Do you know why companies like Apple, America Express, SAP are top-of-minds when it comes to the most desired workplace according to workers? The answer is that these businesses all have at least two similar characteristics: they’re all leaders in their fields, and they encourage a culture of learning. Leave all reputation aside, the main difference lies in the investment in crucial characteristics of a learning culture. In fact, your company together with many others are missing out on the competitive advantages needed to move forwards in the business landscape.
According to LinkedIn research, half of the most coveted skills now were not even on the list three years ago. Consequently, intellectual curiosity, as well as the desire and capacity to quickly improve and adjust one’s skill set, are now valued highly. That’s why it’s time to invest time and energy to build a strong learning culture. In the process of crafting one or more, there are certain characteristics of a learning culture that you, as an L&D manager, need to keep in mind.
What is a learning culture?
Before further discussing the characteristics of a learning culture, let’s have a brief review of the definition of the term. As defined by CEB, a true learning culture is a culture that fosters an open mentality, an individual quest for knowledge, and shared learning aimed toward the organization’s vision and goals.
According to recent research, just 10% of firms have succeeded in creating them, with only 20% of people displaying effective learning habits at work. Bersin’s research looked at the problem of learning culture in depth and discovered that companies that properly nurture their employees’ drive to learn are at least 30% more. Based on past experiences helping numerous corporates to foster training, we believe that there are 6 qualities to look for when establishing a learning culture in your company.
6 characteristics of a learning culture
1. A mindset of lifelong learning
Individually, learning organizations necessitate a forward-thinking attitude. This, according to Senge, entails personal mastery. Corporate learners must cultivate a lifelong learning mindset, in which they value and comprehend the need for continuing education. The emphasis is on practical skills and information that may be applied in real-life situations. Soft skills, for example, can help staff improve customer service responsibilities. Individuals must also demonstrate passion and dedication to both personal and company-wide learning objectives.
2. An effective communication
In a learning culture, everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively. You can be more productive in a healthy way if you communicate well with each other and with your consumers. Good communication skills in selling include delivering a succinct 30-second introduction or asking targeted and unambiguous problem-solving inquiries. To enhance active communication, you can focus on the following areas:
- Developing a rapport with prospects and consumers and establishing their trust
- Making small chat and maintaining a light and casual atmosphere
- Making the most of your phone
- Effective email usage
- Conflict resolution
4. Forward-thinking leadership
Looking for forward-thinking executives is the fourth technique to spot a learning organization. The excitement and commitment begin at the top. The same vision should be shared equally in the leader group including managers, supervisors, and trainers. It’s the responsibility of leaders to question assumptions, motivate self-reflection, and lead by example for their workers. Corporate trainees should be encouraged to make valuable mistakes in order to gain practical experience. Then the important objective is leaders must make sure that they provide necessary feedback and guides so that their employees don’t make the same mistakes with similar approaches.
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3. Collaborative learning culture
To build a successful learning organization, every employee should be involved and play an important part in the whole scheme. And that’s when a collaborative learning culture is formed. According to the system thinking theory suggested by Senge, organizations like jigsaw pieces, are made up of smaller units. Learners in the corporate world should comprehend both the overall system and each individual component. For instance, they need to understand how compliance and business policy promote a more efficient workplace while also ensuring employee safety. Moreover, the thoughts of colleagues should be respected and honored by corporate learners. Every voice should be heard, and there is always a place for new ideas.
5. Room for innovation
This is a two-fold characteristic of learning companies. Firstly, corporate learners must be able to self-reflect and examine their present cognitions. This facilitates individuals to question restrictive beliefs that are preventing their improvement. Each person may then see how they fit into the overall picture and how they might contribute to the “greater good.” Second, corporate learners should be encouraged to experiment with new theories and methods. Risk is an important component of the equation because it helps people to learn from their mistakes and develop through time. Mental models should be noticed and addressed, according to Senge, in order to move beyond undesirable behaviors and assumptions.
6. Knowledge exchanging
In learning organizations, collaboration is essential. Everyone in the group must be familiar with the following objectives and expected outcomes, and then work together as a problem-solving team to meet those objectives. In most circumstances, this necessitates the establishment of a knowledge-sharing infrastructure. An online training repository, for example, where corporate learners can exchange connections and learner-generated virtual learning information with their colleagues. As a result, everyone gains from the group’s expertise and skillsets. They can also improve their understanding by exchanging information with peers because it requires active recollection and reinforcement.
These 6 characteristics are shared by all successful learning companies. They are the ones that will encourage lifelong learning and ongoing collaboration, which contributes to the group’s overall success in the long run. Furthermore, keep in mind that everyone has the opportunity to make errors and learn from them, which leads to new and innovative ideas as well as profit-generating opportunities. As a result, learning businesses have the ability to improve the return on investment in online training as well as employee happiness.