Do you feel like you’re learning at your job? For many of us, our jobs offer us a great opportunity for learning and development. Improving and building your skillset is a great motivator; it can boost morale and engagement as we look back on our progress and see how much we have learnt and how far we have come. But for those of us who feel as though our jobs aren’t teaching us anything, the lack of progress and development can make us feel demotivated and unhappy.
Every year, the non-profit Campaign for Learning run Learning at Work Week, an annual awareness campaign designed to put the spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development for employees. Each year, the week encourages organisations to promote learning to their employees, running internal campaigns and activities to engage their staff and help them grow and develop.
Employers can help staff develop in lots of different ways. They can allocate a budget for staff training programmes, they can encourage weekly ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where staff members can learn from each other, and they can even share books and articles they have found useful with their team.
The benefits of this approach are clear – for businesses, it means that their staff are more motivated, have better perceptions of what learning can do for them, and are continuously developing their skillset to help the business. It also gives employers the opportunity to discover and recognise internal talent, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the company.
For employees, the benefits are obvious. Developing our skills and knowledge means that it is easier to feel that we are progressing well and moving on to the next stage in our careers. Feeling stuck in one place is no good for our motivation – we want to feel that we are improving and working towards a goal.
For advice and support on health at work issue, employees and employers can call the Fit for Work advice line on 0800 032 6235 to speak to a trained advisor (0800 019 2211 for those in Scotland). The Fit for Work Advice Hub also has lots of useful information on wellbeing at work topics.
If you’ve been off work for four weeks or more due to illness, you can ask your employer or GP to refer for you to Fit for Work. Visit fitforwork.org to find out more.