We thought 2020 plus 2021 were the worst years in this century but maybe we were wrong. 2022, by so far, has hit the world hard with the resurgence of the pandemic as well as the unexpecting conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This seems to be irrelevant when it comes to learning culture together with L&D plans but indeed it does. Who would have thought that the faraway war could trigger a slowing economic activity and raise prices which could lead to a chain of resignation from your disengaged employees? That’s why it is more imperative to start creating a learning culture now than ever.
- So, what is a “learning culture” exactly?
- The Advantages of a Learning Culture
- 7 Actionable Ways To Create A Culture Of Learning
So, what is a “learning culture” exactly?
A learning culture is a set of organizational norms, attitudes, practices, and procedures that promote learning. Employees and organizations are encouraged to increase their knowledge and skills through these conventions.
A learning culture emphasizes continuous learning and thinks that systems interact with one another. Because continuous learning improves an individual’s performance as a worker and as a person, it allows the company to evolve continuously for the better. According to the Society of Human Resources Management, learning culture is the glue that ties a company together as well as a code of behavior that goes unspoken.
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The Advantages of a Learning Culture
There are numerous advantages to fostering a learning culture in a company. Among them include, but are not limited to:
Fill the skills gap that is looming
Companies are having difficulty finding suitable individuals to fill unfilled positions as unemployment rates fall to historic lows. With the high expenses and productivity lags that come with recruits, it makes sense for firms to look to current staff to fill the gaps. Upskilling existing employees are considerably more cost-effective and efficient than hiring and onboarding new employees.
Ease of transition/success
A good learning culture encourages asking questions, observing, and learning new skills regularly. When a sufficient number of individuals are capable of doing so, the organization as a whole can adapt to change, foresee disruption, and innovate. It’s far easier to shift talent around where and when it’s needed in a learning culture, where employees are constantly maintaining and improving their skill sets and even pursuing cross-functional training. Furthermore, people genuinely desire to learn chances and are willing to seek new employment if they are not provided.
Encourage workplace creativity and innovation
Employees are more likely to explore and innovate in learning-centric firms where upskilling is encouraged and available. Employees with an attitude of improvement can fuel the critical breakthroughs that propel successful firms forward. On the other hand, workers who are constrained by a lack of skills in workplaces where relevant training isn’t available to all employees will become disengaged and even prevent the company from moving forwards.
For example, one of the best reasons why tech workers desire to work at Apple is that the tech giant brings them incredible opportunities for learning through training.
Attract and retain younger employees
Younger workers, according to research, are less enticed by showy amenities and prefer to work for mission-driven organizations that provide opportunities to learn and do new things. We’re seeing an increase in engagement, which leads to higher employee happiness and retention, as companies face increasing pressure to provide meaningful work and advancement possibilities. Employees and businesses alike can gain from engaging workers, assisting them in building careers within the firm, and providing them with the knowledge and opportunity they need to innovate.
7 Actionable Ways To Create A Culture Of Learning
Changing your workplace culture to one that encourages learning may not happen overnight, but there are measures you can take to get started. Here are 7 practical approaches to foster a learning culture in your workplace:
#1. Make Learning a Core Value in Your Organization
#2. Create individualized learning plans
#3. Offer Appropriate Rewards
#4. Provide one-on-one career counseling
#5. Embrace Ingrain Learning During the Hiring Process
#6. Create a conducive learning environment
#7. Encourage the exchange of information
1. Make Learning a Core Value in Your Organization
Employees must believe that their leaders support a learning culture for it to succeed. Making learning a clearly defined core value is one approach to accomplish this. Organizations’ decisions and actions are guided by their core values. When your firm commits to learning, it also commits to providing the resources needed to support employee learning and development.
2. Create individualized learning plans
Learning becomes more relevant to your employees with personalized learning plans, and learning becomes a journey. Your staff will be more involved in the learning process if you identify learning goals and develop a strategic plan to attain them. It is no longer about finishing a course. It’s all about the broader picture and assisting your staff in achieving their career objectives.
3. Offer Appropriate Rewards
When used correctly, rewards can aid in the development of a learning culture. These can be both soft and hard rewards, such as publicly recognizing a learner’s accomplishments or monetary incentives. Many LMSs offer virtual badges and other awards for successful learning. The rewards don’t have to be expensive, but you should provide some sort of incentive to encourage learning and foster a learning culture.
4. Provide one-on-one career counseling
Many people are motivated to learn because they want to advance in their careers. Organizations that provide one-on-one coaching can assist people in identifying job options and developing tailored learning plans. Coaching, in particular, can be a useful tool for guiding self-directed learning in the proper direction, exploring accessible resources, and holding your students accountable.
5. Embrace Ingrain Learning During the Hiring Process
Your hiring process is one of the most effective methods to foster a learning culture. Companies that do so have a stronger learning culture and are higher achievers. Begin discussing your learning commitments with your candidates throughout the interview process. This will not only make you more appealing as an employer, but it will also help you attract people with a growth attitude.
6. Create a conducive learning environment
There are numerous learning systems to choose from. Your organization’s learning environment should both facilitate and support learning. It should be simple to use and allow for information sharing and engagement between students.
7. Encourage the exchange of information
Sharing knowledge is an important aspect of fostering a learning culture. Informal and social learning are important aspects of education. Employees will be more interested in learning if they are encouraged and rewarded for sharing their knowledge. As a result, a strong learning culture is fostered.
Once again, we have to emphasize that creating a learning culture is a must in every business yearning for growth. However, the readiness of a company to embrace such a fanciful concept is the dilemma that every business faces when considering a learning culture. For a company of greater impact, your company has to be ready to ditch combative attitudes in favor of an open, trusting, and inquisitive culture. Are you ready to unlearn group and individual competition and replace it with cooperation, openness, and dialogue? If this is the case, your company may be on its path to creating a learning culture.