Here’s the paradox
At no time in our history has there been such an abundance of free, quality, on-line learning available around the world to anyone who’s connected to the internet. At the same time, those who are working demanding jobs often don’t have the time, or don’t feel they have the permission, to take time out of their day to learn.
But isn’t our growth and learning important? Doesn’t it make us smarter, increase the diversity of our thinking, and ultimately make us better people leaders and employees? As companies adapt to the dynamic forces affecting our workplace – younger, always connected, more socially-responsible employees who learn on-the- go, traditional learning is being augmented by fresh ideas that are more suited for today’s workforce.
I’m super-excited that at Sprinklr, not only do we have more traditional-based learning programs, but also a system that empowers employees to build their own learning plan (Learn2Grow) in conjunction with their manager. Our latest learning initiative is known as 24-4-U. The new offering was inspired by Kristen Adams (Diane’s daughter).
Kristen had the idea that people should take the time (one day away from the office) to invest in their learning however they choose — either for personal or professional development. The power of 24-4-U is that it sends a strong signal that not only is learning important, but also that your company CARES enough to give everyone the flexibility to dedicate one-day-a-year of company time to learn.
And when the 24-4-U day is taken away from the office, it eliminates the distractions of the daily cycle of emails, texts, meetings and other competing priorities. The other benefits of 24-4-U are clear:
- Demonstrates commitment to a learning culture
- Says to employees, “we trust you”
- Empowers employees to invest in their own learning and development
- Underscores the importance of living a full life by allowing for professional or personal development
So what does 24-4-U look like?
We have employees downloading technical courses, watching TED talks, and huddling in small engineering work groups to learn new skills. On the other side of the spectrum, and in line with expanding their personal development, employees are donning chef hats and enrolling in a cooking class, learning a foreign language through online apps, or practicing wellness through yoga and relaxation. The point is the learning is up to the individual, and can take any form.
Most important, in this 24/7 always-on stressful world, 24-4-U says it’s still okay to shut off your devices, to look inward, and invest in yourself. And there’s something very refreshing about that.
Feel free to connect with Richard and Diane on LinkedIn