It’s often hard to pinpoint why some employees are more productive and efficient than others. But, look closely, and you’ll see that the top-performing members of your team have an entrenched set of habits integrated into their day.
While “habits” are commonly associated with self-development, like making sure you meditate every morning for 10 minutes or sticking to a healthy diet, they can also improve the learning experience.
And, in workplaces where there’s an increasingly urgent need to upskill and re-skill staff, understanding and nurturing successful learning habits is crucial if you want to create or be a part of a team that plays to their own strengths and is constantly evolving.
More individuals are prioritizing their learning and development paths, and a growth mindset makes this all the more possible. It essentially describes learners who understand that their abilities can be developed and that, with hard work and practice, they can achieve anything.
Employees with a growth mindset are curious and dedicated to improving their skills. Knowing how to adapt to certain situations can help teams overcome business obstacles but, more importantly, growth mindsets are persistent and determined. By changing the way you think, you can change the way you learn.
Microsoft has famously implemented a growth mindset for its previously-siloed team. Posters have been put up around campus, and staff are now evaluated on how much they’ve helped their team rather than pitting employees against each other in monthly appraisals.
It’s easy to jump into a learning process without a clear goal in mind—especially if there’s no one holding you accountable. You can help employees set their learning goals and monitor their progress so they stay on track, but first, they need to identify the exact skills they want to develop.
Setting goals ensures everyone is on the same page and is using cold, hard facts to optimize their learning experience. Without goals, it’s hard to know how successful your team is or whether you’ve actually managed to complete the task you said you would.
One of the most common ways to do this is to set objectives and key results (OKRs) focused on learning and development.
For example, the object might be to “become better at providing feedback to my direct reports”. The key results should be far more specific. In this example, one key result might be to “have three bi-directional feedback conversations with direct reports within Q1” or “give at least two ad-hoc feedbacks per week to my team members”, or “read the Blinks to Radical Candor and journal on my feedback personality by the end of Q1”.
We all perform better when there’s an element of healthy competition involved.
Knowing we’re not alone on our learning journey can work wonders for our motivation and keep us moving forward towards that all-important growth mindset. When we say “social” here, we mean anything that invokes engagement, like collaborative learning, implementing peer-to-peer learning, or gamifying the learning process.
Learning together increases engagement.
Simply sharing a course or becoming a part of a learning group prompts people to watch 30x more hours of their educational courses than those who don’t take any social action. In turn, engaged employees are better equipped to overcome learning obstacles.
Not only do people like learning together, but they’re actually better at acquiring and remembering information when they’re teaching it themselves. This is referred to as the Protégé Effect. In simpler terms, this means that learning something to teach others is more effective than learning for one’s own goals.
Instead of bringing in outside experts to deliver training, tap into the well of talent you have at your fingertips.
Team members that are one or two steps ahead of their peers will have the capacity to share their personal experiences while on-the-job. Exchanging knowledge in this way makes it personalized to the role and makes the “teacher” employees feel more valued.
80% of Google’s tracked learning happens through their in-built Googler-to-Googler employee network. Here, more than 6,000 employees have become volunteer teachers who share their knowledge and skills through workshops and one-to-one sessions.
Workforces today simply don’t have the time to sit through day-long classroom training sessions. Not to mention everyone learns differently, so forcing experiential learners to sit through lecture after lecture won’t do any good.
Bite-sized lessons that team members can pick up when they need to will help them make incremental progress on their skills at exactly the moment they need it.
Breaking down the learning workload into smaller segments leads to 20% more information retention. This is because knowledge chunks give enough time for a learner to think about what they’ve just learned and not miss out on the important details.
On top of this, it provides flexibility for busy employees as they can organize study time to match their schedules.
This is Uber’s exact modus operandi when it comes to training. Reaching millions of drivers that speak different languages all over the world is not an easy task. To tackle this, they enable mobile learning in bite-sized chunks that drivers can dip in and out of between fares.
Promote sustainable learning solutions that fit the new normal and employees’ work and life flow by looking at every individual. There are four main learning styles to keep in mind, each with its own requirements. Note that each person will have a separate preference for adapting this style to learning socially or independently while others prefer mixing two styles.
Knowing how each employee learns best will equip you with the tools you need to give them the right information, at the right time, in the right way. This will empower the learning experience and make it far more enjoyable for every team member.
People never stop learning because, frankly, this would leave them behind. Time dedication is crucial for upskilling and reskilling and keeping up with demands. Make continuous learning part of your company values.
Learning doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not linear, and it’s often not tangible. You’ll only start to see results after consistent implementation of these habits and learning processes. By encouraging staff or peers to learn little and often, they can take the initiative and reach their targets.
Every company describes this value differently. The Buffer team, for instance, dubs it a “Focus on self-improvement”, and encourages employees to have higher expectations for themselves and stay conscious of their happiness and productivity levels.
Learning is an integral part of the workplace today. Companies that encourage training see better returns and a more productive team, while employees that can access training resources feel valued and are more likely to be happy and motivated at work.
Creating learning habits is an effective way to make learning more accessible and efficient for teams. The habits outlined here will help your company or your peers implement learning via various different methods to upskill, re-skill, and succeed.
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