Building a Learning Culture in the Workplace
An organisation that encourages continuous learning & development is likely to benefit from more engaged employees who are continually adding to their skills and, consequently, are better placed to help it drive towards future success. They will be more efficient, more productive, and better able to step-up when they are required to take on greater responsibility and to take care of more complex tasks.
So how can an organisation develop and promote a learning culture in their workplace?
One of the principle ways to promote a culture of learning is to visibly recognise the value of learning itself. Employees will be more inclined to take up development opportunities if they can see the benefit – for example, by understanding the tangible impact it will have on their career, or simply through seeing that an organisation praises and congratulates those who add to their skills.
Create development plans. Then use them!
A process of creating training & development plans can help an organisation formalise efforts to encourage employees to develop their skills. One of the key challenges, however, is ensuring that all of the planning comes to something by actually using the plan and making certain that development opportunities are taken.
Focus on internal recruitment
An obvious way to demonstrate your organisation’s focus on learning is to link it very clearly with your own employment opportunities. Showing that an organisation is committed to internal promotion, and that this is tied closely with training & development, is a very clear indicator to employees of the value of training. This means promoting available positions internally, having conversations with staff about how they can work towards promotion, and linking compensation & benefits to employees’ training.
Make learning accessible
For learning to be accessible, employees need to be given the time to take advantage of development opportunities. This can be achieved in many ways – through setting time aside for training during the working day, through allowing pursuit of academic programmes, and through providing access to online training resources which can be used at any time.
Focus on developing coaching capacity
Managers can play a major role in helping employees develop through their own ability to coach and mentor reports. Organisations keen to bolster their learning culture should focus on developing coaching skills amongst every level of their managers and leaders.
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