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14 May 2019

Setting Aside Time to Learn


39 percent more likely to feel productive and successful, LinkedIn.


The 20% idea is not a new phenomenon. In the world of apprenticeships, we often refer to the 20% rule, whereby learners contribute 20% of their working time towards developing their skills and learning at work. This does not have to be achieved in a rigid one day off the job a week rule – more a guide to contributing 20% of total hours over the course of a learning programme. Of course, a learning culture was heavily publicised in the early noughties at tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon.  

In the last decade, employee engagement, internal cultures of development and an ethos of engaging leadership, have been heavily injected, analysed and reported. But how easy is it for a small to medium size business to take their employees away from their desks and give them the resources to develop? It seems it may not be as much of a hurdle than you think. We are going to share some easy points on how to set out time for your team to learn.


  1. Embed it into your values and organisational learning culture


Set it out from the initial stages of recruitment because this will feed into long term retention rates, through acquiring staff that have a shared interest in developing their careers.


  1. Do the Research

Listen to your employees and understand what they want because this will lead to a better ROI due to less time wasted. Let your employees choose the areas that they want to upskill in and most interests them, as long as it suits their roles.


  1. Happier workers drive productivity

People who have the time to develop their skills at work are determined to be 21% happier than those who do not get the opportunity for further development. The research, which was conducted by the professional social media platform LinkedIn, employees who learn at work are more knowledgeable and up to date with current trends that allow them to benefit their role. For example, 21% of those surveyed are more likely to feel confident at work and with their decision making. This also helps to create a culture which shares learning experiences and celebrates successes.


4 Get Planning


Adding learning time, the diary of your employees will make it easy to keep to your goals of giving your team the time to learn at work. This can easily be achieved by encouraging different areas of your team to share insights with each other, helping people to figure out the different jigsaw pieces that build your business. Encourage employees to identify a ‘to learn’ list whereby learners can identify the areas that they want to progress most in. This is also beneficial for employers because it gives an opportunity to track where their employees motivations lie and how they can help them to achieve their goals.


We hope that we have given you some insight into cultivating a learning culture and providing the foundations employees to develop their own specific areas of interest.

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