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39 Self-directed Learning in the Workplace

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF

39

Self-directed

Learning in the Workplace

INTRODUCTION

Self-directed learning involves the learner initiating the learning process, making the decisions about what training and development experiences will occur, and how. The learner selects and pursues their own learning goals, objectives, methods, and means to check that the goals have been achieved.

Self-directed learning is ideally suited to the workplace and has numerous advantages over traditional forms of classroom instruction for employees.

Self-directed learning programs:

◆ Are more effective in development because learning accommodates employees’ learning styles and objectives

◆ Save substantial training costs because learners learn to help themselves and each other with practical and timely materials

◆ Achieve increased employee job effectiveness as they learn to learn from their own work experiences and actually apply their learning in their places of work.

Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that traditional approaches to program design and delivery in the workplace and in associative organizations present some important weaknesses. Problem areas include: coping with the short life span of useful knowledge; passing down acquired competencies to succeeding cohorts; accommodating the demands of productivity while providing for a continuity of learning; [and] enabling learners to pursue activities that correspond to their learning styles and needs. (Bouchard)

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31 Planning Skills

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF

31

Planning

Skills

INTRODUCTION

Planning is the start of the process by which you turn dreams into achievements. It helps you avoid the trap of working extremely hard, but achieving little. The process helps you to:

◆ Take stock of your current position and identify precisely what is to be achieved

◆ Work out the process of getting there in the most effective, efficient way possible

◆ Detail precisely and price the who, what, when, where, why, and how of achieving your target

◆ Assess the impact of your plan on your organization (or your life)

◆ Evaluate whether the effort, costs, and implications of achieving your plan are worth the achievement

◆ Consider the control mechanisms that are needed to achieve your plan and keep it on course

You may have heard of one interpretation of the Pareto principle: that

80 percent of a job is completed in 20 percent of the effort. By thinking and planning, we can reverse this to 20 percent of the effort achieving 80 percent of the results. When you are about to plan a project, you face problems and risks. These might be:

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22 Listening Skills

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF

22

Listening

Skills

INTRODUCTION

Poor listening often results in misunderstandings and time-wasting errors.

It leads to lower productivity and lower morale. Most of us think we are good listeners. We spend up to 80 percent of our working hours either listening or acting on what we hear. Untrained listeners lose 75 percent of what they hear in a matter of hours and often capture less than half of the message at the time they receive it.

Do you hear or do you listen? What is the difference? We can all hear, but listening is more sophisticated. You could hear a work colleague say, “I can’t complete this project by the deadline.” But if you listened to their tone of voice, how they said the words, and their body language, you might pick up how worried they are about not meeting their commitment or that they’re not asking for help when they need it. So instead of thinking “Well, here’s someone who can’t get their act together and finish something on time,” you might consider sitting down with them and asking what the problem is or how you could help them.

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10 Creating a Wellness Program

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF

10

Creating a

Wellness

Program

INTRODUCTION

Why create a wellness program? For the good of the company or the good of the individual? We can see company health and individual health here as two sides of the same coin. The company can only be a healthy working entity when the parts are working well, both individually and together. The physical and psychological well-being of employees contributes to their effectiveness and motivation both in and out of the workplace. That is not say that a healthy person will necessarily be a good worker, but if a company can encourage a good health program, this will be a positive investment in the employees who are any company’s most valuable asset.

Stress and Nutrition

When life becomes busy, it’s tempting to forget about a balanced diet by skipping meals or eating while on the run. However, when your body doesn’t get the balance of nutrients it needs, you may end up trying to do more with less energy. Even healthy low-fat foods don’t constitute a high-energy diet on their own. Below are some hints to remedy this.

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37 Rethinking Your Values

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF

37

Rethinking

Your Values

INTRODUCTION

A value is the worth that you place on something you believe in or consider to be important. Rethinking your values is important to strengthening selfesteem because the process helps you decide what is right for you. Your values help influence your decisions and the goals you set. Values initially develop in response to basic needs—for example, children naturally adopt the values of the people they rely on for love and approval. However, throughout life’s stages, and as a result of experiences, values evolve and are modified in response to changing circumstances. A good example of this is the case of someone who is promoted to management and, in order to carry out the job effectively, takes on the values of their new peer group.

If self-esteem is the value you place on yourself, what makes you a worthwhile person? Using criteria such as the size of your social circle, your level of education, or your income to evaluate worthiness means that you have self-esteem only if you earn it. While this perspective of conditional self-esteem may be a powerful motivator to work hard and do your best, what happens when you apply your best effort and still do not reach your goal?

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