Continuous Improvement & Learning For The New World Of Work

How To Make Continuous Improvement Count

Remember the old days when you learned a skill and then you could apply it at work from that point onwards? A skill remains valid for years, if not decades. Now you’d be lucky if something you learned a year ago is still valid today. Enter the new world of work. And continuous learning.

On many a company job description, you’ll see a “culture of continuous learning,” but what does that mean? And how does it help the business and its people?

What is Continuous Learning?

Learning through continuous improvement is a proactive approach to learning that involves regularly seeking out opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge and then taking action to make those improvements. It is a way of constantly seeking to become better at what you do rather than simply accepting the status quo.

And we all do it every day without even realizing it! How many times a day do you conduct a Google Search to help you learn something new? Probably at least 20 times a day!

Why Is Continuous Learning Important?

Continuous learning is important in organizations because it helps ensure that the business is constantly adapting to industry, market, and technology changes. This can help the organization stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant in a constantly evolving business landscape.

Continuous learning also helps to foster innovation and creativity, as employees are exposed to new ideas and perspectives that can inspire new products or services.

Additionally, continuous learning helps to improve employee skills and knowledge, which can increase efficiency and productivity within the organization. This can help drive growth and revenue for the business.

Overall, continuous learning is crucial for the success and growth of any entrepreneurial organization.

According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2021, Gen Z wants to learn their way up the career ladder—and smart companies are providing the runs. [1]

Though newcomers to the professional world—the oldest Gen-Zer today is just pushing 24—Gen Z is highly motivated to grow their careers, with 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement.

Learning Begins On Day One

From the moment a team member is onboarded, learning begins. The way an employee is onboarded impacts business growth.

From there, employees learn every day. Whether they learn in a standardized manner that impacts the organization positively or whether they make up information as they go depends on the quality of the information an organization provides.

Utilizing standard operating procedures (SOPs) as a guide for your learning will make a world of difference. These documents outline specific tasks or processes that need to be followed in a particular order, which can provide a clear structure for your learning.

This sounds really boring, but it doesn’t have to be.

Learning can be created in bite-sized chunks in mediums people love to consume, such as video and images.

Continuous Learning For Organizations

By constantly looking for ways to improve processes, systems, and products, a business can stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant in an ever-changing market. This can help drive long-term success and sustainability of the business.

Imagine you could harness your team members for continuous improvement.

You can! It’s simply about ensuring that team members have the ability to review and improve a process.

Here are some steps organizations can take to harness the power of continuous learning:

  1. Hold regular team sessions to reflect on best processes. You’ll be surprised how much team members have learned through Google or interacted with customers.
  2. Make team members Subject Matter Experts and allow them to review and contribute to existing processes.
  3. Give team members accountability for their area of ​​the business. Accountability is more likely to create a sense of ownership and incentivize learning.

Continuous Learning For Team Members

Here are some steps you can take to learn through continuous improvement as a team member:

  1. Identify areas for improvement. Take some time to think about the things you do regularly and consider where you might be able to improve. This could be anything from your technical skills to your communication skills to your ability to manage your time.
  2. Set goals. Once you have identified areas for improvement, set specific, measurable goals for yourself. These goals should be challenging but achievable and should help you focus on making specific improvements.
  3. Count informal learning. How many blogs do you read in a day? YouTube videos? These all count as a means of continuous learning.
  4. Seek out formal learning opportunities. There are many ways to learn new things and improve your skills, including online courses, workshops, and books. Identify learning opportunities that align with your goals, and commit to taking action to pursue them.

Continuous Learning Is Part Of Your Secret Sauce

The secret sauce in a business is typically a unique combination of strategies, processes, and techniques that contribute to the success and competitiveness of the business. This could include innovative marketing techniques, proprietary technology, effective leadership and management, or a strong brand reputation. The secret sauce is often difficult to replicate and is often seen as a key competitive advantage for a business.

You’ll be refining your secret sauce by harnessing the collective power of learning, skills, and knowledge in your business.

So, the question isn’t “Why is continuous learning important in your organization?”. The question is “Can you afford not to do it?”.

Reference:

[1] Why Skill And Career Advancement Are The Way To Gen-Z’s Heart

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