A change of mentality is not only necessary among employees. Entrepreneurs will also have to make a change to create a learning society. This can pose a challenge, especially for smaller companies, says Danny Van Assche of the UNIZO entrepreneurial organization.
“It is not always easy for an SME to implement a learning policy. Because work always comes first, it is often done piecemeal and ad hoc: training is only provided in case of urgent need. However, it is better to think in the longer term and, as an entrepreneur, to ask questions such as: how is my market evolving? What are the current trends? Which competencies do I need to respond to them? Does my company already possess them? If not, where can I find them? If so, how do I keep them up to date? This can already be done through, for example, performance interviews. Then you can ask your employees what they need to do their job even better. Which competencies do they want to strengthen? If you follow this up, you can proactively respond to your needs as a company by means of a learning policy. The government and entrepreneurial organizations can help companies draw up that learning policy.”
But in order to conduct a learning policy, “leading by example” is key, according to Van Assche.