Employee learning is a key element in nurturing talent and driving organisations forward. That was the main takeaway of the 2019 L&D Report produced by professional training search engine findcourses.co.uk. The report found that companies that spend above average on training per employee are twice as likely to say their employees are highly satisfied.
Learning & Development (L&D) has a demonstrable impact on employee satisfaction and retention rates, which is evidence of the importance of investing in a strong L&D strategy in your company. The ability of an organisation to learn from itself and others is a significant competitive advantage, and any company looking to grow in their market would be wise to follow suit.
A learning culture is a work environment that supports and encourages continuous and collective discovery. Knowledge and skills are shared and applied at all levels in order to achieve the organisation’s goals in an organic and sustainable way.
The implementation of learning cultures in the workplace has become more necessary than ever as training, technology, and learning needs evolve. Here are a few ways to implement and promote a culture of learning within your own organisation.
Leadership and management were the top priorities in corporate training in 2019, especially in companies that grew in the last financial year. In a survey of over 180 L&D departments, findcourses.co.uk found that meaningful support from senior leaders was the number one way companies were driving a culture of innovation.
Establishing a culture of learning is an important cultural shift for any company. It is essential to have senior management on board and leading by example, in addition to dedicating financial resources. Leaders are not only important within organisations as forerunners of innovation, but also hold the power to drive change.
Creating a safe space where employees feel free to take risks and challenge the status quo is the first step towards a healthy professional learning culture, according to L&D practitioners who participated in the latest findcourses.com US L&D Report. Where the pursuit of learning for learning’s sake is actively encouraged and supported, the quality of work is enhanced overall.
Learners must make the connection between their personal development and the positive impact this has on business success and innovation. Incentives to encourage learning on all levels are a persuasive aid in the mission to establish a learning culture. Aligning these incentives so that they make evident the connection between personal and business success is even more useful.
When professional development turns into a performance factor and is seen and measured as such by senior management, it becomes a powerful driver for employees to seek out relevant training to proactively further their careers.
The most advanced organisations have found ways to incorporate employees’ personal goals into the company’s own strategy. This defines a learning culture: one’s success becomes the success of all.
Years of standardised and impersonal training programmes have diminished the potential impact of L&D training. Learning is mainly a subjective experience and it is important to take this into account when developing your L&D strategy. Do this by incorporating flexible and personalised learning opportunities for employees at all levels.
Personalisation can be as simple as allowing your employees to access the required content at a time that is best suited to them, or by tailoring it depending on its relevance to their specific role.
These are only the first steps to seeding a culture of learning in the workplace. Implementing a cultural shift is hard work, and continuous exploration and re-examination is necessary to find the best method for your organisation.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to learning. Devising new and innovative ways to cultivate the habit of learning in your company is what a learning culture is all about. At its best, the pursuit of learning will be woven into the fabric of all organisational life. Good luck!
By Keely Witherow
Keely Witherow is a writer and content editor at professional training search engine findcourses.com and higher education portal educations.com. A native Texan based in Stockholm, Keely has utilised her interest in cross-cultural relations to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.