Lifelong Learning: there is no turning back

There was a time when people trained for one particular occupation and stayed in it for many years. Sometimes until they retire! They were valued precisely for the experience gained after so long doing the same thing.

That has changed completely since we entered the digital age, and now we need to be always ready to learn something new, almost every day. You have certainly heard of the term lifelong learning, a widely used concept that has become a watchword in today's world, dictating how we keep pace with change and stay current and competitive. Therefore, the habit of learning new things should be part of everyone's routine. There is no turning back.

But how important is this concept in the job market? Well, the answer is that just mastering one single occupation is no longer enough. First because most of the activities or functions performed today will be completely different within a few years, either due to the influence of technology or due to changes in consumer behavior (i.e. new generations, new demands, etc.).

Second, companies are seeking professionals who can develop additional skills that go far beyond knowledge of one particular profession. A good engineer, for example, must be also good at interpersonal relationships. An accountant needs to develop skills in written, verbal and nonverbal communication. IT analysts have to demonstrate a lot of empathy and the ability to work in teams. And so on. Not to mention skills such as creativity, innovation, conflict resolution, negotiation, among many others.


Lifelong learning inside companies

As much as the individual is responsible for his/her own development, companies still have to play their part by contributing to a culture change in teams that mostly follow the traditional learning model of schools. That is why many of these professionals have a hard time adapting so quickly to new times (even if they must do it), and a good corporate education program is the way to help them in the workplace.

Besides, the more employees are prepared to absorb new knowledge and put it into action immediately, the more likely companies are to survive in the face of market transformations.

Here are some examples of actions which companies may take to promote continuous learning for teams and ensure their competitiveness in the marketplace:

  • Maintain an up-to-date corporate education program with a clear purpose.
  • Encourage participation in training, workshops and lectures, inside and outside the company.
  • Promote reading. It ranges from the creation of a small staff library to reading groups or even short discussions about internally distributed texts.
  • Value internal facilitators, with actions to constantly develop and train new ones. Remember: the best way to learn is to teach!
  • Promote feedback practice by prioritizing dialogue with employees about their performance and goals in the company.
  • Support self-learning initiatives and proactivity in individual development.

>> Educating companies

If you or your business needs to get a foothold in professional development, contact Ana Hengist by clicking here to schedule a conversation.