A hamper won’t last

Christmas Blog

A call to businesses – support your staff’s learning

This year, we decided to go big around the festive holidays and call for a change in corporate gifting culture. What do you give as a present? Is it the unimaginative retail voucher? Or rather fancy-looking chocolate (five pieces of praline surrounded by lots and lots of packaging)? Or is it a food hamper that looks great at first glance but when rummaging through the contents you realize you don’t really like anything in there?

Well, why not do a 180 degree turn this year and instead of investing in short-lived pleasures do something different and focus on your staff’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Why lifelong learning?

Don’t look back at the “good old days” when somebody’s first job stayed safely with them until they retired. Today’s world is considerably different than it was for the previous generations when it comes to employment and professions. With new technical developments, AI, and automation it is certain that some jobs won’t be around in the future, which means career changes will happen more frequently. At the same time, those entering the labour market now will have to work longer and be much more flexible.

Because of this, you simply can’t sit back as a professional and rest on the skills you have – you need to work on expanding your skillset and increasing your experience on a regular basis. In a nutshell you need to embrace lifelong learning. For the next generation, 'cradle-to-grave' learning will be absolutely normal.

But it’s not only professionals that benefit from investing in their own training. If you are a business owner, upskilling your staff and offering CPD will add value to your business as well. It will help boost productivity, improve staff satisfaction, and ultimately show that you care.

In addition, by supporting your workers’ learning you can play a role in growing your own internal talent pool – something which is becoming more and more vital due to today’s skills shortages and talent gap.

So, what to gift?

Not all companies have the resources to invest in best practice courses that lead to professional qualifications for their staff. However, lifelong learning isn’t restricted to classroom training, it includes all learning activities with a purpose, be it formal, non-formal or informal. The main thing is the aim of the learning: improving one’s knowledge, skills and competences.

One example for a more informal option is an internal mentoring scheme, in which the mentor, a trusted and respected person that is not directly involved with the mentee’s job, acts as an advisor or guide using their own experience and knowledge. This kind of programme supports the mentee’s learning and development while the mentor also gains experience of motivating and advising others.

If you decide to offer your staff certified courses, make sure that these provide them with skills they can actually apply to their job. And yes, this might mean that they are out of the office for a couple of days while being on training. However, you and your business will benefit in the long run.

So, think about it: A hamper won’t last but training will be an investment for life.

For more information on best practice qualifications go to www.axelos.com/best-practice-solutions.

To find out more about the My AXELOS content subscription service and our CPD toolset go to www.axelos.com/professional-development.

Read our CPD blog: CPD – You are already doing it.

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