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How to build a learning culture in your business
A company with a strong learning culture can be thought of as the opposite of a company content to rest on its laurels.
A solid learning culture in an organisation is one where everything from the structure to the processes to the culture are all geared towards allowing but also encouraging employees at all levels to continue their education in skills, knowledge, and top performance. This culture allows for insights and facts to inform growth across the entirely of a company.
Try these tips to develop a learning culture in the workplace, and reap the benefits of a workforce that is constantly improving and growing.
Implement formal training
On-the-job training is commonplace throughout organisations, but can often be informal and relaxed. For some employees, this can create an atmosphere where the training isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, and those skills may not be implemented as a result.
It’s vital to put training at the forefront of your culture by creating a formal process for upskilling, no matter the employee level.
As much as most managers understand the value for learning, there’s also the very common problem that nobody has spare time when faced with business deadlines, priorities and problems needing immediate attention. It’s therefore easy for learning to fall by the wayside.
Creating a formal system for rewarding learning will encourage employees to bump training up their list of priorities, and to show learning is just as valuable as meeting targets. This could work as a new business or team responsibility with the offer or some form of reward such as additional work-from-home days or an early finish on Fridays.
Create time for learning
To truly show your commitment to creating a learning culture in the workplace, it’s essential to carve out time for employees that’s dedicated purely for learning.
An example could be dropping an employee’s projects one day of the month to allow for learning time, or setting aside a company-wide time slot to watch and discuss a presentation or similar.
Lead by example
Set the standard as a manager by bettering yourself through learning. Whether it’s through courses, conferences, or even simply sitting down with employees with different skill sets of your own, showing others in your team you are committed to learning shows you value their development, you lead by example and you follow through.
When others see you taking the time and genuinely enjoying the process, they may be more inspired to commit to learning themselves.
Ensure new skills are applied
To both highlight the importance of learning and then ensuring those new skills aren’t wasted or forgotten, find ways to test, utilise and review what your employees have learned.
You might consider incorporating their new skills into their tasks, or create a brief test or interview to double-check that new knowledge has become ingrained.
Hire the right people
Another fantastic way to create a learning culture is by planning ahead and hiring those who show a real interest in improving their skills and knowledge. They can help take ownership of your initiatives and may have some new approaches, since knowledge and further development comes naturally to them.
Incorporate questions into your interview process that will allow those with curious minds to shine, and include a penchant for learning as a bonus factor when making your hiring decisions. Eventually, this should lead to a workplace filled with staff who always seek learning opportunities, strengthening your business and its culture as a result.