Do your employees groan when you bring up another round of required training? Without a learning culture gaining additional knowledge can sound like a task, something to check off and get out of the way. But what is a learning culture and how does having one effect your employees willingness to learn?
What is a learning culture?
At its core, an organization with a learning culture values learning. Education is important at all levels, from the C-suite to those currently onboarding. And that importance is evident from required training and compliance to professional development. In a learning culture employees will continuously seek and share knowledge not only to better themselves individually but the organization as well.
How can you build a learning culture?
If your training is truly groan-inducing, you may have a lot of work ahead of you. But here are some practical steps you can take that may encourage your employees to take initiative, maybe even make the training process enjoyable.
1. Consider updating your training. Sometimes the difference between the training everyone dreads and those everyone enjoys is easy to see. If your training is dated or cheesy, invest in new ones so required education is more interesting and relevant. This is critical for necessary training in your industry so that compliance is easy and possibly even fun. If there’s a chance employees will enjoy the training, they’re unlikely to put it off.
2. Look outside your organization. Even the most skilled training department cannot cover everything employees might need and want. When employees ask for training you’re not qualified to offer, consider sending them to outside training sessions or hiring a trainer to come in. Conferences can also fulfill training needs, so sending employees to them can supplement in-house training in a great way. To help assess what employees want and need, offer them personalized career coaching to learn about where they want to be and what they need to learn to get there.
3. Make sure leadership supports your learning goals. When employees don’t think leadership cares about something, they aren’t likely to care either. If you want to build a learning culture, make sure you have buy-in at the top — and those leaders communicate their support for continuing education.
4. Encourage employees to train each other. Formal training and professional development activities are great, but some of the most effective learning happens when employees teach each other the ropes. In an organization with a strong learning culture, these types of training are as valued as the formal classes.
These changes can seem small, but they can significantly affect employee performance, morale, and retention. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact us today for a consultation and we can walk you through the right process for your organization.