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  • Writer's pictureJudith Moeckell

The importance of learning at work

This year’s Learning at Work Week runs from Monday May 13th to Friday 19th.

It's not just about being trained in the dark art of creating pivot tables in Excel and other equally-mysterious specific job functions – it’s also about other much more general, and perhaps not at all work-related, topics such as financial resilience or even holistic wellness for families.

Whatever the topic, Learning at Work Week is essentially all about the benefits of continuous learning - both to employees and employers alike.

For the employee, those benefits include:

  • An improvement in job performance

  • An increase in employability … and …

  • A general boost in overall confidence.

And for the employer, those benefits include:

  • Employee loyalty, and therefore retention

  • A positive, continuous work culture … and …

  • An increase in productivity.

While it’s practically a given that continuous learning gives employees the power to achieve goals set by their organisation, there’s more to life than work, and away from the workplace ongoing learning has been shown to improve individuals’ mental health and general wellbeing in the form of:

  • Boosted self-esteem and confidence

  • Improved cognition and memory … and …

  • A much-needed social connection.

The annual Learning at Work Week is co-ordinated by Campaign for Learning, the organisation working for social inclusion through learning. Every year the Week is based around a specific theme they name, and this year’s theme is "Learning Power".


Last year's theme was “Create the Future”, when Marie Curie explored themes of sustainability, development and creativity; the Prince’s Responsible Business Network offered coaching, apprenticeships and mentoring and Castle Trust Bank ran sessions on equality, diversity and wellbeing.


So what are organisations doing this year?

  • Running talks and discussions on megatrends such as climate change, sustainability, digital transformation, technical disruption

  • Getting internal and external experts to present on trends in their business sector … and …

  • Offering assessments for people to recognise the skills acquired through life as well as work.


How to run Learning at Work Week successfully next year?

          Identify an issue, challenge or opportunity Learning at Work Week can support – whether it’s directly related to your organisation’s activities or something a lot broader, such as the megatrends mentioned above.

          Define the learning shift you need to see, and the best way to measure that shift

          Identify the barriers to learning and engagement for the different audiences in your organisation, such as different departments, locations and shifts

          Create activities supporting the learning shift you’re looking for and that benefit not just the employees but the business as a whole

          Promote your Learning at Work Week’s activities throughout the organisation, starting well in advance … and …

          Evaluate the results to measure the success of your week’s learning shift.


But why only one week a year?

Then again, why should employers only devote a single week a year to learning?

After all, the Harvard Business Review tells us the top way to create a learning culture within an organisation is to reward continuous learning, and that would include the other 51 weeks every year …

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