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first_imgThe charity Campaign for Learning isorganising a national Learning at Work Day on 17 May to encourage employers andemployees alike to learn to love learning. Follow our guide to making the mostof the opportunity. By Stephanie SparrowTuesday 8 May Make that callIf you haven’t already done so, youshould be calling the Learning at Work Day information line on 0117 966 7755 toregister and to request free planning and publicity materials. Campaign for Learning suggests thatthe free posters are placed in staff restaurants, smoking rooms and other areaswhere employees congregate, such as the washrooms.Involve senior managementA key factor is to get the seniormanagement on board. Real inspiration for learning starts at the top, says thecharity. On previous Learning at Work Days, business leaders have job-swappedwith their staff or customers to learn more about working life in the otherperson’s shoes. Job-swappers have includedemployment minister Baroness Blackstone, B&Q managing director Martin Toogoodand Warrington Borough Council chief executive Steve Broomhead. This year the Campaign for Learningis inviting leaders to complete a week’s learning diary to illustrate how weall learn every day.Keep staff in the pictureMake sure that all employees knowabout Individual Learning Accounts. The incentive behind them is to overcomefinancial barriers to learning.If an individual invests £25 oftheir own money the Government will make up the account to £150 that can bespent on learning. Call the Individual Learning Account Centre on 0800 072 5678for more information.Wednesday 9 May Plan a job-swapJob-swapping and job-shadowing aregood, informal ways of learning. Benefits include improved communicationsskills, support for career planning and experience in coaching and mentoring. Examine information flows in yourorganisation and suggest that departments who rely on each other forinformation organise job-swaps on Learning at Work Day.Thursday 10 May Promote language learningThis year has been designatedEuropean Year of Languages. Why not introduce the concept of language learningin a non-threatening way? Ideas from the Campaign for Learninginclude contacting the catering manager to offer a themed menu on othernational cuisines on 17 May and backing up this initiative with a display inthe staff restaurant on course information from local providers on where staffcan learn the related languages locally.Friday 11 MayPublicise your eventsMake sure that you have told theCampaign for Learning that you are getting involved in Learning at Work Day.The planning guide has a faxback form you can use. If you do not have a copysimply fax your organisation’s details to Learning at Work Day on 020-79301552, saying what you are doing to support the day. The campaign is targeting both localand national media to generate publicity for Learning at Work Day and will behighlighting the organisations that are taking part.Monday 14 May  Run a culture checkFind out if your organisation reallysupports learning as part of everyday working life. Check out the LearningClimate quiz on the campaign’s website. Invite colleagues to do that quiz andfind out the reasons behind any scores vastly different from your own.Tuesday 15 MayLook out for special offersMany providers are joining in, suchas e-learning provider iLearn.To, which has offered a free corporatee-university to every organisation getting involved. See our guide opposite. Wednesday 16 MayDiagnose your learning style and improve itVisit Peter Honey’s website atwww.peterhoney.com to discover what sort of learner you are. Understanding yourlearning style can make you become a more effective learner.Thursday 17 MayStudy what works Find out what suits the people inyour organisation and apply it throughout the year. At least one of thefollowing themes should be in evidence at your organisation today:– Creating a learning climate in theworkplace to enable informal learning that is integrated to people’s real work– Encourage leaders to be learnersby including job shadowing– Look at low-cost learning,including e-learning – Learning how to learnWhichlearning areas can you promote?Kick-starting an enthusiasm forlearning depends on how you present the concept to staff. Here are somesuggestions that should encourage their buy-inImprove communication Skills such asgiving clear explanations and listening are still overlooked in organisations,but are essential to making working life run more smoothly.  Try running a training session where anexpert explains a task to a non-expert who then has to pass on the instructionto another non-expert.  If communicationbreaks down, try to analyse the language that may be causing the problem.  Free access to online communication courseswill be available on the day from Skillsoft. For more information visitwww.skillsoft.comTackle stress managementA recent survey commissioned by theInternational Stress Management Association and Royal Sun Alliance suggeststhat 70 per cent of adults experience stress at work (compared with 60 per centin 1999).  Imaginativeideas from the Campaign for Learning include inviting a feng shui consultant into advise on creating a stress-free work environment and on how to conduct theart at home, and running a lunchtime workshop on dealing with stress.Encourage learning skillsUse Learning at Work Day to helpemployees recognise how they learn best. The Campaign for Learning recommendsusing its Learning Climate quiz to assess the learning culture within anorganisation. More information is available from the Campaign’s Call Centres.  It also wants to see a greater emphasis onindividual learning plans and learning diaries.  Boost computer abilitiesThe day brings a useful opportunityto encourage competence and confidence in computer skills.  If you have a systems department, hold atraining event on how your organisation’s systems work or you could try alunchtime skill-swap session at which people share useful  techniques. Organisations that benefited from this approach in the past includeCoventry City Council, whose staff were offered free taster sessions by ICTCentre at Coventry Central Library, and the Benefits Agency, which organisedsessions including learning about the internet.Coach financial awarenessMany people lack confidence aboutfinancial matters, whether its calculating VAT or balancing budgets.  The Campaign for Learning suggests offeringguidance to savings, investments, insurance and tax or even facilitatingnumeracy with taster sessions such as Working With Numbers and BudgetingBasics, which can be found on the learndirect website, www.learndirect.co.uk  Last year some companies held lunchbreaksessions for their staff such as “Payslips Explained”.Easyaccess to learning resourcesLanguagesFree online French, German andItalian language courses will be available from iLearn.To on Learning at WorkDay.  Online French andSpanish courses are also available from Encarta Language Learning.  www.iLearn.Tohttp://languagemsn.com/learn_main.aspCommunication coursesFree access to online communicationand interpersonal courses is being offered by Skillsoft on Learning at WorkDay. The e-learning provider is offering free access to courses such as TheMany Faces of Communication and The Customer-Driven Organisation.Free guides oncommunicating in plain English are also available from the Plain English Campaign.  www.plainenglish.co.uk   www.skillsoft.comFinancial awarenesslearndirect and the Plain EnglishCampaign offer activities in this area, including budgeting and pensions.  www.learndirect.co.uk  www.plainenglish.co.ukComputer skillsBBC WebWise is an online,step-by-step guide to the basics of the Internet. It is a comprehensive 10-hourcourse with in-built, online assessment .  www.bbc.co.uk/becomingwebwise  www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/campaign/learningLearning abilityThe Campaign for Learning offersmaterial such as The Smarter Learning Guide and A Learning Diary Template,based on Peter Honey’s Learning Log. These are available from the Campaign’scall centre on 0117 966 7755. The charity is also making its Learning for Workseries of work books available at 40 per cent off the normal prices and thisspecial offer is accessible through the website.  www.campaign-for-learning.org.ukVirtual universitiesEmployers who are interested inexploring the potential of e-learning can take advantage of Learning at WorkDay sponsors iLearn.To’s special offer to create their own virtual university.Once organisations have set up their own online corporate university, employeeswill have unlimited access to all iLearn.To courses for a fee of just £25 each.Trying for a job-swapFor tips on getting involved in ajob-shadow or swap contact Webswappers.  www.webswappers.comStress managementOpportunities for stress managementsessions throughout 17 May are being offered by friendly-ear.com. Channel 4 isdiscussing the origins of stress during the week.  www.friendly-ear.com http://stress.channel4.com/ Previous Article Next Article Countdown to Learning at Work DayOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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