|By Jessica Herbert|
"Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes."
For me, stagnation has never been a desired state. It happens, not as a negative state, but the roller coaster of life sometimes slows or even stops and idles. There may be times where I enjoy the stagnation, a way to breathe in between projects. Often I typically use this time to evaluate where I am and what I am doing which leads to a series of questions – “Where do you want to be?” “What do you want to be doing?” “What do you need to do to get there?” The result: more learning, more education, and more milestones to work toward.
The desire to improve, to excel, to move forward is an innate characteristic. It empowers me, enables me to overcome, and propels me forward. Learning can happen informally (challenge of a new position) or through formal avenues (certification training, degree program). The moment I feel as though I have learned it all, this is the point to move elsewhere. Eventually the cycle happens again, but in the midst of it, the roller coaster ride can be fantastic.
This is my perspective, but as an educator, I recognize this quality exists in various forms. Each person has a different rate of retaining information for future recall and application, influenced by his or her own study habits and methods of learning. Moreover, each person has his or her own interests and motivations that drive them in their career and education, which ebbs and flows at different times. Combine this with the idea that an employer should be the one to provide opportunities, and maintaining positive workforce engagement can be complicated.
First, let’s dispel some myths of training:
As an employer, recognize that your workforce will continue to excel when opportunities are made available. Understand the career path of your staff, provide them the support to tackle these milestones and engage in these commitments. Their knowledge and skills will surely impact the workplace, so supporting these efforts will be key in keeping them engaged and motivated.
Corrections.com author, Jessica Herbert, currently works in the private industry. She supports the law enforcement community through education and training as the primary instructor for 3D Professional Training and Consulting and as an adjunct professor for a criminal justice program. She actively mentors women entering and within the workforce for many professions.
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