Learning at Work Week 2021
The Learning at Work Week annual awareness campaign has taken place every May since 1999, organised by Campaign for Learning, a national not-for-profit organisation that promotes lifelong learning. It is a unique event aimed at building learning cultures at work by shining a spotlight on the importance and benefits of continual learning and development.
All organisations are invited to get involved, using free resources and ideas provided by Campaign for Learning, enabling learning & development colleagues to run creative, innovative, and inclusive activities linked to a theme, and promoting learning at work.
This year’s theme is Made for Learning which focuses on our human capacity to learn. It’s based on raising awareness around how we can be great lifelong learners and the importance of connection and community for developing empowered people and dynamic organisations.
HUMAN = LEARNING
Learning is a human thing. We learn constantly, adapting our understanding and behaviours, building on what we already know and can do. How can we support and grow this innate capacity for learning to become purposeful, active lifelong learners?
Make the topic and process of learning explicit to help everyone build confidence and motivation and identify and overcome barriers to learning. Generate conversations and understanding about learning and being a learner. Share new research and facts about how we learn and can learn better. Discuss the essential skills, attitudes, approaches and organisational support we need to be purposeful, active lifelong learners.
- Let’s talk about learning: screen talks or presentations on what we know about how we learn. making mistakes and struggling to learn new things is part of the process to dispel anxieties follow up discussions to talk about colleagues’ real-life experiences
- The power of believing you can improve – introduce the concept of Growth Mindsets
- Talking Fundamentals: brushing up on the essentials – run activities that build confidence and help colleagues get to grips with skills that underpin all our learning from numeracy and literacy to digital and critical thinking skills:
- Making it stick! Share opportunities to reflect on why it’s hard to make what we learn stick and become a habit and what we can do about it e.g. see why new habits are hard to stick and try something new for 30 days
- Learning how to learn: promote interesting research and resources to help people to become better learners: e.g. how to learn like a baby ; OpenLearn’s Learning how to learn and five ways to be more elastic in your thinking
- Test a new approach – trial a different format for learning to overcome barriers to learning at work
HUMAN = CURIOSITY
Lifelong and life-wide learning brings many benefits. We gain new ideas, knowledge and skills for work. We can follow our passions and use learning to achieve our aspirations and goals. As active, curious learners we are more likely to be healthier and happier, and better off financially.
Stimulate curiosity about lifelong learning. Highlight the value of lifelong learning and the great opportunities for learning in your organisation both informal and formal. Promote the great free resources that are available more widely. Show how learning can take place anytime, anywhere and that there are many ways to learn.
- What has learning done for us? Film colleagues talking about their learning journeys, or put on special talks with colleagues talking about their careers and learning experiences
- Provide career talks and internal opportunities to refresh, reskill and upskill – invite apprentices to talk about apprenticeships and
- Many ways to learn! Promote the wealth of learning resources and support in your organisation and more widely for both work and life – from coaching to microcredentials, from MOOCs to online apps.
- Great questions – Post daily question prompts to drive more curiosity at work
- Great taste of learning – stimulate an appetite and promote the benefits of lifelong learning with tasters and bite-size activities on a range of topics linked to colleagues’ interests (see below).
- Learning for Life – run activities on key life topics e.g. financial skills, making the most of the digital world, volunteering
HUMAN = CONNECTING
By connecting with others we learn things that enrichen our lives. We can share our talents and skills, discover different perspectives and understand better how our organisations work. We can create networks that sustain learning, encourage collaboration and enhance the skills and knowledge in our organisation and work communities.
Promote activities that bring people together to share and learn from across the business. Highlight community initiatives and peer champions.
- Champions for learning – promote or recruit learning champions, colleagues who can link peers to resources and support for learning and motivate colleagues through their own experiences
- Connect, Share, Swap – use the power of peer learning with mini-workshops, taster sessions, subject masterclasses, talks on passions and interests and topics linked to work. Create skill swap sessions for colleagues. Offer support to colleagues on how to present confidently.
- Community Likes – Promote or launch clubs – from book clubs to film clubs, speaking and debating to arts and crafts. Ask colleagues to post short reviews of their favourite book, film or artwork.
- Creative challenges – invite colleagues to submit their creative output after a workshop e.g. run a photo workshop and run a photo challenge. Display submissions in a gallery.
- Social Playlist – Create collaborative themed digital playlists – ask colleagues to nominate interesting articles, videos, online workshops and short learning. Create your own organisational sounds of learning playlist.
- Promote communities of practice or invite colleagues to come together to discuss and debate interesting issues and big questions linked to their field of work