How to Turn Your Workplace into a Classroom

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dv740013When you think of a classroom, you most likely picture the rigid desks and dusty chalkboards of your younger years. But as we move beyond the classroom and into the professional world, learning new skills remains just as important as it did then.

The difference is that now traditional classroom learning just won’t cut it. As we attempt to apply the theories and practices we learned in school to real-world experiences, we inevitably run into situations we’re not prepared for. That’s why the workplace serves as the perfect learning environment.

When your employees continually learn through experiences at work, the result is a highly trained, more efficient workforce. And while your employees continue to learn, you’ll be there to serve as a mentor, guiding them over the hurdles of continual training.

Here are three things you can do to turn your office into a productive learning environment:

 

1. Develop Curriculum for Your Employees

After reviewing each employee’s skills and abilities, you’ll be able to develop a personalized curriculum for each employee that aims to improve his or her weaknesses. Using online courses and webinars, you can facilitate training right in your office. And after your employees participate in training, you can further mentor and guide them through applying the techniques they’ve learned.

 

2. Offer Monthly Feedback

Training isn’t worth anything unless you know it’s working. Take time each month to conduct performance reviews with your employees. This is your time to review the training employees are participating in, how they are applying what they’ve learned to the workplace, and their future training. It is also a good time to set learning goals for each employee and review the tasks it will take to complete those goals. After each performance review, you’ll be able to better determine the training they need next.

 

3. Build Leaders From Within

By turning your workplace into a learning environment, you show your employees that you care about their future. And when they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to stick around. Through continued training and mentoring, you’ll be building leaders from within and retaining your top talent. Eventually, your employees will be able to act as mentors themselves, helping other employees through their continual training.

 

So forget thick textbooks and stuffy training rooms. The best learning environment is the workplace — but only if you facilitate a learning-friendly environment. By encouraging your employees to continually learn in the workplace, they’ll be constantly applying what they’ve learned to real-world workplace experiences.

Agree? Disagree? Add your insightful comments here.