The modern workforce is constantly evolving. Today’s pace is much faster than previous generations, largely because the rate of technological developments is increasing exponentially. In order to remain relevant and keep employees engaged, forward-thinking workplaces will create an organizational culture of learning. The author of this week’s story dives into this topic and discusses why every company should consider expanding Learning and Development initiatives within their organization. The bottom line? Learning and Development initiatives represent the ultimate win-win for companies and employees alike!
Creating an Organizational Culture of Learning
by Oli Garner
S tephen Gill, co-owner of Learning to be Great, defines a culture of learning as “a work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge and skills at the individual, team, and whole organization levels in order to achieve the goals of the organization”. Today, an organizational culture of learning can be a huge factor in determining whether an organization will sink or float. Research findings from findcourses.com’s L&D Report 2018 revealed that top-performing organizations were five times more likely to engage their employees in an organizational culture of learning.
Embrace L&D: It is the future
One of today’s biggest retention drivers is an employee’s prospects of elevating their skillset.
Many modern professionals, primarily the growing millennial workforce, view the opportunity to develop and utilize modern training resources as a crucial factor when deciding to join an organization. Considering that by 2020 almost half of all U.S. workers will be millennials, now is the time to embrace L&D and build a culture of learning in your organization.
Technology is key
Once a company has identified individual challenges and motivations, they can use this insight to grow a digital learning network, using a range of technologies to boost employee engagement. This is a more time-consuming approach than opting for a one-size-fits-all solution, but the resulting level of employee engagement is much higher.
Many employees wish to pick and choose what and when they study, as well as desiring access to innovative training that uses social media, VR or gamification techniques that reinforce an organization’s learning culture in a friendly and accessible way.
L&D professionals must also address where devices such as smartphones fit into workplace learning. Many organizations still view them as a problematic distraction, yet in order to engage employees, L&D strategists must begin to view everyday tech as a part of the wider learning solution.
With the host of innovative HRM and training software at our disposal today, the organizations with the most successful learning cultures will utilize a mixture of technology in a way that is well suited to their company’s strategy and goals, as well as each employee’s skillset and ambitions.
Each employee is unique
In an organizational culture of learning, all employees need to be well informed of the training available to them and have the chance to make choices based on personal preference. Learning activities must be varied, and appeal to the different learning styles of your workforce. From activists and pragmatists to reflectors and theorists, no employee is the same. This must come under consideration when developing your L&D strategy.
Whilst a theorist will respond better to a more structured, theoretical approach, an activist usually performs better in an interactive format. All four varieties must be kept engaged, therefore your L&D strategy should combine multiple styles, e.g face-to-face, e-learning and simulation learning.
Personalizing courses for individual needs and offering a balanced blend of training can keep employees committed, engaged and boost the likelihood of ROI.
To maximize employee engagement, all individuals participating in training will require the support of their L&D and HR teams during the learning process. The use of a LMS (Learning management system) can useful here, enabling both L&D professionals and those taking part in training to keep track of their progress
Employees have the chance to take breaks when they need to, and can see how much of a task they have left to complete. With this level of transparency, senior management can also be kept in the loop and know that their teams will benefit from both regular contact and support, as well as the ability for HR to monitor employee progress in a non-invasive manner.
Center the employee
According to Kim Edwards, Talent and Leadership Development Manager at Getty Images and co-presenter of Learning Now TV, a healthy organizational culture of learning is “one which puts the employee at the center of every – thing”. One of the keys to creating a successful learning culture is helping employees understand that their learning is crucial to driving the organization forward. By investing in the skills of your workforce, the company goals are reached in synchrony with the development of employees. For more tips on creating a learning culture, check out the 2018 L&D report!
Oli Garner is a writer and digital content editor at findcourses.com, North America’s most popular search engine for professional training. He aims to create and share engaging content for individuals and organizations across a variety of industries, with an end goal of guiding them towards the best professional training option for their needs. Now located in Stockholm, Oli was born and raised in the UK and graduated from the University of Kent in 2015.