Learning at Work Week (LAW Week) is a unique annual event to build cultures of lifelong learning. At the Campaign for Learning we coordinate the week and offer lots of resources and ideas for learning & development colleagues looking to run creative, innovative and inclusive activities. Here are my tips to create your own brilliant Learning at Work Week.
1. The bigger picture
What can Learning at Work Week help you achieve? By thinking strategically, you can create a LAW Week that supports organisational goals. These could be quite broad, such as building a learning culture, or quite specific, such as bringing new organisational values to life. Choose one thing that will make a big difference. Bristol Energy used the week to increase collaboration between colleagues in response to feedback that showed their people wanted more opportunities to connect and share knowledge. This also supported the company’s Collaboration value, which recognises the importance of cooperation for achieving outcomes.
2. A question of balance
As well as having an organisational purpose, it’s important that your LAW Week activities support employees’ own aspirations and goals too – answering the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ Pepper UK aimed to build motivation for learning and inspire everyone with fun and inspirational activities. People could develop skills in barbering, judo, taekwondo and first aid, as well as listen to speakers on aspects of business including finance and risk.
3. Mix it up
Tasters, masterclasses, panel sessions, workshops, skills swaps, webcasts, online learning – you can run all sorts of learning events and experiences for the week. Mixing up what you do and running sessions for the business alongside people’s own interests will show you value learning in all its forms. Visual effects company The Mill brought animals into the workplace for wildlife drawing classes, giving creatives opportunities to hone skills. All colleagues got the chance to study animals and learn drawing techniques.
4. Get together
Great Learning at Work Weeks bring colleagues and organisations together, creating opportunities for them to learn from each other. Whether online or offline, create events where people can meet and interact. Asking people to share their hidden talents – both business or non-business – from all levels of the organisation is very motivating and shows that we all have something to offer and share. Tai Calon Housing, a not for profit housing association, ran a coffee morning with pupils from the local Welsh school who were invited to help staff learn the language. In a nice learning swap, Tai Calon’s Head of IT shared internet safety tips as an introduction to digital literacy.
5. Eye catching
Make Learning at Work Week stand out. Use eye catching images and a strapline for your communications. If you run a series of activities, create a programme for the week so it presents it as a special event and colleagues can see what is happening where and when. Make learning visual with, for example, a graffiti wall where people record what they’ve learned or would like to learn or exhibitions of learning that are taking place during the week.
The Learning at Work Week website has lots of ideas, resources and stories to inspire you. This year’s theme is Shaping the Future. Let us know how you get on!
About Julia Wright
Julia Wright is the National Director at the Campaign for Learning, the national charity that champions lifelong learning for everyone. Her interests span motivation for lifelong learning, the use of campaign models to engage more people in learning, and the impact of government policies on education and lifelong learning.
Find out more about Learning at Work Week here