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Updated: Aug 3, 2018

Imagine vividly, performing the same repetitive tasks the rest of your life. Over and over again. How would you feel, at the end of your monotonous workweek?

Now, wait.. What degree of repetition do you actually expect of your team members these days?

If you don't like your colleagues and you do not intend to create a high performance team, stop reading and go love your automatic pilots over there.

Have you actually ever felt anything, while driving with cruise control turned on? Anything else than lethargy? It's the complete opposite of driving 250mph. In that case, you do want to steer, you do focus, you do smile (okay, or scream).

You do not need to buy your team members brand new Roadsters or Spyders to keep them alive and focused. Offer them life long learning. Learning brings meaning and progress.

There goes the budget

Yes, just smile and wave while these dollars fly out. No shit Sherlock. Imagine you, doing 10 studies at the same time. No wonderwoman or superman has ever achieved 10 high-end diplomas in one year. With one study per team member, these serious benefits do flow into your team. It's only up to you if you can handle the 250mph, you vivacious leader.

Why implement life long learning for your team members?

  • It makes them feel alive: varying days and personal growth

  • Constant knowledge input: you can't pick up this knowledge pace on your own

  • Inspirational input: new ideas and insights broaden your team's view

  • Network input: brings in new contacts, which can be useful for the complete team

  • Economic growth: new knowledge brings improvements and successes

  • Innovation is maintained: it's a continuous flow when you all learn

Life Long Learning for Teams

How to implement life long learning?

  • Find out what one would like to learn (No inspiration? Provide them some!).

  • Define how much time they would like to spend on a new task every week.

  • Make sure you know what's going on in one's personal agenda (stress does not help in knowledge adaption).

  • Find the right challenges: this could be a study, a temporary exchange at another department, a day at one of your suppliers or new, interesting tasks.

  • Ask some personal investment: money stays one of the motivational powers out there. Ask a 10-20% investment of the employee when it costs the company significant money, so it is very 'cheap' to learn, but team members are bonded financially too.

  • Provide guidance along the way: stay connected, know what's being learned and provide help when needed.

  • Organize inspiring meetings: when you gather, take a few minutes to share "What new knowledge do you have on your mind these days?"

  • Celebrate victories: just handed in an assignment, collected a new certificate - make sure one feels appreciated and celebrate victories together.

  • Treat everyone equally: make sure you do not overspend the budget on one of the team members. Provide a clear and equal yearly budget, which is enough to follow one large or multiple smaller trainings.

  • Keep it real: we still need to earn money to gather the life long learning budget. Do not get colleagues strangled in demanding learning tasks if they have enough learning possibilities within the company itself.

If you are still not convinced and practically prepared, ask yourself: why not? What is the biggest risk, having your employees studying new topics?

Afraid that they will run away right afterwards?

That tells more about you than about them. They might split even sooner when they do not have the opportunity to learn. And guess what, it is up to you to learn as soon as your colleagues are studying, not only afterwards.

Put some trust in growth, to actually gain growth.