The Business Imperative of Lifelong Learning

Employers can keep teams on the cutting edge while retaining talent as employees build fulfilling careers in an ever-evolving landscape.

People on a laptops in a classroom with a blackboard

The business world is in a near-constant state of flux. With technological innovation and shifts in perspective, business and the working world are always changing and are incredibly competitive. As a result, employees who adopt practices of lifelong learning are often best prepared for the myriad changes within their careers. 

Learning should continue throughout a professional career. By creating a culture around continued education and rewarding the lifelong learners in your organization, employers can help their teams remain as cutting-edge and experienced as possible, allowing both the organization and its employees to reap maximum benefits in an ever-evolving landscape.

The necessity of lifelong learning 

Today’s leaders and HR professionals are seeking to hire for attitude and personality and train for skills. They know finding a good culture fit may be far more important and indicative of an employee that will be easier to retain than seeking one with the “perfect” skillset. 

Amid issues with retention and employee satisfaction that fueled the Great Resignation, companies that offer continued education are likely to fare better long term. A recent survey showed that 94% of employees would stay with their current employer if that employer invested in their lifelong learning.

Agents, risk management professionals, adjusters and other employees must always be aware of changes within the insurance industry, law and regulations to stay competitive in their roles. Staying on top of market trends within the insurance industry can vary by type of insurance or by state, making targeting continuous education all the more important. 

Adapting to change 

Each industry will introduce new necessary skills that employees will have to learn if they intend on growing within their careers. With this in mind, organizational leaders must serve as models, providing relevant learning opportunities for their team members and growth-orientated mentorships. In addition, team members must be aware of the benefits of lifelong learning and have a clear picture of what taking advantage of learning opportunities means for their long-term career outlook.

See also: The Key for Agents: Lifelong Learning

Innovation and creativity 

Providing lifelong learning opportunities for employees can also boost inter-organizational creativity and expand perspectives. With more creativity and innovation coming from the various team members, organizations can grow, develop cutting-edge products and services and engage with expanded markets. 

It may seem like there is little to no room for creativity within an industry such as insurance or risk management, but that outlook could be short-sighted. When problems pop up within the insurance industry — such as rising insurance premiums in Florida or California — the educated and creative minds will be the problem-solvers. 

The more teams are engaged with and involved in creative organizational growth, the better the job satisfaction, productivity and overall retention will be. 

Leadership development 

One primary reason to cultivate a lifelong learning culture is to develop future organizational leadership. Today’s leaders won’t be around forever, so it will be up to the next generation to continue the mission and goals of the organization. 

Learning opportunities that are built within the organization will instill confidence in people with natural leadership abilities, allowing them to rise to the occasion. When structuring lifelong learning initiatives, organizations need to give space for promotions and reward individuals who take full advantage. 

See also: Opportunity Now and in 2024

Practical strategies 

Lifelong learning initiatives can become part of a company’s core when practical strategies are applied and made a priority. Companies should home in on the skills that are imperative for team members to learn to grow within the company and keep the company on the cutting edge. 

This strategy must include having a finger on the pulse of the industry changes and innovations, so leadership knows what skills their team members need to have to stay competitive. Organizations should also encourage collaboration within the learning environment, as teams that learn together often grow and innovate more effectively. In addition, companies should create space within the organization to learn on the job, so continuing education opportunities can be accomplished along with day-to-day productivity. 

With lifelong learning woven within the fabric of the company makeup, team members and leadership can work together toward innovative growth. 

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