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It takes more than a two-week training course for employees to learn the skills needed to succeed in today’s constantly changing business environment. Employers are shifting focus to promote continuous learning, acknowledging the link between their staff’s personal development and business success. 

Years ago, Bill Cushard encouraged personal development on his team by implementing one unequivocal rule: “You cannot earn the highest rating on your performance review unless you have done something significant to improve yourself, learn a new skill, or otherwise do something to grow professionally.” In order to receive a top rating, an employee had to both perform well at her current job and continuously develop for her next role, Cushard writes on Human Capitalist.

On Cushard’s team, employees had a budget to spend on their personal development. “As long as it was semi-related to work, I would approve it,” he says. Looking back on the program, Cushard says that he has no regrets — only additional guidelines for encouraging employee development.

Employee Learning 2.0 

If he were managing the same team today, Cushard says that he’d work more closely with individuals to create “learning plans” — essentially road maps for employees to understand how they’d achieve career goals. “In its original form, my rule left professional development entirely up to the individual, whereas a learning plan could help people create a vision for what their professional development could look like and how to get there,” he says.

Employers need not have budgets or content for each individual, but they must spend time up front to help each individual develop a plan. How does your company help employees keep learning?

Read the full story on Human Capitalist.

 

Photo credit: Can Stock