Learning Environments: Why It Matters in IT (and How to Craft One)

In a good workplace, learning starts on the day you’re hired and it never stops. Encouraging continuing education in your workplace is a great way to retain your talented employees and cultivate necessary skill-sets, particularly in the fast-paced information technology field. That’s why you shouldn’t think of your office as just an office, but as a learning environment for your employees to flourish in. Here are some ways to encourage learning in your workplace:

Have your employees set professional goals.

An important step in crafting a learning environment is to make professional improvement an office-wide priority. Have weekly meetings to discuss continuing education progress and set goals with your employees. Meet for a yearly sit-down as well, which will allow both you and your employee to discuss the progress of last year while setting goals for the coming one.

Let your employees teach each other.

No two employees have exactly the same skill-set. Look within your current workforce for special skills and knowledge that could strengthen the company as a whole, and then consider setting up pairs of employees for cross-training. If that’s not right for you, find other ways to create a collaborative environment that encourages mentoring and coaching between colleagues.

Create an inviting space for learning.

When most people think of education they think of a classroom, but a learning environment can be much more. Consider setting up a dedicated computer terminal, a reference library, or group study spaces. Poll your employees about what skills they feel would best help them in their current position, and ask them what they need to achieve that. Don’t make learning feel like a punishment. Allow time for employees to play with new concepts and explore ideas.

Hire people who want to learn.

Bringing your priority for continuing education into your hiring process is a sure way to end up with curious employees. When hiring, look not only at the skills candidates have, but how they acquired them. Look for self-taught, collaborative, or educationally diverse backgrounds. Candidates that enjoy learning often enjoy teaching others and can make valuable mentors within your company.

Need help finding an information technology employee who is both skilled and wants to keep learning? Contemporary Staffing’s Technical Services division is focused on highly skilled and specialized IT candidates. Get in touch with us today to find the right person for your upcoming project or expansion.