Learning to learn well: why lifelong learning should be encouraged by employers

By Jon Faulkner

Education Employability

Once we leave school or University behind, many people breathe a sigh of relief that the days of sitting exams, or finishing an assignment late at night are over.  Learning beyond formal education however is something that many people pursue just because they have a passion to learn a new skill, create something practical or just understand more about a subject that they were not taught at school.  This need to learn is important not only for personal fulfilment but also contributes to a happy, fulfilled workforce.  

Continuous learning is a skill that needs to be nourished and encouraged by employers and here are just a few of the benefits of doing so.

3 Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Personal Fulfilment

If a person believes that they are reaching their potential, they are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled both in and out of the workplace.  If you are an employer, encourage your employees to either learn a new skill as part of their job or ask them to look for a course that motivates them to want to learn and put some budget aside for learning of this sort.  It could be creative e.g. art and drawing or it could be to learn a new skill that might help them in their current role or transition into a new role in the business.  Lifelong learning opportunities like these should be  treated as part of each employee’s personal development plan.


Mental Wellness

Learning alongside others is good for wellbeing and continuous learning can be an important building block in improving mental wellness.  By setting learning goals and making sure that you create time and space to achieve them, you can increase self-confidence and reduce stress in both your personal and professional life and learn the art of flexibility.  If you are committed to lifelong learning in your professional life, this self confidence can improve the way that you do your job by improving your knowledge and skills.


Inspires Creative Thinking

One of the greatest benefits of continuing education is that it helps to keep our minds active and inspire a more creative outlook on problem solving.  It can also be used as a safe space to try out new ideas and learn from mistakes.  The more we use education and keep learning, the more interested we are in finding creative solutions to problems or tackling issues head on.  More employers now believe that employees should engage in constant personal learning in order for the business to stay competitive and relevant.  

Nurturing Foundational Skills

Education is a basic right for all of us at whatever stage of life we are at. Lifelong learning should be seen by employers as an important part of any employee’s development package.  It has many benefits and investment in resources, support and training by employers will result in a more successful, fulfilled workforce.  The world is changing fast and the concept of a job for life is no longer a reality for anybody.  It is not unusual now to move across into new career changes not once or twice but up to five times over the course of being employed.  Being able to build foundational skills for this uncertain future is important as is being able to adapt and change depending on the needs of employers.