Find HBR L&D articles focused on personal growth and development in life and work.

You probably know it’s important to consistently work on your own personal growth, knowledge, skills, and experience, but finding the time and energy to do so can be difficult. By taking small steps every day, and following some of the key lessons learned in the articles below, you can begin to focus on yourself and your goals for the future. These top Harvard Business Review articles on learning and development are a great place to begin to grow personally and professionally:

  • Take Control of Your Learning at Work
  • Make Learning a Part of Everyday Work
  • How to Help Your Employees Learn from Each Other
  • Educating the Next Generation of Leaders
  • 4 Ways to Create a Learning Culture on Your Team
  • Make Sure Everyone on Your Team Sees Learning as Part of the Job

Learn more about these Harvard Business Review learning and development articles below.

1. Take Control of Your Learning at Work

Fact: the desire and ability to grow and adapt one’s skill set is incredibly valued in today’s workplace. As children, we are often pulled into learning by our own curiosity and need to understand the world. Tapping into this childlike mindset will undoubtedly prove useful at the right organization. Other useful tips noted in this article include:

  • Choosing an organization/company that values learning and personal development opportunities.
  • Set aside specific time for learning. If you schedule this time like every other work task ahead of time, you won’t have the excuse of being too busy to complete it.
  • Focus on what you don’t know. Look at your weaknesses honestly and find tangible ways you can improve in those areas.
  • Reach out to others. Your coworkers, bosses, and mentors all have valuable knowledge that they can bestow upon you.

Read the full article here.

2. Make Learning a Part of Everyday Work

Research tells us that opportunities for development are the second most important factor in workplace happiness (just after the nature of the work itself). Learning is essential for company growth and employee happiness – and yet, on average, knowledge workers spend only five minutes a day for formal learning.

So how can an employee incorporate learning into their every workday? Here are a few tips from this article:

  • Practice mindfulness. Be aware and present as you complete tasks. Stop and ask questions of your coworkers or boss about what they are working on. All of these inquiries present new opportunities for you to learn and do something new.
  • Develop a to-learn list. Like a to-do list, a to-learn list gives you a chance to write down all of the topics of interest you want to learn more about. That way, you can make your way down your list little by little with actionable steps to take along the way.
  • Find the right newsletters to subscribe to. Keep your newsletter subscriptions to a small number of highly valuable industry or topic related ones. Make it a habit to read the ones that interest you every day and follow up on any topic or article that requires further understanding.

At the end of the day, learning in the office can help both employees and employers succeed. Read the full article here.

3. How to Help Your Employees Learn from Each Other

Learning isn’t always an activity we do alone – people are social creatures, and we often learn best when it’s with others. Organizations and businesses often forget the untapped potential of employees sharing knowledge and learning with and from each other. Peer-to-peer learning encompasses the four main parts of learning – gaining the knowledge, applying that knowledge, getting feedback, and reflecting on what was learned. This article covers some tips on how to incorporate structured peer-to-peer learning in your organization, including:

  • Appointing a facilitator to organize sessions and keep employees on topic. Neutral parties can also ensure the atmosphere remains positive and suited for learning, experimenting, and sharing ideas.
  • Focus on building a safe environment. Your employees should feel comfortable and confident with asking questions and testing their knowledge in action. Consider discussing some basic ground rules with participants beforehand, such as the importance of practicing empathy and patience.
  • Encourage networking and communication. Peer-to-peer learning works best when systems are in place to encourage active participation and communication day-to-day. Networking events or an online employee forum may help participants feel more comfortable around their coworkers.

Read the full article here.

4. Educating the Next Generation of Leaders

Many organizations struggle to train and develop their employees to become leaders. According to several research studies, over 50% of senior management believe that their talent development efforts don’t adequately build these critical skills. Personalized, customized learning development programs often perform better because they adapt to the individualized needs of participants and foster learning communities.

According to this Harvard Business Review personal development article, personal learning means:

  • Employees can pursue knowledge and skills development at their own pace and learning style.
  • Participants learn from and collaborate with each other.
  • Professional development opportunities are directly relevant to participants’ work environment. They can actually apply the skills they learn on the job and continue growing.
  • Learning outcomes can be tracked and analyzed for progress. Certifications can be used to authenticate that the skills and knowledge have been successfully internalized.

Read the full article here.

5. Ways to Create a Learning Culture on Your Team

A learning culture is one that supports an open mindset, the desire for knowledge, and shared learning relevant to the goals and mission of the organization. Most companies and organizations are far removed from these ideals – but it’s not impossible to implement. Strengthening employee engagement and input is often tied to personal development and learning opportunities. Consider incorporating these tips to create your own learning culture:

  • Develop a formal reward system for sustained, continuous learning. Nurturing critical thinking and supporting employee investment in new ideas and knowledge gathering are long-term requirements.
  • Provide meaningful, frequent feedback. Constructive feedback is a powerful tool to help employees gain valuable skills in areas they may be weaker in. Because it is often difficult for us to recognize our own limitations, this outside feedback is necessary for growth.
  • Lead by example. Employees look up to senior management for leadership and direction. If you want your employees to invest in learning, you need to invest in it yourself.

Read the full article here.

6. Make Sure Everyone on Your Team Sees Learning as Part of the Job

Learning helps employees keep a broad perspective and stay current in a fast-paced, digital world. In order for learning to become an active part of the workplace, managers need to show that it is truly a part of the job. According to this article, management should:

  • Be a vocal role model of learning and personal development opportunities.
  • Celebrate growth and explore failures. Team members need to be able to celebrate their successes as well as learn from mistakes in order to grow as employees and individuals.
  • Make it easy for employees to participate through active programming and opportunities.
  • Foster new experiences and ensure learning is applicable to the real-life workplace.

Read the full article here.

When it comes to personal development and growth, both employees and senior management must be on the same page. These Harvard Business Review personal development and learning articles are a great place to start when developing an actionable learning culture at your organization.

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