Apply These 12 Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs to Keep Your Team Learning

12 Ways to Keep Your Employees Learning While on the Job

Recruiting and retaining good employees is a concern for every business owner. You want to keep your employees happy while also furthering their career. Engaged employees are more apt to work harder, perform better, and be easily motivated. Offering opportunities where your employees can learn and grow while on the job is an effective way to keep them engaged at work and provide them the ability to excel at their own pace. That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“What do you find is the most common way employees look for continued learning on the job and how do you encourage it?”

How to Keep Your Employees Learning

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

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1. Offer Them Growth Opportunities

“I never want my employees to be bored or stagnant. I try to assess their strengths and assign tasks and projects that are just a little out of their wheelhouse, with help from someone more knowledgeable, so that they can grow into better employees and always feel like they are learning and growing at my company.” ~ Kevin ConnerBroadbandSearch

2. Have Them Learn From Each Other

“We encourage that no one recreates the wheel. Anytime one of our recruiters starts a project that is similar to ones we’ve done before, we make sure that the team gets together to share their experiences and insights. This way, everyone learns from one another, and lessons are shared across the whole company. ” ~ Peggy ShellCreative Alignments

3. Help Them Learn Through Experiences

“I believe all employees learn through experiences. Because of this, I like to see my team gain experiences through networking opportunities, new projects and business conferences. Research is great, but I believe these types of events are more likely to stick with employees, as well as give them new chances for growth.” ~ Shawn Rubel, Eezy

4. Pair Junior and Senior Team Members

“I believe the best way to learn, for anybody, is by doing. Put the junior team members with the senior team members and they’ll receive plenty of hand-me-down lessons while working on projects. The junior team members can do the bulk of the lifting when it comes to work, but your senior employees can guide them and make sure they do it right, while learning in the process. ” ~ Andy KaruzaFenSens

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5. Find External Training Sessions

“Industry events and external training sessions are a great way for employees to learn about the job or industry. Getting out of the building and getting someone else’s perspective can be highly educational, and I always encourage them to do that (and, of course, offer to pay for the session). ” ~ Douglas BaldasareChargeItSpot

6. Give Them Access to Online Classes

“Depending on the job role, our employees will have access to classes on DigitalMarketer and Treehouse. DigitalMarketer offers certifications in different marketing subjects while Treehouse helps keep our developers’ skills fresh.” ~ Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

7. Have Personal Development Plans for Each

“We find it’s best to develop a personal development plan for each employee, so we know what they’re wanting to work toward and can align in a mutually beneficial way. Then they can see where they are and where they’re going, alongside the incentives that might be driving the progress.” ~ Baruch LabunskiRank Secure

8. Have Performance Management Strategies

“This is something we’ve successfully integrated into our performance review system. We have the same set of questions for every performance review, one of which asks the employee what tools we can provide for them as leaders, what skills or goals they wish to achieve within the next three months, and where they see themselves developing in their work here. ” ~ Maren HoganRed Branch Media

9. Send Them to Conferences

“I have made so many great connections just by being willing to go to conferences and talk to anyone who wanted to have a conversation. I encourage my employees to do the same, and I’ll work with their schedule to make sure they can attend the ones that are important to their work. ” ~ Adam Steele, Loganix

10. Encourage Employees to Ask Why

“Encourage them to ask questions and find the answers. There’s no better way for an employee to learn a skill or industry than by having them ask questions and find the answers to their questions. We keep a company-wide wiki that documents all of our internal business processes, which helps our employees find answers and also allows new questions to be asked and discussed at our weekly meetings.” ~ Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

11. Get Employees Hands-On With Customers

“Our business is creating a new, high-tech approach to an old-school industry — as much as we want to change how things are done, we also need to understand the problems our customers face. To get that understanding, our employees want to get on site as much as possible, and we’re happy to send them. Seeing a problem in both a new and an old light makes us better in everything that we do.” ~ Kevin Bretthauer, FuelCloud

12. Allow Them to Use Quora

“It’s amazing how much information and insight is on Quora. Yes, there are certainly time wasters, but we encourage our team to develop their profile and learning. It’s just a question of limiting it so that it doesn’t get out of hand. ” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

3 Reactions
  1. Powerful article. Companies that continue to learn will continue to earn! #11 is my favorite tip. It is so vital to get your employees in front of your customers and see where the sales happen, so they will have a greater understanding of how their job helps or hurts this vital transaction.

  2. You have to take the learning mindset and instill it in your team. They should be ready to continue learning and be open to tasks that are outside of their comfort zones.

  3. Conferences are definitely a great tool, as long as you teach your employees how to completely use everything they have to offer. One of the biggest benefits of conferences is the potential for networking, so if you’re going to one and not using it as an opportunity to meet people, you’re messing up big time!