10 May 2023
A lack of a culture of continuous learning may make it difficult for companies to attract top talent, particularly younger workers who place a high value on learning and development opportunities.
Finance transformation has significantly changed the way finance professionals work, and in turn, it has also spurred the age of continuous learning at work.
To keep up with the evolving and rapid changes, finance professionals must continuously learn, relearn and unlearn. This has led to organizations cultivating “a culture of continuous learning” in the workplace – where employees are encouraged to acquire new skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competitive.
What is a Culture of Continuous Learning?
When steeped in a culture of continuous learning, employees take charge of their own development and career growth. They are encouraged and supported to seek out opportunities to hone their skills and knowledge to improve their performance. Such a culture is gaining momentum in organizations big and small as they recognize that ongoing learning and development can not only help achieve individual goals but also, organizational objectives .
Here’s how you can foster a culture of continuous learning in your finance team:
- Encourage employees to pursue advanced degrees or certifications: Show your support for employees in the form of financial assistance, time off or other incentives to pursue advanced qualifications such as an MBA or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. This goes a long way in helping them with their studies.
- Offer regular training and development programmes: Be it in-person or online workshops, seminars or conferences, making training part of your company DNA. Keep your programmes fixed and consistent so that your team can benefit from a regular update on the latest finance-related technologies, tools and practices.
- Encourage employees to attend relevant industry events: Allow employees to seek out and attend relevant industry events, such as the 2nd DigitalCFO Asia Singapore Symposium 2023, where they can gain knowledge and exchange ideas with their peers and other finance leaders. This can significantly widen their perspectives and augment their practical understanding.
- Provide access to online learning resources: With employees from all around the world and working at different time zones, it helps if they have access to online learning resources such as courses, webinars and training videos, anytime, anywhere.
- Provide opportunities for cross-functional learning: If you would like your employees or team members to have more breadth in their scope of work, offering to work on cross-functional projects will be a good start. This can help them learn about other areas of the business and how their finance expertise can contribute to overall business success.
- Foster a culture of knowledge-sharing: Last but not least, the above pointers all are geared towards cultivating a culture of knowledge sharing. As finance head, you can encourage knowledge-sharing by organizing regular meetings, brainstorming sessions, or knowledge-sharing events. Your team members will be able to learn from each other, share best practices, and collaborate on projects.
In essence, a culture of continuous learning in the workplace is one where ongoing learning and development are valued and supported. It can be achieved through regular training and development programs, fostering a growth mind-set, and encouraging knowledge-sharing among employees.
How has the Age of Finance Transformation Influenced a Culture of Continuous Learning?
One way that finance transformation has influenced a culture of continuous learning is through the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics. These technologies require new skills and knowledge to operate effectively, which has driven finance professionals to seek out training and development opportunities to improve their skills.
In addition, finance transformation has created a need for finance professionals to be more business-oriented and strategic. This means that they must understand the broader business context and how financial decisions impact the organization as a whole. To develop these skills, finance professionals must continuously learn and stay up-to-date with business trends and strategies.
Furthermore, the age of finance transformation has also led to a shift in the role of finance professionals from traditional bookkeeping and accounting to more value-added activities such as financial analysis, forecasting, and decision-making. This shift has required finance professionals to develop new skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, which can only be acquired through continuous learning.
What if…There’s No Such Culture in Your Workplace?
Without continuous learning, employees’ knowledge and skills can become outdated quickly, making it challenging to adapt to new technologies, tools, and practices. This can result in decreased productivity and competitiveness. The lack of a culture of continuous learning can also create a skills gap between employees and the needs of the organization. This can result in a shortage of talent with the necessary skills to drive business growth.
Adding to that, the lack of opportunities for learning and development can bring rise to employee dissatisfaction and turnover. This is due to the fact that employees may feel stuck in their roles or they may simply be unprepared for advancement, leading them to look for opportunities elsewhere. Without continuous learning, employees may become complacent in their roles, sticking to what they know rather than taking risks and experimenting with new ideas. This can result in decreased innovation and a failure to adapt to changing market conditions.
A lack of a culture of continuous learning may make it difficult for companies to attract top talent, particularly younger workers who place a high value on learning and development opportunities. Companies risk becoming outdated and lose out their competitive edge, which could make all the difference in a throat-cutting business world.
In conclusion, if you would like a dynamic, savvy and motivated team, foster a culture of learning and development and the world could just be your oyster.