When it comes to technology and today’s working world, it seems the only constant is rapid change. Adaptability plays a larger role in a successful workforce than ever before. When your employees embrace learning and sharing that knowledge with their department, your whole company will be able to handle the unpredictable variable in your industry—and stay ahead of the curve.
But industry adaptability is far from the only thing to be gained from a strong learning culture at your org. A study conducted by a Canadian Social Research and Demonstration Corporation studied workers in the hotel industry who engaged in learning. According to the study, employers who provided the trainings found a 27% return on their investment—some even experienced revenue gains of more than $2,000. Strong learning cultures can make the whole company work better together.
A learning culture can make your staff more open to new ideas, and encourages more employee collaboration. A 2013 Training Magazine article states, “Enabling on-the-job training that is aligned to business needs, and ensuring commitment to coaching from all levels of the organization will create a culture that nurtures high-potential, agile talent.”
Let Them Learn
Employees are looking for development. They want to grow, learn, and move up in your company. A lack of learning and development is the reason many companies are losing their top young talent, according to a study published in 2012 by Harvard Business Review. The study found that young managers feel they don’t receive the amount of mentoring, coaching and training that they want.
In a Forbes article, LRN CEO, Dov Seidman says it’s time to provide employees with careers, instead of giving them task-based jobs. By investing in their professional development, your business will benefit from their motivation and engagement.
Additionally, a study by Baek-Kyoo Joo, PhD, found that when a company provides continuous learning, dialogue, and team-cooperation, employees show higher commitment to the organization. Showing employees that they’re not just another brick in the wall leads to a workforce that is engaged in the learning culture, more efficient, and loyal. With a learning culture, employees not only make your business better, but also develop their own skills and feel valued in the company.
Implement a Learning Culture in Your Organization
Even though today’s HR specialists have plenty on their plates, oftentimes the L&D function falls to the HR department as well. Most HR-specialists are now also in charge of each employee’s sustainable well-being.
Get ready to invest some time and effort in organizing a learning culture in an interactive and engaging way. These five strategies will make your learning culture powerful and effective:
1. Consider the most cutting-edge eLearning tools. This is especially important for engaging millennials, who—according to a Kenan-Flagler study—will represent 46% of the US workforce by 2020. The study also found that 30% of them think it is important for a job to be “meaningful.” And 25% consider “sense of accomplishment” as necessary for their future job. So, they will search for a job where they can continue learning after their undergrad days are over.
Provide this “digital” generation with the advantages of eLearning:
- 24/7 Accessibility: The opportunity to study wherever they are—from sky-high traveling during business trips to relaxing coffee hours at shops in town.
- Gamification: Topics that have faced dry instruction for years are now becoming supremely interactive via software and applications. Real-world business cases, theory, and tests are now all rolled up in interactive platforms.
- Cost-effectiveness: When you choose eLearning, you’re essentially only paying for the knowledge your employees gain. When papers, classrooms, and professors all go digital, you save money as your whole org gains knowledge.
2. Make managers ambassadors of your learning culture. When employees feel the support and participation of the CEO and key managers—especially if they feel comfortable discussing and working on projects with them—learning and training is seen as a company-wide priority. Everyone is on the same page, and every employee is encouraged.
3. Add fun incentives to motivate your people. The Workplace Research Foundation found that highly-engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity. So offer awards to get your workforce excited about trainings. They can range from a paid day-off for successfully completing a training program to a small bonus for submitting feedback.
4. Provide comfortable online learning environments: Implement a Learning Management System that makes educational processes convenient and easy-to-use. Even better, if you provide an electronic library, employees can always read the latest article on their professional interests.
5. Budget time every week to devote solely to learning: Each week, schedule an hour that employees can devote to studies, without taking away from their daily work. It will show you appreciate your employees’ time. For employees, it means the guaranteed chance to spend time on personal development – something everyone needs so much today.
With a learning culture, you can build an engaged and adaptable workforce, ready for anything that comes their way. And with managers who encourage learning and digital applications that make sessions always accessible to employees, creating that culture won’t feel like rocket science.