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In our latest Executive Horizons survey, 67.5% of respondents rated the impact of lifelong learning on employee performance as 5 out of 5. The average rating for the impact of lifelong learning on company performance was 4.6 out of 5. But what exactly is lifelong learning, and what are the main benefits for both employees and companies?

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What is lifelong learning?

In our highly competitive and rapidly changing economic environment, lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important for both companies and employees. Although lifelong learning is multi-faceted, in its simplest terms, it can be considered as the cross-section of continuous employee training and career development.

When companies enter new markets, change strategies and adopt new business models, lifelong learning plays a key role in helping employees to develop the necessary skills and expertise. Although this can represent a significant financial investment, the long-term benefits for companies and individuals more than outweigh the costs involved.

Lifelong learning is constantly evolving and can take on many different forms – ranging from face-to-face training programs and blended or online courses to tailor-made training modules that meet the specific needs of organizations and their employees.

Benefits for employees

The impact of lifelong learning on employee performance and effectiveness cannot be overstated. Some of the key benefits include increased employability and internal job mobility, a more extensive network and the opportunity to constantly upgrade their skills. It also enables employees and companies to develop new skills in key areas, such as digital transformation, leadership and change management. This is not only a vital source of competitive advantage, but essential for the long-term sustainability and survival of the company.

Lifelong learning can also lead to greater job satisfaction. According to research, lifelong learning can be a major source of motivation and well-being in the workplace. On average, happy employees are 12% more productive, work more collaboratively towards a common goal and demonstrate higher levels of creativity and innovation.

Benefits for companies

Organizations can also reap a wide range of benefits from lifelong learning. An increasing number of companies now recognize that effective lifelong learning strategies can be the best way to prepare their organizations for the challenges that lie ahead. Statistics show that companies are expecting an 84% shortfall of leaders in the next 5 years. Lifelong learning therefore offers companies the opportunity to develop and nurture the leaders of the future.

Other key benefits of lifelong learning for companies are greater agility and the ability to better capitalize on new technologies. This in turn can generate significant competitive advantage in existing and new markets.

Businesses cannot 'hire and fire' their way to success. A genuine commitment to lifelong learning and professional development can foster an innovative and creative working environment and is one of the best ways for companies to ensure that they retain their best employees. Ultimately, lifelong learning is a win-win situation for both employers and employees.