There are a lot of things in today’s workplace that can make employees feel happy and more engaged—money, rewards, or something as simple as a thank you card. The list could go on and on, but one of the ways that many companies are fulfilling this need is through developing a culture of learning in their organization that supports their employees’ professional and personal development. Companies that promote a culture of learning in their workplace have a system of organizational practices and processes that encourage employees to develop their professional expertise. Offering employees the opportunity to develop their skills and become experts in their role not only increases employee engagement and retention—it also makes good business sense. In this blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for creating a culture of learning in your workplace.
1. Empower and engage your employees
No matter the size of your organization, attracting and retaining strong employees should always remain top of mind. Your employees keep everything running smoothly; they are your company’s greatest asset, so keeping them happy should be a priority. To have successful employees, you need to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge that allow them to be more productive and an environment that promotes their professional betterment.
When employees become disengaged with their job, it not only affects them on an individual level, but the company as a whole may suffer, too. As a result, companies may experience lost productivity and higher employee turnover, which can be extremely costly. Creating a culture of learning in which employees feel empowered to better themselves and develop their professional skills will enhance employee engagement within your organization.
2. Identify goals
What are your organization’s goals? What are your employees’ goals? What are you trying to achieve when it comes to creating a company culture that promotes learning and development? The best place to start asking these questions is the leadership team. Understanding the vision of leadership and what knowledge, skill, and ability gaps they see is a strong starting point. Then, ask your employees. They often have a different perspective and can identify other gaps that may go overlooked. Your learning culture is sure to provide a greater impact by focusing on the end goals of both your company and employees.
3. Develop a plan
After you have collected information from employees, leadership, and research, it is time to put together your plan. Identify your objectives. What do you need the learner to understand, perform, or administer? What behavior are you trying to change? These objectives become the framework for the types of learning programs you develop and promote within your organization.
While developing and executing your plan, keep the needs of the learner in mind. Learning too much at one time may be counterproductive to the objectives you are trying to achieve. A 24X7 Learning survey revealed that only 12% of learners say they apply the skills from the training they receive to their job. This suggests that learner needs aren't being determined effectively before developing a program.
4. Formalize training and development programs
According to Training Industry, “For a learning culture to be ingrained, it should be mandatory for all individuals in the organization. Training and development plans that are not formalized run the risk of not being taken seriously and as a result, not implemented.”
To create a culture of learning in your organization that is taken seriously, formalize your training and development programs and require your employees to participate in them. This will give your efforts clout and promote company-wide engagement. A successful training program can also help employees feel greater job satisfaction and engagement, which means less turnover for the company.
5. Evaluate and revise as needed
It’s important to continuously monitor and revise your organization’s learning culture to ensure that it meets the needs of both your employees and the business. There are a number of ways to track the results of your training and development efforts. Collecting feedback over time allows you to measure employees’ immediate satisfaction with their learning experience. Once you receive feedback, you can analyze the responses and decide what tweaks need to be made to maximize the potential of your program. Remember, whenever possible, share with employees specific improvements you have made as a result of their feedback! This helps keep them invested and reinforces your commitment to their needs.
Developing and maintaining a culture of learning in the workplace through effective and engaging educational, training, and development programs helps boost employee performance and contributes to the organization’s success. By providing the tools and information that employees need to perform their jobs better, you’ll see increased efficiencies, higher productivity, and a boost in morale among your staff. It’s easy to see why creating a culture of learning makes good business sense for you and your employees.