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Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.

Today, I’m going to be talking all about self-driven learning, what it is, and how your company can benefit from it.

Covid-19 has changed our world, and while it has caused devastation in many areas, in others, it has instigated change for the better.

By the way, if you’re new here, welcome! As our regular listeners will know, you can find a transcript of this podcast on the Excel Communications website.

So, the level of self-reflection that the world has been collectively engaging in recently has led to some revelations.

We have all realised what is truly important to us – being close to our families, doing work that fulfils us and the importance of resilience and growth. I’m sure you have been experiencing a change in all of your lives too, hopefully for the positive.

With many workplaces and the roles within them changing due to Covid, what inspiration can we take from the events of this year?

For many employees looking to strengthen their skills, self-driven learning has been a theme throughout lockdown and is set to continue as we move forward.

Today, I’m looking at the role self-driven learning has played in 2020, and how we can continue to benefit from its many insights as we move forward.


What is Self-Driven Learning?

Self-driven learners are employees who take control of their own learning and development.  Its when people learn what they want, when they want and in the way they want it.

It’s the type of learning that occurs naturally and can incorporate different methodologies to suit each individual.  These could be online, in day-to-day life, outside of work or indeed inside of work; we have clients who provide training budgets for employees rather than prescribing what they should do.

So to understand what self-driven learning really is, we must forget the notion that learning only happens in a classroom – it is happening all around us, and all of the time.

Self-driven learning is based on the principle that the extrinsic incentive of achieving knowledge is a greater motivation than external rewards.

So why should you encourage self-driven learning in your organisation over more standard types of learning inputs?


The Benefits of Self-Driven Learning

There are three main benefits, and here they are –

1. The Learning is Relevant and Personal to Each Individual

Your team will have their ideas about how they want to be developed; providing them with time and resources to develop themselves is a relevant way to help them along their learning journey.

When employees are allowed to spend time studying topics that will help them perform better in their role, this will strengthen your organisation as well as improving their career prospects.

For example, this might be digital skills, communications, commercial skills, public speaking – the choice is theirs.


2. You Save Time and Revenue

Many organisations spend time and resources on training programmes that unfortunately don’t make a real impact.

Businesses that focus on self-driven learning can direct their resources towards the training areas that their employees are both interested in and where they will benefit from too.


3. The Learning is More Enjoyable and Therefore More Impactful

Scientific research has found that the more enjoyable the learning, the more impactful it is.

Learners are much more receptive when they feel as though they are choosing to learn, rather than have learning imposed on them.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to learning – some are auditory; others are more visual. Providing your team with the space to learn, using the methods they enjoy is the key to successful training.

Finally, let’s look at some of the different ways you can encourage self-driven learning in your team.


How to Encourage Self-Driven Learning

Here are five ways to encourage self-driven learning in your organisation.


1. Promote Practice

The brain is a muscle, and it needs exercise just like the rest of our bodies.

No-one is an expert the first time they do anything – encourage and allow your team to make time to learn new information or skills.


2. Remember That Everyone Learns at Different Speeds

Accept that some team members will embrace learning at a faster pace than others – it’s not a race.

Everyone learns at different speeds – if you suspect someone is struggling with their self-directed learning, ask what you can do to help.


3. Work with Employees to Create Personal Development Plans

Self-directed learning is something which individuals take on themselves, but this doesn’t mean you can’t help and get involved too.

Can you provide extra training or coaching sessions on subjects you know employees are currently focusing on, or provide additional resources such as signing them up to online training to be taken at their own pace?


4. Create a Learning Domino Effect

Once you have created a culture of self-driven learning in your organisation, you can leverage this and introduce learning around new technologies, mindsets and approaches.

Employees will be much more receptive to developing new skills when they are used to a culture of learning.


5. And Finally – Get Involved Yourself

All great leaders never stop learning.

Take an active role in your own self-driven learning to show your team that you genuinely understand the value of self-development.

We work with leaders at all different stages in their leadership journey, and we provide targeted and specific training on a range of subjects to help them wherever they are in their own learning process.

When you adopt a learning mindset, this allows you to help your team and will also inspire them to embrace self-development too. To find out all about our world-leading leadership training programmes, head to the Excel Communications website which I will link in this transcript.



So, there we have it, some of the main benefits of self-driven learning, and six great ways that you can promote it in your organisation.

They are –

  • Encourage your employees to practice their skills weekly
  • Accept that everyone learns at different speeds
  • Create personal development plans
  • Create a culture of learning in your organisation
  • And finally – lead the way by undertaking leadership training to develop yourself and your team.

For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership. I’ll leave the link in the comments.

Remember you can access all of our podcasts on iTunes by hitting the subscribe button.

This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast saying bye for now.





About Excel Communications   


Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years, we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.

Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.

We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.

View our case studies here.

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.



If you would like to watch our leadership masterclass recordings, you can access the latest leadership complimentary guide here.