the foundation for a learning culture in your business by enabling your Employees:

  • To take both personal and work related developmental and stretch assignments,
  • By giving them an ample variety of project-based work,
  • By rewarding Managers for coaching and development within their teams, not just just for execution.

Make no mistake, quick wins are definitely a good place to start, but they are by no means the full picture. Transforming your culture into one in which learning is an intrinsic part of your everyday reality, will take time and effort.

If you’re a team leader, executive, or HR professional, take the opportunity to pause and reflect on these findings and where you’re spending your time and energyas the year opens. A focus on culture, development, and learning can provide benefits to your organisation and your Employees in ways and means you possibly haven't even considered yet.

If you're interested in uncovering how you can build a learning culture in your organisation, we suggest that you take look at Bersin by Deloitte's High-Impact Learning Culture for more on this research.

Image Credit: Bersin's High Impact Learning Culture

Topics: HR trends, Employee Retention, Human Capital Trends, The learning curve is the earning curve, Cloud e-Learning, LMS, self-developing, deloitte, artificial intelligence, Bersin's learning research, Josh Bersin

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