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HR Trends

How Can Companies Improve Learning Agility?

eye 299 Published on 16 May. 2017
tag #Skill development #HR advice

The contemporary workplace culture is constantly evolving. With the introduction of new technology, company expansion plans and flexi-hours, the work environment is perpetually seeking new opportunities to grow. However, studies show that most employees struggle with these transition processes and are hesitant about riding the roller coaster of change.

It should come as no surprise therefore that learning agility has become a sought-after quality by recruiters, especially since only 15% of the population are strong agile learners. So what actually is learning agility? Learning agility refers to the characteristics which enable a person to readily adapt and quickly learn from their experiences. In other words, an agile learner has the ability to reflect on the experience, be self-aware of their actions and remain continuously motivated to learn new skills.

So, how can your company nurture and promote an employee’s ability to learn?

1. Encourage your employees to grow

According to a recent study, only about 1 in 8 workers are committed to their job and are likely to be making positive contributions to the company. This lack of engagement is often due to the fact that people do not feel challenged enough or trusted in their role, consequently showing a decrease in employee progression and company success. It is for this reason that providing learning opportunities which are flexible, online and easily accessible are essential in promoting learning agility. These programmes in effect allow the individual to develop their skills on-the-job, feel more in control of their career path and increase their self-motivation.

2. Acknowledge different learning styles

Every person has a different learning style, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Taking the time to conduct formal reviews with your employees will enable you to understand exactly where they want their career to go, what skills they wish to develop and how you can help them realise their ambitions. Having this information is also extremely helpful for your company’s future. For instance, if the organisation is introducing a new technology platform and employees need to adapt immediately in order to streamline growth, then you are already aware of what assistance they will require or how quickly they will adapt, making the transition process easier and more efficient.

3. Make way for leaders

It has been reported by Quantum Workplace that the second highest reason for employees leaving their current role is due to “lack of growth opportunity”. It is essential therefore that your company provides the stepping stones for employees to develop their career. Particularly for aspiring leaders, establishing a collaborative work environment where employees can be a part of decision-making processes, be project leaders or participate in team-building exercises, allows them to advance skills that they are currently lacking or wish to develop. Creating these opportunities will generate a more cooperative workforce, provide higher retention and engagement in the workplace, as well as encourage your employees to keep learning.

The way we learn, what we learn and how we learn is always changing. It’s for this reason that companies need to create a work environment which is prepared to adapt, respond and think outside-the-box in terms of its employees’ development programmes. Ensuring that your organisation adopts this mindset will not only motivate your employees, but it will also inspire a new wave of creativity through the company, one which people will seek to surf.

Sydney Lucken

Former Editorial and Communications Assistant, Central Test UK

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