June 26, 2019 Last updated June 21st, 2019 96 Reads share

4 Strategies to Build a Learning Culture in Your Organization

4 Strategies to Build a Learning Culture in Your OrganizationImage Credit:

According to Findcourses.co.uk’s 2019 L&D Report, companies spending above average on training per employee are twice as likely to say their employees are highly satisfied. This demonstrates the impact of L&D on employee satisfaction and retention rates and it should serve as evidence of the importance of investing in a strong L&D strategy for your company. Also, the ability of an organization to learn from itself and others in its industry should be considered a significant competitive advantage in itself by anyone looking to grow in its market.

But the traditional way of doing things will no longer cut it. Generic mandatory courses that ignore employees’ personal and professional goals may, in fact, be causing more damage than you think. And while classroom training is still effective, the variety of technology available for learning today has to be incorporated into your training strategy or you risk falling behind.

A learning culture manages to steer clear from all this by creating a work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing and application of knowledge and skills at all levels in order to achieve the goals of the organization in an organic and sustainable way.

So, the implementation of learning cultures in the workplace has become more necessary than ever as training, technology and learning needs evolve. Here are a few key factors to take into consideration as you seek to implement and promote a culture of learning within your own organization.

1. Personalize Learning

Corporate training has gained a bad rap after years of “spoon feeding” standardized and impersonal training programs, but learning is a mainly subjective experience and it’s important to take this into account when developing your L&D strategy and to incorporate flexible and personalized learning opportunities for employees on all levels.

This personalization can be as simple as allowing your employees to access the required content at a time that is best suited to them, or by tailoring it depending on the relevance it has to their specific role.

This may be the first step to a founding culture of learning in the workplace but implementing a cultural shift within an organization is hard work, and continuous exploration and re-examination is necessary to find what works best for you and your organization.

2. Link Learning to Success

A healthy professional learning culture should be a safe space where employees can feel free to take risks and challenge the status quo to enhance the quality of their work, and where the pursuit of learning for learning’s sake is actively encouraged and supported.

But this cannot happen without first helping learners make the connection between their personal development and the positive impact it has over business success. Developing incentives to encourage learning on all levels that make this connection evident, such as promotions, for example, can be a persuasive aid in the mission to establish a learning culture.

When professional development turns into a performance factor and is seen and measured as such by senior management, it becomes a powerful drive for employees to seek out training proactively to further their careers.

Incorporating employees’ personal goals into the company’s own strategy so that it can work organically towards success through personal development is what defines a learning culture. In other words: one’s success becomes the success of all.

3. Engage Leadership

Leadership and management were declared the top priority in corporate training in 2019, especially in companies that grew in the last financial year. Also, in a survey of over 180 L&D departments, Findcourses.co.uk found that the number one comment from professionals about how they encourage a culture of learning was through meaningful and overt support from senior leaders.

So, all the facts point not only to the importance of leaders within organizations as forerunners of innovation but to the power they have to drive change.

Establishing a culture of learning is an important cultural shift for any company and it’s essential to have senior management on board and leading by way of example. This means involving them not only in the creation and implementation of training programs but having them actively participate in them.

How? This could be by demonstrating their personal engagement in learning, or maybe by connecting employee learning directly to promotions as was mentioned previously, while all the while providing funding for L&D leaders to support the research, creation, and implementation of employee-centric programs.

4. Embrace Tech (But Don’t Forget the Classroom)

It’s undeniable that technology has played an important role in increasing knowledge-sharing and collaboration within corporations, and this is something that should be embraced, but that is not to say that the old ways no longer hold value.

In their 2019 L&D Report, Findcourses.com found that companies with highly engaged staff were 94% more likely to offer classroom training to employees. Bringing people into a room to experience training in group settings where idea sharing can thrive through productive discussion can drive a company’s change and improvement agenda.

As the saying goes: If it’s not broken, why fix it? But that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked a little. By complementing traditional classroom training with the technology available to us today you can attain a very powerful combination to establish a culture of learning in a more efficient and effective way that is suited to your individual employees’ needs.

The possibilities are endless. Virtual reality apps could be considered for a cutting-edge project for example, but simpler applications could take the form of encouraging learner groups in social platforms like Slack, enabling learners to share their knowledge through video platforms, or simply by helping employees track and visualize their learning progress.

There are many other ways to promote a learning culture in your company, such as pushing for accountability on all ends by delivering and heeding employee feedback; or connecting with key influencers in your industry to set the example along with leadership; or by setting specific and measurable goals that express the impact you’re looking for.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to learning and coming up with new and innovative ways to cultivate the habit of learning in your company is what a learning culture is all about. The pursuit of learning has to be woven into the fabric of all organizational life.

Learning

David Garcia

David Garcia

I'm content editor and digital marketing specialist at Educations Media Group where I have the change to contribute to help everyone in the world to have the right education. I'm interested in discovering how this can be attained through professional development in combination with disruptive technologies.

Read Full Bio