3 ways your team can make time for learning

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Here's one fact you can't argue with: Training pays.

Now you might say, “No, training costs.” Yet, if you invest in your employees, that investment will come back to you. Cue increased productivity, loyalty and an all-around better team.

In a 2016 survey by yours truly, we found that 85 percent of workers felt employer-provided training increased their workplace loyalty. The same survey showed that team members who trained just one hour per week saved 1.8 hours per week—or 83.7 hours per year—through productivity gains.

So if the return on training is so high, why did nearly one-third of IT staffers report they didn't receive workplace training? Probably the same reason you don’t always train. Time.

From where you're sitting, training can seem like one more initiative that doesn’t fit into an already packed project queue. The reality, however, is that tech training is a crucial investment to you, your team and organization as a whole. Forward-thinking companies use training as a key differentiator for enticing, retaining and developing top talent—and you can, too. Start with these three keys to create a successful training experience for your team:

1. Make training part of your team’s culture

We often talk about creating a learning culture within your organization, and the best way to do that is set an example for your team. When you provide and emphasize the need to train, you’re sending a powerful message to your staff that you, as a manager, are committed to their job success, career development and general well-being. It also says the benefits of ongoing training are critical to the growth and development of not just individual team members, but also the whole organization. Beyond investing in professional training programs for your staff, take other small steps to help your company build a learning culture. 

2. Recognize and reward your team

Training, when an employee is already juggling the demands of the daily grind, takes dedication. It’s important to reward a job well done. Have a specific way to call attention to and reward the training efforts of your team and its individual members without alienating or shunning others. Ultimately, it’s not so much about what you do, but that you recognize and appreciate your team members’ commitment to ongoing learning.  

3. Set aside time for your team to train

No matter how much you embrace training or reward it, if you don’t give your team the time to train, you’re not going to see the results you want. So where should that time come from? The key is to give a little, take a little and find a training routine that works for your team specifically. The state of training is changing, and businesses are increasingly finding that just-in-time, online solutions offer flexibility and relevance that isn’t always found in traditional, classroom-based training—learn more here.

Don’t forget to follow through

Now, we know we originally said “three ways to make time for learning,” but there’s one more key to a successful learning program: leaders like yourself should always provide active, ongoing guidance for each team member.

At the end of the day, training pays way more than it costs—or at least it should if you’re doing it right. Finding the time can be a challenge, but the benefits will far outweigh the initial hurdles. Learn more about how you can help your team find time to train and discover specific ideas for how to implement with our guide.

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Pluralsight is the technology skills platform. We enable individuals and teams to grow their skills, accelerate their careers and create the future.