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5 Reasons why Businesses Should Invest in Continuous Learning for their Employees

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

The world is an ever-changing, dynamic place. We need to continuously learn new things, improving our knowledge to stay ahead of the competition.

We have spoken about the numerous benefits of upskilling before, which we at Exena genuinely believe. Not only does it help the individual greatly, but it also has immense benefits for the business. While it helps individuals keep up with new advancements, having a skilled workforce keeps your business ahead of the competition. 

Sticking to the tried and tested methods will only get you so far. More likely, it will leave you behind the rest of the competition. Instead, adopting a growth mindset of continuous learning and improvement will take your business on a more successful trajectory. 

Moreover, continuous learning is crucial for companies in the hyper-growth phase or want to achieve this level of growth. 

What is continuous learning?

Before we go into the specifics on why businesses need to invest in continuous learning, let’s understand what exactly it is. 

Continuous learning gives your employees a chance to continue their education while they work. From a human resources standpoint, it is a tool for professional development in an ever-changing competitive market based on lifelong learning. 

Why should your employees continue to study, though? Because the companies that make it to the top are the ones that aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they have their eye on new and innovative trends. 

The inconvenient truth is that the shelf life of professional skills is between 18 months to two years, making it imperative for continuous learning to stay relevant in the highly competitive market. 

Let’s dive deeper into this topic and understand a few more critical reasons companies should invest in continuous growth for their employees.

5 critical reasons to invest in continuous growth for your employees:

1. It upskills your employees

The fundamental reason that continuous learning is worth investing in is that it improves the overall skill level of your employees, which will significantly benefit your company. 

It increases the quality of staff’s skill set. It creates a pool of capable workers that you can promote. It also clearly highlights your and your employee’s strengths and weaknesses, which you can use to make educated decisions for the company. 

There will always be an ever-evolving demand for skilled workers that rise with the company’s expansion. The typical way to handle this is to hire externally. However, a more cost-effective way is to build and nurture your employees through continuous learning so that they can fill that skill gap. 

2. You gain a competitive advantage

“Your ability to learn faster than your competition is your only sustainable competitive advantage,” – Arie de Gues in his book, The Living Company. 

This quote is not just accurate for individuals but also for companies. In the highly competitive and fast-moving landscape, you need any edge you can get. One component that makes most leading companies successful is their continuous learning policies. 

A great example is Google, where learning is a fundamental right for all regardless of role, tenure or level. It is also enforced on a company-wide level and not just left to the Human Resources or Learning and Development teams to handle. 

Studies show that companies that invest in continuous employee training benefit from having 50% higher net sales per employee. It also leads to faster time to market, improved response to customer needs, and increased anticipation of what the market needs. 

3. It creates a great work culture

Having a continuous learning culture builds loyalty. When you invest in your employees, they are more likely to stick around. Since it benefits your employees, your company will have a competitive advantage in attracting the best employees. 

It also improves your reputation, which will help you attract good employees. When you offer training, conferences to attend, and other continuous learning opportunities, you attract employees who want to better themselves. This employee is precisely the type you want to hire. 

Continuous learning helps improve the company culture. Having a good company culture is especially important right now when remote working is commonplace. Negative attitudes and slow work habits that are detrimental to company efficiency and culture are mitigated by employee development. It also keeps employees engaged at work and reduces boredom. 

Some wildly successful companies believe in the value of continuous learning so much that they set aside a day every month for learning. Try introducing “Friday Learning Day” and see your employee engagement and office culture improve! 

4. It improves mental health

There is no question about how covid has negatively impacted mental health. Singaporeans have stated that they’re always “on” during the pandemic since they cannot separate work from life. Tied with Britain, in a study, 48% of Singaporeans stated that they were unhappy in their jobs and wouldn’t recommend their companies to others. 

As a result, 13 % of over 1,000 participants in a study detailed having anxiety or depression during the pandemic. 

It is a fact that learning can help improve your mental health. It is associated with a reduction of depression, anxiety and loneliness. Now than ever, it is crucial to focus on areas we can control rather than fretting about what we cannot control. 

5. Finally, time is of the essence!

While covid is around, things are slower than before. We now have more time than usual. It is the perfect time to learn and upskill. As the situation improves, there will be a demand for companies to bounce back. The skills you learn during this time will become powerful in the future. 

Due to covid, digital and remote learning has become the norm. There are many different options to choose from, such as web-based learning, distant learning, mobile learning and much more. The advantage that these provide is that they allow employees to learn at their own pace. This on-demand model makes the learning process easier and accessible to everyone. 

Singapore subsidises continuous learning, giving an allowance to spend. Currently, Singaporean Citizens 35 and over, making less than SG$ 2,000 a month, get 95% of continuous learning subsidised. While Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents over the age of 21 get 90% on selected courses. 

Keep in mind that these subsidies reduce to 70% after December, so don’t miss this opportunity!

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.” – Abigail Adams, Former First Lady of the United States. 

In conclusion, learning is something that needs to be prioritised and chased after. Walk onto the path of continuous learning, and you will never want to look back! 

We are here to help

If you’re looking for courses to upskill your employees, look no further. Exena is a learning hub that has its roots in social enterprise. We hugely advocate how better skill sets can impact a person’s life and help them escape the daily rat race. 

We offer individual and corporate training courses and have courses in communication, digital marketing, initiate and enterprising behaviours, leadership and people management, and so much more. 

References:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efmTIoIvnUUhttps://www.inc.com/chad-halvorson/5-reasons-you-should-be-investing-in-employee-development.html
  • https://www.planview.com/resources/articles/lkdc-importance-continuous-improvement/
  • https://www.hurix.com/continuous-learning-opportunities/
  • https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Singapore-s-stressed-workers-highlight-COVID-mental-health-strain2
  • https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/imh-study-points-to-likely-increase-in-mental-health-issues-in-spore-amid-covid-19
  • https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-learning-and-working-help-improve-your-mental-health/
  • https://www.upskilled.edu.au/skillstalk/mental-health-benefits-learning-new-skill
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