A consistently-used criterion in the annual “best companies to work for” lists is the level of corporate investment in employee training. Yet, 81% of learners are responsible for managing their own personal development, according to a Training Zone infographic released earlier this year.
There’s no real discrepancy between these two facts. Clearly, if you happen to work for a company which does not provide adequate learning opportunities for you, you’re responsible for charting the course for your own learning journey. But, even when learning opportunities are provided for you, it’s wise to take an active part in planning your personal learning journey. After all, who’s more invested in your long term learning than you yourself?
Looking to set your personal learning journey on the right path? Consider the following ideas.
Create a Learning Plan
Have you worked with your manager to create a learning plan? If you lead others, have you worked with your team to create a learning plan for each individual? Learning plans influence you—and your employees—to become more personally connected to learning and success.
Similarly, it’s useful for every new hire to have a new hire success plan, or a 100 Day Plan in addition to their standard new employee training. As a new hire, having such a plan in place indicates that you take success seriously and expect to be held accountable. If you take accountability seriously at a personal level, you also communicate the expectation that the organization will be accountable to you—and support you in your efforts to learn and develop.
Don’t be Purely Selfish
When taking care of your personal learning needs, don’t just stop with a “what’s in it for me” point of view. It’s important to take a learning path that gets you where you need to be on a personal level. But also consider what’s in it for your team and your organization. When you align your personal development goals with team and organizational goals, you stand a better chance of getting your learning plans approved. So look for ways to invest in your own education. While investing, though, just follow through on your responsibility to be a part of something bigger.
Dive In—Design and Deliver Training Yourself
A great way to learn is to teach, right? Consider designing, developing and delivering training yourself, or with a small team of which you are an integral part. Creating an online training course is a good way to further your own learning; especially if you already have a modern, flexible LMS in place. With such LMS’ it’s straightforward to convert an existing training document, job aid, slide deck or video into a compelling online training course with quizzes, tie-ins to social media, and other ways to engage the learner audience. In fact, challenge yourself and your team, to create an online training course in one day. It may be easier than you think, and you’re sure to learn in the process.
Want—or need—to to learn something? Make a conscious decision to take control of your own learning journey within your organization, and both you and your organization will benefit. Create a plan to further your learning, share that plan with others, and tie personal goals to team and organizational goals. And, consider learning through knowledge sharing. Share what you know with others (teach) to contribute your share towards building collaborative organizational learning environment.
Gauri Reyes is a talent developer and learning leader with extensive experience in roles ranging from software management to managing the learning function in organizations. She is Principal Learning Strategist and CEO at Triple Point Advisors and Founder of the YOUth LEAD program. Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.