A lightbulb illuminating the different types of skills to learn that surround it.
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Technology continues to set the pace of change in business at a lightning-fast speed. When new technology and new ideas are introduced constantly, business owners need to provide their workers with the skills to adapt. This means that workers are constantly learning. In order for businesses to create an efficient and effective learning culture in the workplace, they need to understand the science of learning. 

Authors of The Expertise Economy Kelly Palmer and David Blake believe that businesses make two mistakes when teaching their workers new skills. The first is that they focus too much on lecture learning. People learn best by doing, not by simply being “talked at”. Workers can learn quickly through a 4 tier method that Palmer and Blake have coined the “learning loop”. First, the worker can choose the content they want to consume when getting familiar with the new skill, in any media they’re comfortable with. Then, the worker practices the skill in a low pressure environment at home or with a coworker so that they are free to fully explore the skill. Third, the employee moves up a step by performing the skill for a person who has expertise in that area and provides constructive feedback. Lastly, the employee can reflect on their newly learned skill and adjust based on the feedback they were given. 

The second mistake that businesses make when teaching workers new skills, according to Palmer and Blake, is that most learning is compliance learning. This kind of learning does not leave room for the worker to choose the skills they want to learn. Businesses often overlook the fact that employees know best – they are often the first to learn about new technologies and the skills that accompany them. Moreover, a worker who chooses their own learning path will be more motivated to master skills because they have the freedom to learn in their own way. That being said, businesses should continue to give guidance on the types of skills they want their workers to learn. By adopting a new science of learning, the employee can flourish within their company and the company can flourish in an ever-changing market.

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This post was written by McKenzie Cline