Providing your employees with opportunities to learn and grow will help to take their career in new directions and bring out the best in them. And this isn’t just important to individuals, this is vital for businesses, too.
Learning doesn’t have to stop when you leave education and head into the working world. Continuous learning at work helps people and businesses to achieve more and take on new and exciting challenges, that once upon a time might have seemed impossible.
Learning at work can be anything from formal training, working towards new qualifications, mentoring and coaching, or simply shadowing to learn on the job. All of this helps to shape your future, the focus behind this year’s Learning at Work week.
Learning at every level
Senior members of any business should lead by example, encouraging continuous learning and providing opportunities for their team to use learning to develop their roles. It can be just as simple as giving recognition when colleagues have made improvements or taken steps to learn a new skill. But you might want to ensure your employees have specific time set aside to use to take on new projects. How about a day a month learning from another team in the business? Or even just an hour or so each week to listen to relevant podcasts or spend time reading new materials and research in their specialism.
Develop your career
Learning new skills can help boost your profile within your business; it doesn’t have to be left to when you’re looking for new job opportunities. By continuing to learn, you’ll keep improving and growing in your career, which might lead to progression within your existing role or a move to another team.
At Bruntwood, we offer our employees learning loans to give them the support to take on new learning, that might not be essential to their role, but that will help them to grow. Whether it’s a move upwards, or a move sideways, expanding areas of knowledge on things related to a job role can help employees and businesses alike.
Take on an apprentice
We believe apprenticeships can have a huge impact on every business, no matter their size or sector. While initially it might seem like only the apprentice will be learning at work, there is actually a lot businesses can learn from them as well. Apprentices are taught the latest guidance and practices, so engaging them with their learning and progress can help you to discover new techniques to carry out your own work, and help you to stay ahead of the curve.
We employ a number of apprentices each year and for the last two years, we’ve also taken part in the new T-Level industry placements as part of a national pilot. These are seen by many as a ‘pre-apprenticeship’ for the future. Currently completing her T-Level placement with Bruntwood in our HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) team is Alexandrea Lee Ramsey. While studying Building Services at college, Alexandrea became very invested in understanding how everything in HVAC comes and works together.
“When the opportunity came up to get involved with the Bruntwood HVAC team, I knew it was the perfect chance to help me further my career within the building services industry,” says Alexandrea. “The experience I am gaining is invaluable. Not only am I learning more around my own future career aspirations, I’m also gaining transferable skills by working as part of a wider team. The variety of people I am coming into contact with widens my experience and I really am constantly learning.”
Build your confidence
Learning new ways of working and skills will give you a huge sense of accomplishment and help to boost your confidence. You’ll see your growing capabilities, allowing you to feel more competent to take on new challenges and get stuck into projects that might have seemed daunting in the past.
This has a major impact on our mental wellbeing in the workplace. Confidence is such a complex issue, and while there’s no quick fix, improving our understanding within a job or industry can improve self-esteem and help someone to see their own potential for progress. If someone in your team is feeling stuck in their role, learning at work could help build their motivation to help them find new opportunities and excite them about their own abilities and what they can achieve.
It’s so important that we constantly learn new skills. Modern ways of working mean that job priorities and roles are always changing and developing skills is key to adapting to these changes. Only by giving people the opportunity to develop their best selves can we unlock the true potential with people.
That’s why we develop partnerships with organisations such as Enterprise Nation and Binary Festival, to provide our customers, colleagues and communities with networks to discover new ways of thinking through panel events, workshops and discussions. We also support the likes of Manchester School of Art and Grand Union, to give people the chance to work on new projects to broaden their horizons by commissioning artwork to help artists gain experience in a professional environment.