Vlatka Hlupic: New learning shared among employees can increase creativity and innovation

Prof Vlatka Hlupic

Employers can build personal learning and development opportunities into a total reward strategy in order to impact employee motivation.

Opportunities for learning, development and personal growth form a major part of the shift in individual mindsets that would lead to higher levels of motivation, engagement and performance. This is particularly important for the millennial generation, the future leaders, and the soon-to-be-largest demographic segment in the workforce. Numerous surveys, such as the Millennial careers: 2020 vision report, published by Manpower Group in 2016, and the NextGen: a global generational study report, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2013, confirm that millennials identify ongoing learning and skills development as important to their future careers and one of the primary factors in considering a new job.

To sustain performance and behaviours at high levels, the most progressive and enlightened organisations ensure that employees have lots of opportunities for learning and development, and that this is embedded in organisational DNA to establish a learning organisation where individual and collective learning are intertwined.

For example, when in a learning organisation where individual employees undertake personal learning and development opportunities, there will be processes and tools that facilitate dissemination of that new knowledge across the organisation, as well as enabling this new knowledge to be applied in a particular job role. Through formal and informal interactions among employees, new learning will be shared and enhanced; it can lead to improved creativity and innovation. Technology can support dissemination and creation of new knowledge, and perhaps even more importantly, face-to-face interactions among employees will leverage investment in learning and development, enrich new learning that will emerge and lead to new ideas and initiatives.

Professor Vlatka Hlupic is professor of business and management at the University of Westminster and chief executive officer at The Management Shift Consulting.