How Startup Leaders Can Practice Continuous Learning
After formal schooling, learning never really stops, even when you’re not actively trying to broaden your knowledge. However, when you run a business, continuous learning becomes a vital process for everyone involved, starting with the executives down to the entry-level individuals.
Having a healthy learning culture is one of the critical drivers of success. To integrate this culture in your organization, here are the best strategies to use:
1. Use learning tools
There are a plethora of tools that can help individuals (and ultimately, organizations) expand their knowledge and skills continuously. Some bookshops offer both physical and electronic books, podcasts on different business niches, news sources that are available for free online, and online business courses across many different platforms, among many others.
2. Start with the leaders
Leaders should take the initiative when it comes to personal development and continuous learning. Be the example that you want your employees to follow by engaging in learning activities and encouraging others to do the same. Doing this helps create a healthy learning culture in the workplace, which, in turn, will lead your employees to make learning initiatives of their own.
Apart from increasing their skill and talents, encouraging continuous development make employees feel valued. As a result, they are more likely to maintain their loyalty and increase their efficiency at work.
3. Hold and attend learning events
Attend seminars, conferences, and trade shows with your employees from time to time. Not only are these events great places to learn, but they are also opportunities to connect with other people in your industry.
In the workplace, hold instructional sessions, re-training seminars, brainstorming sessions, and other learning events that can double as a bonding activity for everyone. When possible, you can even invite resource speakers to impart valuable business knowledge to your teams, which is especially advantageous in the early phases of a startup.
4. Find a mentor and be a mentor
As a leader, you should also be a mentor to your employees. But while you are sharing knowledge with the other people you work with, it is also advisable that you have a mentor of your own.
Your mentor should be someone with business experience that they can impart with you in practical ways. More importantly, your mentor should be someone you click with. It can be your former boss, a more experienced figure in the industry, or even a close friend.
5. Engage in formal learning
This option may be a daunting thing to add to your responsibilities as a startup owner, but it can be a beneficial investment. Formal learning takes many forms, such as a college course, external training programs, workshops, and online courses. The type of formal learning suitable for you depends on your schedule, specific goals, and of course, finances.
Nurturing a healthy learning culture within yourself and your startup leads to increased efficiency, employee retention, and contribution, among many other benefits. But to achieve these advantages, you must be willing to commit to your cause, and you can start by incorporating these strategies into your organization’s culture.