Do you remember your first school day? What about that excitement building up in the months and weeks ahead of the big day? For me, this feeling is still palpable. As a kid, I was eager to learn new things, discover new words, understand how to count, figure out how to sing and excel at sports. Most importantly, I was keen to meet new friends and learn how to find my place amongst them.
Passion for learning
Over time, my interest in learning shifted towards new passions, which were not always in-line with the ideas my parents had for me. I spent hours outside trying to reproduce the impeccable freekick I hit the day before. At one point, soccer became less important and was replaced by a guitar, which captivated me instantly. Sometimes, only bloody fingers could stop me from learning this one particular riff. I played Sweet Child o’ Mine probably a thousand times. But sooner rather than later, I had to admit to myself that I wouldn’t rock stadiums all over the world and that I may have a more successful path in the electronic industry. Going through a four-year electronics engineering apprenticeship, I quickly realized that I needed, and wanted, to further educate myself. Eight years of studying, always combined with a full-time workload, was challenging. It made me who I am today. The intrinsic urge to learn new stuff and to become a better version of myself kept driving me, even when I was exhausted. Many times, I asked myself: Why am I doing this? Is it worth it?
What motivates us to learn new things? That heavily depends on different factors: where are we currently standing in life and what are the challenges that are ahead of us? Sometimes, we have to learn, it is a must, a requirement. Every now and then we can choose to learn, it is our very own decision. The initial reason to learn something may differ but the way to success is quite similar. If we are provided with the right tools, instructions, support, and reward, then we stay focused and motivated. If we constantly see progress and experience the positive impact of this new skill, then we keep going.
Lifelong learning is the future of work
Companies have recognized that lifelong learning is a key pillar for employee engagement. Employees who can thrive and develop are more committed to their organization and more productive which finally leads to a higher net profit. For me, in my product research and development role, being up to date with emerging technologies or new standards is crucial and essential to support our customers with cutting-edge building products. Daily schedules often collide with good intentions, like completing a web-based training or reading an article about machine learning in obsolescence management. This is where on-demand learning comes into play.
Siemens provides its teams with access to My Learning World, a platform which offers a huge variety of self-learning as well as classroom trainings. Based on personal preferences, My Learning World also tailors the offering to the user’s needs and selects the most relevant trainings, including ratings and feedback from course participants. The platform and its self-studying courses are available 24/7 and can be booked when they suit your agenda best. You can even interrupt the courses and finish them later. Basically, My Learning World is an on-demand platform with features that are very similar to those of famous media service providers.
In times when teams are working independently from each other across various locations, and as office presence is no longer required on a daily basis, online platforms such as My Learning World seem like the right solution to support the lifelong learning journey of employees. Accessible via mobile, tablet and laptop, learning with My Learning World gives me the freedom to improve my skills whenever I feel like it. This new way of learning was also what made me pick up my guitar again. And I learned tunes that I hadn’t been able to learn 20 years ago.