Do you remember those library hours in school? Sitting in a room filled with books,some old and some new. At that time the biggest dilemma was whether to pick a comic book or a thriller. Then there were the educational movie days when the school screened an animated movie. That one hour was the best hour in the day. Besides having fun we picked up some important lessons and ideas that have stuck with us and have become the foundation of our thoughts. Post school, the library hour was lost in the chaos of life and what remained with us were only memories of the sweet smell of books.Today books have been replaced by newspaper – only source of information for the majority of us. Thanks to lack of time, we don’t even have enough hours to read the entire newspaper. We end up just scanning the paper and reading the headlines. Life is now about – getting up, rushing to work, being over worked, coming home late at night, sleeping and repeating the cycle.
Along the way we have stopped enjoying the process of learning and dedicating time to it. I understand as an entrepreneur of a growing company you rarely find enough hours to complete your sleep cycle let alone reading or listening to someone or something. But being at the top of the chain, people in your company will always follow your work style. So if you do not give importance to learning, your people will not put in the extra effort to learn and develop themselves either. Researchers have proven the importance of learning and stressed on how it helps in the workplace to improve productivity and ROI, yet we turn a deaf year because of lack of time and too much effort.
You may have employees who have been with you since the inception of the company and risen through the years. They may have joined the company at a junior level and have grown over the years by grasping the work techniques and taking up more responsibilities. Their capabilities must have helped them to achieve the current position,But to grow further you need to nurture and develop their competencies by providing them with the required training and ensuring continuous learning . This will help make their work more effective.
To quote an example of a company where I consulted – there was a 30-year-old man who had joined the company as an office boy. He eventually learnt the trick of the trade and grew to manage a higher level job. However, since he never had formal training, he took more time and effort to complete the task at hand. His e-mail communication was poor and this led to loss of a client. Had he received the right training to go with his capabilities and pro-activeness, he could have achieved way more for the company and for himself.
Through my experience of consulting across sectors, I have seen people work hard and perform. But due to lack of knowledge on the part of the employee, it makes them less efficient. The output is always dependent on the input you feed in. If there is no input of learning, then you will rarely receive new ideas and concepts from your team – a common problem most small companies face. Continuous learning gives an employee the necessary knowledge and information that lets them perform effectively and in turn helps save cost, time and effort.As a company if you are not inputting the right things, the output will never be satisfactory.
To have high performers, loyal work force and great quality of work, you need to use the powerhouse learning technique. The power house technique is where you dedicate 30 minutes of your time in a day solely to learning. Initially it may seem like an effort, but you will soon see it as a powerful investment.You will notice changes in the performance and the attitude of your team. The implementation of powerhouse learning technique will also result in reduction of HR issues like high turnover rate, low performance and grievances etc.
Learning is a participative process. It means sharing ideas, asking questions, brainstorming and sharing information. It is important to make learning integral to the culture of the company.
How do you create metamorphosis with the powerhouse learning technique ?
- For minimum 30 minutes in a day switch off your phones, applications and dedicate your time only to learning
- Pre-plan the agenda and decide on the goals of learning
- Let the employees lead the initiative so that the ownership can be established
- Hold knowledge sharing sessions where employees can share their experiences and knowledge on how to handle a particular situation or a client.
- Organize specialized trainings on soft skills & technical subjects
- Screen TED talks or other talk videos
- Have brainstorming sessions
Practice this initiative for a quarter and see the changes that take place. As humans, we yearn for continuous learning, so with this need fulfilled your team will be more positive and happy. In fact, It will keep them updated with techniques and ideas that will make your team better equipped to meet the client’s expectations and impress them .
We can only grow with learning – and learning together will only magnify the growth .
Create a positive work culture