When you take a step back and assess your organisation, can you confidently say the environment fosters a learning culture? One of the most important things that a company can offer its employees is the experience of learning: life-long learning, ongoing learning, the kind of learning that empowers the employee and also enhances overall organisational performance.
First off, we need to establish what exactly constitutes a learning culture. If you have a comprehensive training program, great. However, just having a training program in place isn’t enough to create an authentic learning culture. The learning must occur at all levels and essentially, at all times. There are always opportunities to learn, to dissect a particular situation and understand how it could be handled better and to recognize areas in which employees and the company as a whole need improvement. This is precisely what underlies a learning culture.
Some important hallmarks of an organisation with an exemplary learning-driven culture follow:
- Encourages selfimprovement by offering accessible tools and resources.
- Is constantly finding innovative ways to motivate employees and prompt them to take a renewed interest in their jobs.
- Stays abreast of the latest educational theories and techniques.
- Promote the application of learned skills and targeted behaviours through a variety of processes.
"A learning culture is not merely a project you try. It is a strategy enacted permanently as you get your team members excited about learning and implement new knowledge and skill sets."
Turn on the Culture of Learning
We know some of what a learning culture entails, so how exactly do you ensure that your organisation encourages this type of mentality on a day-to-day basis? There are certain steps and philosophical outlooks that you can integrate into the fabric of your company so as to make it far more learner-friendly. Below are just a few ideas for helping your organisation more effectively embrace learning on all levels.
1. Integrate learning and leadership.
Numerous companies have leadership programs built into their management infrastructure. It becomes incredibly important here to not only emphasize leadership skills and characteristics, but also to ingrain within these future leaders how crucial self-improvement and continuing education are to the company.
2. Promote knowledge sharing opportunities.
Everyone brings something to the table; that said, you want to give your employees the chance to discuss what they’ve learned, what they know and how they believe they can help. Create opportunities in which team members can meaningfully engage with one another and thus share their thoughts and experiences.
3. Engage managers.
Hand in hand with promoting learning at the leadership level, is the drive to get current managers involved. They have a great deal to offer new hires and learners. In other posts we’ve discussed ways in which to involve your managers. Role modelling, invoking key coaching questions, and following up after training programs are all critical to fostering a learning culture within your company.
4. Ensure empowerment.
Those employees who feel empowered approach their job with more confidence and determination. This in turn equates to higher productivity levels. It is so important to implement an L&D philosophy that underscores this idea of self-empowerment among learners.
5. Recognize those who take initiative.
A powerful way to promote learning within your organisation is to come up with ways to recognize and/or reward those who do take initiative when it comes to learning and development. This both directly and indirectly encourages other employees to strive toward the same outcome.
6. Encourage creativity and risk-taking.
In taking risks and thinking outside the box, employees may not always succeed; in fact, they may stumble from time to time. But in making mistakes and figuring out how to rectify their issues, employees often learn more than they might through more traditional means.
7. Keep pace with change and modernisation.
Your organisation needs to be able to adapt to changing climates, not only in the tech area but all areas. You have to instil within your team the skills necessary to show your company as one that understands and flows with modern mentalities.
8. Always give feedback.
Feedback is instrumental in showing your employees how they are on point and contrastingly, where they need to improve. Feedback is also a tremendous way to enhance employee engagement in general.
Kodo Survey specializes in providing the types of insights and reports that enable highly productive discussions with employees. In order to create a true culture of learning within your organisation, you first need to understand how the learning is taking place, to what end your initiatives are working, and what you need to do to enhance the overall L&D profile. This is what we provide, a way to evaluate and assess so that you can ultimately use such assessments to spur a dialogue that will create a more learner-friendly environment.