Lifelong Learning: How To Overcome Motivation Barriers

Lifelong learning takes on many forms in our personal and professional environment, and while people often struggle to get motivated.

Published on 22 August, 2016 | Last modified on 10 February, 2023
Lifelong learning for professionals

Lifelong learning takes on many forms in our personal and professional environment, and while people often struggle to get motivated.

Lifelong learning takes on many forms in the personal and professional environment, ranging from do-it-yourself projects on Pinterest, to courses at community centres, to formal corporate training sessions. While people can often struggle to get motivated, it is important to keep in mind that learning is not a temporary solution, but rather an ongoing lifelong process.

Why it matters

A government study examining the effects of lifelong learning on the UK economy outlines several benefits of continued training and development over a person’s lifetime, including life satisfaction, optimism, and subjective well-being. Adult learners feel more confident and mentally stimulated when they regularly develop new skills throughout their life.

However, there are also three main barriers that can keep people from lifelong learning:

  1. A negative perception by the learner about their own abilities, motivation, and interest in new knowledge.
  2. Personal factors such as poor health, responsibilities, time, and money.
  3. The organisation they work for.

Lifelong learning investing in yourself

The outcomes of and attitudes towards lifelong learning differ for professional and personal learners. People who continually advance their personal knowledge tend to feel more capable and well-rounded. Those who have taken or received professional training feel as if their job skills and expertise have improved alongside their overall career advancement.

If an organisation does not offer employees some source of training, these employees will most likely seek learning and development elsewhere. There are a range of consequences to a lack of training, including a feeling of underappreciation, misinformation, or knowledge inconsistency.

Ulimately, people want to learn, especially if they’re looking to further drive their career or if they feel that their job is not secure. If there is no opportunity for them to progress in their development, rest assured that they will find it through external sources.

Maintaining and Improving Professional Skills

Professionals are already aware of the skills they need to maintain and improve upon to succeed. For business success, organisations need to be open to hearing employees’ opinions on emergent technologies, and should base training delivery on this insight.

However, technological savviness is not the only skill professionals look to improve upon. Communication skills are vital for many roles – especially interpersonal skills and effective communication. Training exercises on how to listen and communicate (written and verbally) can be eye opening, even to senior professionals.

Sprucing up and strengthening these skills helps to mold tenacious leaders and managers. L&D professionals can cater to specific individuals who show leadership promise by delivering content centred around driving goals, mobilising teams, and coaching. 

Lifelong Learning as a Choice

Lifelong learning is almost a lifestyle choice for each individual, and although it takes time and effort to learn new skills, the positives outweigh any pains. While it is an organisation’s responsibility to train and develop their staff, an individual employee’s will to learn can save a business time and money, and it is therefore important to recognise this effort to motivate and encourage your workforce.

While there are a wealth of resources, it’s worth inquiring about digital applications or platforms that can consolidate official L&D content. Mimeo Digital is an application that distributes digital content. L&D professionals can safely secure content and add or revoke access to course materials. Users of the app can stream videos and collaborate with others through group annotations from any Internet browser, or through the Mimeo Digital app download.

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