A shark needs to continue to move to survive. We must continuously learn to progress, whether that be a career progression or to understand new things that can help with current work tasks.
Now the big question is who is responsible for getting things set up for an individual learning path?
Let’s look at it in a RACI view: Responsible, Accountable, Contribute and Informed.
There are two views on continuous learning to take into consideration as well: Workplace and Personal.
Let us begin with the workplace:
Taking the RACI into account, in my experience, this is what I see:
Responsible – Employee
Accountable – Manager
Let me explain.
The Employee should always be looking for something to learn. There should be a need to improve, expand and become more efficient with knowledge gathering. If not, then that Employee’s job satisfaction could end up on the dissatisfied side and impact productivity.
The Manager should have a learning program in place for the team. Understanding that due to budget concerns sending all employees on courses or conferences is a daunting task. That is not the end. Setting up a low-cost training program is easy to do. The internet is a wealth of information that can be collected and used. Youtube has plenty of sessions that people can watch and take notes on that are less than an hour.
I put the Manager accountable because they need to ensure that the team has the information available. They should do some research to ensure that the employees are getting the information they need to make the workplace more efficient and a better place to work. That does not mean the Employee is off the hook for finding content. Creating a Knowledge Sharing environment and allowing everyone to have some ownership of said information is essential and will improve employee satisfaction. It can also help develop leaders within the organization. It will provide the ability to help others and show management who could be ready for more leadership positions.
Let’s now look at Personal:
Accountable – Employee
Informed* – Manager
This is a different dynamic as it could involve improving knowledge to help grow a career or it could be for personal growth. Hence there is an “*” at informed. If there is anything regarding career growth, it is a good idea to inform the Manager of what the Employee is doing. The reason being is the Manager should be helping with a career path with the Employee and understanding what they are doing. They can provide additional support to help get you there.
For courses that are for personal growth, it would be on an “as needed” basis. I believe if it has nothing to do at all with the work the Employee is doing, then the Manager does not need to know. If it impacts productivity, then it would be a good idea to share. It would allow the Manager to work with the Employee to find solutions not to affect work and personal growth.
Below is an article about what experts feel will be trending in Continuous Learning.
Some of the information falls in line with my discussion here on creating a Knowledge Sharing environment.