Creating a Culture of Learning

Developing a productive and resourceful culture doesn’t just happen overnight. Company directors may be tempted to only encourage training and development when employees first start or on an as-needed basis, but research would tell us otherwise.

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, developing a growth mindset has been proven to yield employees who learn from mistakes and actively seek out new challenges. Developing a growth mindset also dramatically improves employee engagement by impacting productivity, staff retention, employee motivation, new technology skills, client satisfaction and leadership development according to studies by Gallup, BlessingWhite, Bersin, and McLean and Company.

Continue reading to see how to create and implement a culture of learning in your organization.

Instill Value in Mastering Important Skills

A culture of learning must first begin with the desire to learn. Forcing employees to read manuals and watch training videos may only result in zoning people out. Rather, encourage healthy development by communicating the benefits of increased productivity within the company and leading by example. Also, provide tangible examples of others who are masters in their fields, whose innovation blossomed by taking risks.

Develop Formal Training Programs

Effective learning will best take root when employees have the time to quench their curiosity and dive deep into resources offered to them. This process starts by setting aside time on a weekly and monthly basis for people to focus solely on professional development. Reward employees who take advantage of “learning time” and remind others to follow suit. Work with human resources and communication experts to create templates, guides, FAQs, and workspaces surrounding specific skills, department purposes, and industry standards. Siloed problems can also be resolved by offering training to employees in other departments, so that they may have a more enhanced perspective on company purpose and goals.

Make Learning Opportunities Accessible

The “build it and they will come” approach is only as good as the path that takes you there. Employees should be able to access educational resources in one, updated location, but don’t just bury training guides in shared folders or send periodic links to online resources. Instead, continue developing new materials as new products/software/clients are added to the company, marking each with the most recent date.

Learning should also be made accessible through marketed events, like “Lunch and Learns” or “Innovative Buzz Sessions,” and leadership would be wise to consider offering paid certifications and/or masters programs, especially to employees to show promise.

Measure and Evaluate Growth

Once employees take advantage of the opportunities offered to them, assume the responsibility of ensuring their learning gets applied correctly. Measure effectiveness through dedicated surveys, employee retention records, productivity reports, and, ultimately, the hunger to learn more. Also, continue to enhance the training programs by gathering feedback from users after completion. Finally, reward large improvements to encourage employees to increase their knowledge on a regular basis.

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These are just a few ways to foster a culture of learning. What else have you tried in your organization?

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