We all know that a key part of delivering an excellent service is the ongoing development of those who make it possible. The NCVO provide useful advice on ‘Developing a Learning Culture’ in your organisation and even provide an example Learning and Development policy statement for free Developing a learning culture — NCVO Knowhow.
And after the impact that the pandemic has had on the charity sector, it’s more important than ever that charities have the ‘tools they need to succeed’ and the ability to ‘thrive in a changing world’. Checking in with and evaluating our professional development plans can be a good place to start. By identifying clear goals and practical steps to achieve them, we are better placed to prioritise the learning opportunities that can help us succeed in our role.
But in addition to the benefits that staff development can have on the service provided are the important benefits it can bring for staff themselves. As focussed as the charity sector is on helping others, it’s worth reflecting inwards and considering why staff development matters just as much internally.
1. Your Wellbeing
Feeling valued is a significant part of our wellbeing and this can be demonstrated by the investment and prioritisation of continual learning opportunities at work.
2. Your Interest
Learning new skills is a brilliant way to positively engage the mind and keep our interest in our work and our career goals fresh.
3. Your Confidence
Knowing that our knowledge and skills are up to date and relevant helps us to evolve and adapt to new challenges with greater confidence. Plus, it’s really rewarding when we master something new!
So, if staff development isn’t already a top priority for employers it’s clear that it should be. Lockdowns, working from home and an all-round decrease in interaction makes the positive connection of shared learning more needed than ever.
Here at Lamplight our Training Development Manager, Libby, shared with us some of the highlights she has enjoyed whilst training our customers remotely and working with them as they develop their knowledge and skills in Bitesize Training.
‘All our customers work in the third sector and Bitesize training is open to people from across different charity organisations. This has created an opportunity for people to share insights into how they have adapted, managed, and evolved over the past two years. This has been eye-opening.’
‘Some customers have reflected on how working remotely has been a catalyst for seeking further training. Without having colleagues physically around to give reminders or do certain things, the focus has shifted to upskilling ourselves.’
‘These moments are always the best! It’s when people discover things which are going to increase their efficiency and save them time. Even people who’ve been using Lamplight for years have found how important it is to access on-going training and stay open to new learning.’
‘Our Bitesize training is focussed on enhancing knowledge and skills for using the system. But the opportunity often leads to reflection on and planning for the use of data at large. It’s great to see people inspired in this way.’
Our Bitesize training dates are now full for October so look out for our November dates coming soon and we look forward to seeing you there!
MHFA England also provide further tips on keeping well and connecting with others to feel good at this time: 10-keys-to-happier-living-wall-poster (mhfaengland.org).