Why and How to Create a Learning Culture in Your Company
There always is space for growth and improvement. Organizations can create a favorable environment that inspires employees to improve their knowledge and acquire new skills.
According to Deloitte’s study, learning was important or very important for 86% of surveyed organizations globally in 2019. 90% of companies face the need to improve employees’ skills to close the skill gap in the near future.
Why cultivate learning culture
There are a couple main reasons why companies implement learning culture. Firstly, the world around us is constantly changing, for example development in technologies, and organizations need to adapt to the changes. Secondly, learning processes improve employees’ knowledge and skills. Thirdly, people feel the need by themselves to develop and they expect developing opportunities in their workplace. For example, 94% of LinkedIn surveyed employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Learning culture brings many positive outcomes and benefits both for employees and the company.
CIPD’s report shows that learning culture provides growth, profitability, transformation, productivity, and has a positive impact on job satisfaction and organisational commitment.
Integrated learning with interesting techniques in the work flow is more attractive for employees and allows them to learn regularly and independently. When both organizations and their employees are involved to create learning practices, it will result in a sustained learning culture.
How to create a learning culture?
Learning culture’s implementation take time and resources and is built from the following steps:
1. Making an organizational decision to motivate the work team to develop knowledge and learn new skills.
In the beginning it is important to evaluate the existing learning processes in the company. And then come to the agreement to create and support the learning culture and engage every employee in long lasting learning.
2. Understanding employees’ needs, learning preferences.
Following actions should be focused on the company’s workers, their needs and learning style. This step seems to be a big stumbling block. Only 19% of organizations proactively
seek to understand how their people learn
what they need for their job.
3. Providing how and when to learn.
Would it be in the form of a learning course, instructor-led, on a platform or other ways employees can learn and apply the knowledge. It’s important to include an autonomous learning process in working day flow.
4. Informing participants about learning goals.
Making clear goals are important for the organization and employees. Goals are a metric for measuring and they also bring awareness of learning importance and results. Plus, learning goals reinforce behaviour.
5. Including progress tracking and rewards.
Employees will give their effort if they see how their progress increases and feel that they will be rewarded. Gamification is a great way to deliver progress tracking and the whole reward system.
6. Including teamwork and social interaction.
Common learning activities increase the motivation to start and continue learning and at the same time drive their engagement.
7. Leading by example
Elizabeth Young McNally from McKinsey shares their experience: “Some elements that I have seen in organizations that are successful at doing this start with storytelling and role modeling by senior leaders that learning and long-term perspective are important”. Employers and managers should value learning and communicate about it actively with employees and take part in the learning
Learning culture and growth mindset interact with each other. Organizations should construct and support learning culture, because it improves their employees’ knowledge and development, and closes the possible skills gaps. To have a learning culture, companies should make it as an organizational level decision.