Learning is essential during any stage of life, even in the workplace. For many, their career development has become one of the most important goals. However, dedicating time to learning in the after-hours can be tricky, which is why making learning a part of everyday work is an ideal solution. To incorporate learning into the workflow, we must first establish what workflow is and then continue with the different ways to add learning to it.
Workflow is a concept describing a sequence of operations during the working process. It depicts the tasks in progress, the steps they go through, people who work on them, and the tools used. To put it simply, it describes how something goes from raw to processed, whether it be information or some other material.
Although learning at work more often than not happens naturally, there are many ways you can purposefully incorporate learning in the workflow.
The first step to practicing mindfulness is paying attention to your surroundings. Be consciously present and aware of the things happening around you as you go about your day. Say you have to write a report; by being mindful, you give your full attention to the task. Even if at times your mind wanders to things that aren’t that relevant in that moment—such as the possibility of raining today or what you should read before bed, or even thinking what the people you share the same coworking spaces with are doing— acknowledge those thoughts and then try to redirect your attention to the task at hand. Some things as simple as thoughts can get in the way of you learning something new while working.
Treat your workplace as an opportunity to learn something new and further develop your skills. Think of the different situations you encounter, the challenges and the problems that arise at work. They are all opportunities for you to learn. Instead of simply finishing the tasks you are given, try observing your work, behavior, and progress. Think of the new tasks you’ll deal with. What could you do differently in comparison to how you’ve been doing this whole time. This way, you can notice your improvement and stay on track with your progress.
Sometimes you might not notice the opportunities you’re offered to learn and therefore miss out on them. A good way to keep track of these opportunities and make the most out of them is by creating and following a to-learn list. Write down concepts you do not understand but would like to, words you are unfamiliar with, thoughts, and practices that might be helpful. Then, whenever you have time, you can explore them and reflect on what you have learned. This way, you do not forget or neglect the process of learning even at work.
People make time for what they want. If you want to further develop in your field, then make time for learning. Let your management and colleagues know how important widening your horizon to you is, and then set some time aside for it. It doesn’t have to be a long time so as not to interfere with the tasks you have to complete for work. You can begin with only an hour out of your workweek. Devoting time for learning in your work schedule is a great way to ensure that you learn in the workflow and make learning part of your routine.
If a certain topic interests you, or you want to know more about your industry, you can subscribe to newsletters related to them. These newsletters will keep you updated and provide new information that you can learn from. Be picky about what you subscribe to and choose only a few relevant to your field and interests and from which you can truly benefit.
A great way to broaden your skills as a person is to create a development program. However, when the programs created determine the learning pathway, the participants must follow without the feedback or input. If that is the case with you, take matters into your own hands and create a development program that suits your wants and needs. Whether as an employee or a leader, it is important to try and include everyone when creating the program to be as helpful as possible to all.
To ensure quality learning, you should learn from the best. Inviting specialists in the workshops you organize will present you and your team with an excellent opportunity to develop your skills as taught by an expert in the field. The education and feedback provided by a source not linked with the company will help boost the employee’s confidence and help them notice what they must improve on.
Coworking projects are an excellent opportunity for employees to develop their communication and teamwork skills further. To complete the project, they must work together, help each other out, and share their knowledge. Thus, peer-to-peer learning also helps employees improve their confidence and business knowledge. It is important to let the employees deal with the coworking project on their own to activate their creativity and problem-solving skills fully and ensure that they use the opportunity to learn from each other.
Last but not least, you can learn greatly from different online learning channels. Creating a channel for your organization helps employees store, organize, access, and share information. Thus, providing yet another opportunity for employees to learn and share that knowledge with others.
Making learning part of everyday work is essential in ensuring that you and all the other employees develop the habit of acquiring new skills. Ultimately, learning in the workflow is ideal because it will help you become better at your job and grow professionally.