Friday Reflection – Learning at Work Week

Friday Reflections - Learning at Work Week

This week marks Learning at work week and I guess as a Learning and Development Company it is perhaps natural for us jump on this topic, however, I don’t actually believe Learning at Work Week is designed with Companies like us, who work in L&D, in mind.  As you’d expect are we already total advocates of learning and of this of this year’s theme which is about the Power of Learning; how lifelong and continual learning gives us and our staff the power to change, grow and achieve our individual, team and organisational goals.

As someone that has worked as an HR Director in industry most of my career I know that I will have always said I was an advocate of training and developing my staff. I would have always believed that the most important thing any organisation can do is develop its people. I would know the benefits not just to the individuals as they start to realise their potential and unlock new skills but also to the business of having staff that can grow with your organisation and the changing times, of having staff that are engaged, committed and loyal, that see you recognise the employment relationship is two way, staff that feel rewarded, respected, valued and part of something bigger than themselves.

I would know all these benefits and I would know that most of my proudest working moments are from seeing people I work with develop their sense of purpose, take themselves on and progress their careers. I would also always have known that learning opportunities are everywhere, they are not just formal courses, or carefully designed programmes but exist on the job, shadowing others, mentoring and coaching eachother, they just need to be appropriate, contextual and thought through to have an impact – they don’t necessarily need loads of cash thrown at them.

However, despite knowing all this often it was the training budget that was first to be cut, often the time I had to truly focus on Learning and Development was limited, as the operational day to day stuff would too easily absorb my time. Often I allowed people to develop into management or leadership roles which they might have deserved but which they were also ill equipped to succeed in; if only I had trained them first. I allowed this despite having a strong conviction that the line management relationship is the most important – after all it doesn’t matter how wonderful your organisation is, if you work for a horrible boss you will have a horrible time at work. 

For me this is what Learning at work week is all about – it is about reminding all the businesses, everywhere, like the ones I have worked in, what we are already know. If we invest in our people are business will most likely succeed. We are all be busy, under pressure and have multiple demands on our time. Learning at work week It is about pausing for a moment to reflect on the actively we are doing and consider how wisely we are spending that time.

Ultimately the reason Companies like On Track Learning exist is not just be because good impactful learning takes expertise to design and deliver but also because the challenges all businesses present means it is hard for those within them to commit the time we would like to areas we know we should. At On Track Learning we see ourselves as the lucky ones as it is all we get to do, we genuinely love supporting our clients, we love helping solve your challenges through learning – in whatever form that takes. If you do nothing else with learning at work week, please just reflect on where you are and what you are doing to support yourself and your staff to continuedly develop and grow.