The Everyday Student: How to Make Learning a Part of Your Day

At Caterpillar, skill development is a critical component to the employee experience. Becky Modine, the Global Learning and Leadership Development Manager at Caterpillar, explains that learning and continued development can be done anywhere.

Becky Modine has spent much of her career in Human Resources, and currently holds responsibility for coordinating global programs to enhance the knowledge and development of employees around the world. Becky knows the importance of learning; as she also has been on the receiving end of a steep learning curve after making a career transition into HR. Here are her tips:

  1. Take learning outside of work: “Take advantage of any opportunity to learn more about what's happening in your field.”  Becky shares that she gains great industry insights and best practices from Podcasts and professional societies.
  2. Go to the experts to learn: “Regardless of your function, connecting with leadership to understand where the business is heading, and the skills needed to get there is critical.” Becky shares that being curious is a critical component to learning. Ask the right questions to the right person and then be willing to execute.
  3. Learn to love the struggle: “Seek out learning when you need it most, which is when you are struggling.” Becky shares that learning is challenging for everyone and often comes with some growing pains. She suggests remembering other challenges you’ve faced in your life and use those victories to feed your drive to grow.
  4. Celebrate your growth: “There’s so much development happening every day that doesn’t get counted or realized as learning. You need to be better at recognizing it when it happens and pausing to celebrate.”

Becky shares that learning often becomes necessary when something has changed; like a customer need or a functional responsibility. Caterpillar supports its team to face these changes by providing both formal and informal learning opportunities. Team Caterpillar has full access to a broad library of resources through a robust intranet platform. Furthermore, Becky adds that Caterpillar employees can offer themselves up for a challenging experience where growth is the focus. “Most companies have some form of leadership development and educational content available for employees. What sets Caterpillar apart from the rest is how willing people are to help others learn and encourage involvement with challenging projects that might be off limits at another company. That willingness to say ‘yes’ to opportunities for growth is the real competitive advantage at Caterpillar.”

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