Today, employees are demanding more frequent and readily accessible development opportunities. In fact, 76% of millennials say that professional development opportunities are one of the most important elements of company culture. Organizations neglecting these requests are seeing higher turnover rates and lower engagement and performance rates. Positive organizations on the other hand, are responding by enabling continuous learning resources, helping their employees reach their potential, and inspiring success. To stay relevant, organizations must shift their focus from having a training culture to having a culture of continuous learning.
Training Culture vs. A Culture of Continuous Learning
In a traditional training culture, managers are responsible for the development of their employees. This can put a big stress on their shoulders. In a culture of continuous learning, employees, managers, and teams are all responsible for talent development. In a training culture, we see competition between departments for information. In a culture of learning, all valuable information is shared between departments. It is important for employees from one department to understand and learn from the successes or failures of another department. In a training culture, training and development initiatives are evaluated based on completion, even though we all know, completion doesn’t equal learning. With continuous learning, employee training and development initiatives are evaluated based on the knowledge gained, and the direct impact it has on organizational performance.
How Can Your Organization Work Towards A Culture of Continuous Learning?
To instill continuous learning into your organization, you will first need to first make sure the right learning content is in place to further develop your employees. Next, you will need to make sure that these materials are available to employees when they need it. If you recall in the last article, we mentioned that automated personalized learning helps support continuous learning. More strategies that can lead to continuous learning are listed below.
- Let employees take charge of their learning. Let them opt in!
- Coach your managers on mentoring skills and make mentoring a norm.
- Encourage constant feedback loops.
- Introduce a mobile learning platform so that employees can learn anytime, anywhere.
- Encourage exploration, innovation, and risk taking.
- Introduce a social learning strategy so that employees can learn from their peers!
- Create an incentive or recognition system to further encourage continuous learning.
What are the Benefits?
How will the strategies above impact your organization? Below, we list some of the benefits:
- A commitment to learning is a commitment to an organization’s employees. This leads to more respected, secure and satisfied employees.
- Learning opportunities that put learners in the driver’s seat lead employees to develop a growth mindset. Employees develop a sense of ownership, accountability, and pride in their own development. Having more committed and engaged employees, in turn, reduces turnover.
- A focus on continuous development increases efficiency, productivity, and profit for the organization.
- A focus on continuous learning also enhances the ability of employees to adapt to organizational change.
There are clear benefits of a learning culture. A learning organization is a growing organization. If your organization is looking for a platform to enables continuous learning resources, contact us today!