A learning culture is one in which an organization’s vision, mission and values encourage employees to learn and develop their skills continuously in order to enhance their performance. In short it is a work culture that promotes continuous improvement and celebrates goal achievements. It also fosters better employee engagement and development of a great work environment. Developing such a work culture requires commitment on the part of the management.
Here are six tips for building a great learning culture at work that can effectively increase employee communication, engagement, improve performance and contribute to the success of your organization as a whole:
Communicate the importance of learning
Make sure that every level understands that learning is engrained in the organization culture and is valued within the company. By learning and developing new skills, an employee increases his chance of growth in the organization. Communicating the importance of learning should be consistent and frequent enough so that the employee understands the purpose behind it. Employees will stay motivated and you can create a great learning culture at work.
Provide equal opportunities for all employees
Ensure that your learning opportunities reach each and every employee. Include staff across all locations, levels and departments. Make sure that you do not exclude some employees because of their geographic location. It’s important to understand that while you create learning opportunities, a one size fits all approach will not work. You have to customize your training programs as per employee skill levels and job requirements.
Establish clear links between learning and performance
Employees need to understand that learning and performance are interlinked. Learning is not a one off event but it’s the core of the company culture. In the long run, learning helps an employee perform consistently better and acquire all the skills that required for their jobs.
Ensure that the learning is job related
It is important that the learning you encourage is job related. This will encourage more and more employees to participate. Managers also need to ensure that they help employees to apply their newly acquired skills to their jobs and projects at hand. It will also help in the project’s profitability analysis and ensures that the employee’s contribution to the project at hand is valuable.
Make employees accountable for their own learning path
Make each employee understand that they have the freedom to choose their own learning path. They can select what trainings will add value to their career paths. An employee interested in management need not be bogged down with technical training sessions. The idea is to provide employees with the freedom to grow and management needs to ensure that they have all the tools readily available to support their goals!
Knowledge sharing programs
Knowledge sharing programs are a great way to create a learning culture at your workplace. Identify subject matter experts within your organization and arrange for sessions for knowledge sharing. A project’s profitability analysis can be done to identify what areas need to be highlighted for training and knowledge sharing sessions. Linking learning with core competencies can also positively impact your work environment and create a truly learning culture in your organization.
Knowledge transfer and skills acquisition should be a part of an employee’s daily job. This helps develop committed, engaged and highly motivated employees. In addition to reinforcing the importance of learning, it must be openly practiced and valued at all levels of an organization. Moreover, linking learning to performance helps an employee track his growth path and in the long term paves the way for your company’s success!