Learning Culture in the Workplace
A learning culture in the workplace refers to the environment, practices, and values within an organisation that support the continuous learning, growth, and development of its employees. It is a mindset that encourages individuals and teams to acquire new skills, knowledge, and competencies to adapt to changing business landscapes and improve overall performance.
Learning culture in our workplace
An organisation is made up of people bringing individual skillsets to the table. A culture of learning builds an environment where sharing expertise is routine, with teams embracing a growth mindset, benefiting from each other internally, and also through external resources, like training courses and webinars.
Where learning at work is not just limited to role relevant training but also broader training, leadership skills etc, the organisation is aiming to provide a supportive workplace enabling employees to achieve their goals and in turn benefitting the business as a whole.
What defines a good learning culture?
When employees feel motivated for continuous development and actively participate in the opportunities provided by the organisation, it ensures high engagement and a learning mindset, where they are open to new concepts and experiences. This in turn feeds into their performance, knowledge sharing and innovative ideas.
Can the success of learning be measured?
Can you assess and quantify whether your business is achieving a learning culture? It is essential to remember learning is an ongoing process, and a workplace that prioritises continuous learning will see benefits in a number of aspects including recruiting talent, overall productivity, and employee satisfaction.
A good quantifiable way to assess learning success is to invest in a LMS (Learning Management System) which provides a platform for structured training programs, and data to assess usage and course progression.
If investing in a LMS is not an option for a business, it is practical to instead use surveys, encouraging an open-door policy to understand what is beneficial and what can be improved directly from employees.
Most importantly, a good workplace learning culture should be sustainable, and this happens when businesses plan, test and learn to enable employees to achieve their goals and bring ideas to fruition.
Is it essential to create a learning culture?
For employees to bring something new to the table, it is essential to think outside the box, which can be encouraged by learning culture. In order to keep up with our competitors in this fast-paced business landscape, there is a constant need to innovate and improve products and services. A number of sectors including technology, health, banking, education, have been required to fast-track themselves in the post-covid era.
Key aspects and benefits of fostering a learning environment
It takes time to build a learning culture and an achievable goal for every organisation willing to invest their energy and resources, and to reap benefits. We have a few pointers below:
Attracting and retaining talent:
This is a key benefit for business to offer not just to existing employees but also this is a great selling point for potential new talent. Employees don’t just consider their current role but also are invested in their career and understand they need to be ready to adapt as the world continues to change. Learning culture encourages continuous development.
An innovative and growth mind-set:
As mentioned above, a workplace that values learning and shared knowledge is also innovative. Businesses must be ready to adapt to change. Whether it’s a global pandemic, a tight talent pool or an economic downturn, circumstances outside our control can rapidly affect how a company operates. You cannot ignore the speed of the digital revolution in the last 3 years.
When an organisation builds a learning culture and provides access to knowledge, teams are open to new learning and challenges and provide valuable contributions to sustain a business.
Improved employee engagement can build productivity, help you retain staff and reduce turnover.
Businesses should enable personal and professional development to not only improve their output, but to build happier, more well-rounded teams where everyone feels valued because the company is investing time and money building employee’s skills, sharing knowledge, and recognising career pathways. When employees feel valued and challenged by their work, learning programs can be a fantastic way to improve the employee engagement.
Creating a learning culture
But how do we create and practice a good learning culture?
(1) Make learning accessible
Organisations can offer employees the resources or support for their own development where they can choose courses or learning programs of interest, or which they feel will most benefit their progression.
Learning Management Systems are also great platforms that offer resources that employees can access.
(2) Plan and structure learning/training programs
Organisations can identify the skills employees want to learn and build learning pathways for them, or they can rely on external organisations to take teams through training or team specific skills. They can also develop personalised learning plans which factor in how businesses will support employee goals like a practical skills or academic qualifications.
As everybody learns differently, offering multiple ways for the information in a training session to be conveyed or recorded are recommended, such as through video and audio as well as written presentations and practical assignments.
(3) Hard and soft Skills
Practical skills which can be quantified, like accounting, coding, and languages are important, and contribute to the hard skills or technical skills.
Businesses should also factor in soft-skills as part of their training programs. Soft skills that are based on internal attributes such as leadership, resilience and interpersonal skills are also essential in the future of work.
(4) Rewarding learning
Supporting and rewarding employees for taking time out to learn, encourages them to designate time to training and development. As finding spare time in a busy work week can be a challenge, employers may also encourage employees to focus on development by giving them time to leave work for study.
Rewarding is not just about praising and promoting those who display an effort to learn and develop; it’s also about creating a climate that nurtures critical thinking, where challenging authority and speaking up are encouraged. This is particularly important if you want your team to produce something innovative.
When an employer invests in employees’ development, it creates a collaborative workplace culture that values innovation and progression. A learning culture should be a long-term priority for business. How is your organisation nurturing its learning culture?
From our own perspective, Mapien as a training provider offers targeted training courses on areas like leadership skills and abilities, performing with resilience and grit, unconscious bias, and many more, in addition to our public training offerings for leadership. Further than that though, we also direct our attention inwards, providing training by our own internal experts to where it is most needed within our own business, bringing in experts in specific areas of growth and potential for our teams, and providing avenues for individual personal growth and learning opportunities. These development and learning goals are identified through dedicated progress conversations as a part of our review and development process, and form a point of pride for our business.
By nurturing a learning culture, organisations can create an environment where employees thrive, innovation flourishes, and the organisation as a whole can adapt and succeed in an ever-changing world.
Connect with us
If you would like to discuss learning cultures further, how to boost your organisations learning culture, or to discuss the Mapien offering of training and development services, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.