Continuous learning 'important for business growth'

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Developing staff talents should be an integral part of continuous development

Business leaders across the UK should heed the words of employment law expert Alan Price, who believes encouraging staff to take an active role in their own professional development can reap huge dividends in terms of company growth.

Mr Price told the readers of that learning is not something that people stop doing when they leave school and enter the workplace; it is a practice that should be nurtured and supported throughout all of our careers.

However, some businesses in the past have been guilty of stifling the curiosity of staff and failing to help individuals to spread their wings and learn new skills, but this is definitely something that modern and progressive business leaders should now frown upon.

Instead, time and resources should be set aside to interact with all members of staff, no matter their level within a business, to allow them to develop into stronger and more well-rounded employees.

"If employees show the desire to learn and progress in the workplace, then managers should implement a way to meet their requests and facilitate the learning process," Mr Price stated.

"Employers cannot expect their employees to research the company and ways to enhance the workplace in their own time, as they need their leisure time to unwind. With this in mind, employers should look to devise a schedule whereby learning new skills is a part of the weekly routine."

He added that company leaders should be aware of the need to schedule these periods of professional development to ensure company functions are not adversely affected by having too many workers engaged in training programmes at the same time.

That said, it is important for managers and company leaders to prioritise staff development to get the most out of their investment in this area.

Focused learning that is applicable to the roles that individual members of staff carry out on a day-to-day basis forms an important part of effective continuous development planning, while developing an understanding of the existing strengths and weaknesses of individuals can help to tailor these programmes more closely to deliver the best benefits overall.

In conclusion, Mr Price believes all businesses can benefit from a focus on helping members of staff to make the best of themselves and to enhance their skills. By doing so, they are adding more flexibility to their role and helping to increase efficiencies.

At the same time, those businesses that invest in their staff are more likely to benefit from increased worker retention and positive reputation, meaning helping people to help themselves can not only boost the prospects for individuals, but it can also help companies to attract and retain the most talented in their field.