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4 Steps to Dashing Apathy and Embracing Learning

Posted by Debra Steele

Topics: Employee Incentives, Talent Management, Adult Learning

4_Steps_to_Dashing_Apathy.jpgIn today’s whirlwind professional ecosystem, it’s important for companies to inspire workers to learn new skills. Providing the right environment for learning can inspire employees to abandon stagnation in favor of growth and discovery.

Apathy can strike us all at one point or another during our careers. It is certainly true that feeling comfortable in a professional role can cause a person to avoid risk or shun opportunities to learn new skills.

You might say that apathy is the enemy of momentum. The danger of complacency is that it zaps us of our curiosity. Good leaders know that a curious, evolving workforce is the key to climbing to the top of the heap in any industry.

But inspiring team members to seek out professional improvement can be a difficult task, even a touchy subject. A suggestion toward education may be seen as a critique of someone’s current skills and abilities.

If you’d like to erase complacency and create a workforce that’s empowered to master the latest trends, it’s essential to formulate a strategy to make learning and education appealing to workers of all ages. Here are four simple ways to create a learning-friendly environment in your organization:

  1. Celebrate Experience
    Learning new skills can be intimidating for professionals who’ve been in the same position for years. They may feel that keeping up with technology trends or evolving schools of thought is only for the younger generation. They may even feel threatened. It is important for leaders to make education appear friendly and welcoming to people of all skill levels. One way to encourage mature workers to warm up to the idea of perusing education is to place value on their professional experience and competency. Many colleges, universities and training programs offer courses that build directly on the professional experience of the students who sign up.
  2. Finance It
    One of the reasons today's professionals don't pursue futher education is cost. Financing tuition or the cost of training on behalf of your workers - and letting employees know that this is available - can remove that roadblock. It is hard for today's workers to pass up an opportunity to gain skills and credentials on someone else's dime.
  3. Create Incentives
    Any manager knows that incentives can inspire a team to move mountains. Pay increases, enhanced job titles and added privileges can certainly inspire employees to put time and work into developing skills. Offering something as simple as an extra vacation day for completing a course can inspire an employee.
  4. Lead by Example
    One should never underestimate the power that a manager has to lead. If you’re in charge, leading by example is an important aspect of inspiring people to reach new goals. Take the initiative to pursue courses and credentials that can help you thrive.


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