A Qualitative Approach to Continual Education

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Traditional continuing education “strategies” usually consist of setting a quantitative requirement (based on either regulatory or self-imposed guidelines) and then offering courses to meet those requirements. In the Water and Wastewater Industry, available options are generally a selection of traditional “old school” classroom sessions or some sort of conversion to digital presentations. Motivation to participate is typically the threat of consequences that could result from NOT participating, which often leads to a mindset of meeting the minimum standard.

If you recognize this from your organization, keep reading . . .

By creating a culture of continual education, the focus shifts from earning “x” number of credits to achieving maximum qualitative value. This approach encourages frequent participation and social interaction. In a continual learning environment, a structured curriculum, peer-to-peer collaboration, and resource usage, stand alongside premium course content as tools to optimize learning. Additionally, participation is largely driven by a desire to increase knowledge and skills, resulting in self-motivation.

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Another advantage of the qualitative method is that it uses blended learning to accommodate different learning styles. Because it’s self-paced and self-directed, it allows the individual more control and involvement in the process. As opposed to a strictly quantitative approach, this method is more flexible and customizable. Qualitative measures ensure the process is successful by including interactive features like responsive videos, discussion forums, automated rewards, and training reports.

By making a qualitative training program readily available to all employees, continual education simply becomes part of the workplace culture, employed as any other human resource tool for better job performance.

Okay, maybe you’re thinking this all makes sense, but HOW does one implement this culture change? To effectively build a culture of continual learning, including ALL employees is an essential first step. Next, creating high quality program content is crucial. From there, it’s primarily about incentivizing regular engagement and the integration of education into daily workflow. Any organization looking to boost its employee performance and workplace productivity would benefit from adopting such education practices.

Read more about the top ways to create an effective continual education program.

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