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3 Ways to Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 3 2020

With employees quitting jobs in record numbers, companies may be tempted to dedicate their resources to short-term goals: roll out the new product enhancement, strategize for the up-and-coming market, land the next big client. Those are important goals but slacking on employee professional development just because they may quit one day isn’t the key to success. In fact, investing time and money into teaching soft skills is proven to improve your business. Deloitte reports that investing in continuous learning has staggering benefits:

  • 46% more likely to be first to market
  • 34% more prepared to meet future demand
  • 37% greater employee productivity

To take advantage of those statistics, it’s time to design a strategy for continuous learning at your company.

1. Develop an employee-led committee dedicated to professional development

InfoMart’s “IM committees” are the crowning jewel of our employee engagement strategy and a key component of our culture. We have six, each dedicated to unique initiatives like fitness, celebration, charity, diversity and inclusion, and work/life balance; but I’M Growing is my personal favorite.

I’M Growing is specifically charged with the professional growth of our employees. They design and implement training programs open to our entire team. In the past, we’ve hosted outside speakers, started a 12-week training program for new hires, encouraged in-house speakers to present lunch & learns, and coordinated certification programs. We bring in vendors to educate our employees, encouraging a deeper and cross-departmental understanding of our business. At InfoMart, that means background screening and identity services—but at your company, it can mean anything.

The benefit of having employees lead committees is twofold: it frees your leadership team up to focus on big-picture strategy, and it empowers your employees to take on responsibility. By trusting your team to spearhead learning projects, you’ll jumpstart a continuous learning program and you’ll offer them professional development skills—leadership, budgeting, scheduling, etc.—they can then reinvest in your company.

2. Partner with an online learning platform

If you don’t have the bandwidth to manage an in-house educational program, consider working with an online learning partner. Companies like MYCA:Learning partner with top subject matter experts to produce high-quality webinars, training programs, and workshops. MYCA specializes in workplace safety, harassment prevention, and diversity. Educating your entire team on these topics promotes a safe, comfortable work environment that encourages participation and contribution from every member of your staff.

In addition to specialized training programs like those listed above, there are hundreds of learning management systems for employee education, and each one is built for different needs. If you want to provide a quick overview of a soft skills, opt for easy-to-consume webinars. If you’re trying to quickly teach key members of your team necessary skills, you might go for an interactive platform that mimics an academic environment.

3. Build your own resource library

You have a team of in-house subject matter experts available to spread their wealth of information to the rest of your employees. If a member of your staff is doing a presentation—whether it’s high-level or niche—record it and make the content available on your intranet. Having a trove of these helps cross-train existing employees and gets new team members quickly up to speed.

Keep lines of communication open. What may be second nature to someone in one department is likely unfamiliar to their colleague down the hall. Allow your employees to request training or to offer a subject for a lunchtime seminar. You may even have a few in the office who are eager to share what they know.

 

Practice What You Preach

Your job isn’t quite done once you choose which learning opportunities you’ll make available to your staff. If this is a new program at your company, you may need to spend some time encouraging employees to take advantage of the resources you’re providing—whether it’s a simple webinar series or a full-blown committee. Be open with your team; explain that these are professional development opportunities for their benefit, but that you know they’ll apply those skills to their day-to-day jobs as well, so you genuinely want them to spend a few hours per month expanding their skillsets.

You’ll reap the rewards if you dedicate resources to a culture of continuous learning at your company. If you invest in your team, they’ll invest in you. Attrition is bound to happen regardless, but you’ll have developed true experts and true leaders among those who stick around.

Are you looking for a pre-employment background screening partner who takes the time to teach their employees the ins-and-outs of your industry? Learn more about InfoMart.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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