Making Time For Learning At Work
Do you struggle with making sure your team understands the bigger picture and business strategy, while simultaneously having them remain focused on their daily tasks and goals? You aren’t the only one.
Just like most people in every business setting, your team wants to be included, involved, and know how and why their work matters. This includes zooming out to learn how the industry is trending as a whole, and how their particular role contributes to it.
When we get caught up in the fire drill of the moment, we can forget to take the time and the important step to learn. Team members should take initiative to do this, but as managers we can lead by example and also share resources they can use for consistent intellectual growth.
A study by LinkedIn shows that team members who take the time to learn at work are more likely to feel confident, happy, and productive. It can be tough to find free time, but blocking off even 30 minutes a day can add up by the end of the week.
During this time, there is a multitude of ways you and your team can bring learning into their everyday work.
Team Library: Dig into your bookshelf for your favorite business, leadership, and industry books. Ask your team to do the same. Everyone can borrow books from your own team library, and take the time to read up. Encourage the team to highlight valuable parts and takeaways so they can share with others.
Industry publications: There are a ton to choose from, but industry newsletters and publications are a great way to stay connected on the latest news. Medium has a bunch of these — Movements is one of my current favorites. Invest in a group subscription to WSJ or other news source to gain an even broader perspective.
Industry events: Depending on the city you’re in, you can find lots of associations and clubs hosting guest speakers and networking events in tech or your particular industry. It doesn’t have to be pricey SXSW or CES to be valuable.
Podcasts: My personal favorite. You can listen while multitasking or commuting. Check out the best podcasts for intellectual growth. I guarantee that there is a podcast out there for whatever industry you work in… although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good!
Internal Communication Tools: If your company uses a tool like Slack, you can start a thread for any of the above. Discuss excerpts from books, podcast episodes, competitor news, and anything else that may be relevant. Share the most interesting thing you’ve learned today.
I know, I know — you have a lot of work to do. Everyone in the entire world is busy. Scheduling 30 minutes of learning each day is something you can look forward to. Resist the temptation to book over it, and get yourself in the routine of reading, listening, and learning, even in the midst of chaos.
So don’t let your industry newsletters pile up in your inbox, doomed to bulk “mark as read” purgatory. Your team will respect you for it, and they will be inspired to do the same.