11 Tips for Creating a Learning Culture in Your Organisation
Creating a learning culture in your organisation is about much more than having a training policy and a range of training programmes. Instead, a learning culture is where you get buy-in from employees at all levels to improve their KSAs – knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Creating this learning culture will bring significant benefits to your business, including enhanced productivity and better staff retention.
This is not something that will happen overnight, however. Here are 11 tips you can use to accelerate the process of creating a learning culture.
1. Define Why You Want to Create a Learning Culture
To successfully create a learning culture in your organisation you must first understand why it is important. This could be to attract new employees, retain employees, expand into new areas, improve the quality of service you offer to clients, reduce error rates, or any other reason.
In fact, you will probably have multiple reasons for creating a learning culture. Clearly understanding those reasons is the first step.
2. Explain to Employees Why Learning is Important
Creating a learning culture usually means the business focusing on training and development more than it does now. Employees will notice this increased level of activity, so it is important you explain to them your reasons, i.e. the reasons you identified in the first step.
One good approach is to explain that improving the skills and knowledge of your team is a key business strategy. This will help break the view that employees have in some organisations that training is an administrative or compliance task.
Linking learning to performance, productivity, and business success is a much better approach.
3. Give Employees Time for Learning
This tip is about tackling head-on a concern that some employees might have. This concern is that they are already busy so don’t have the bandwidth for additional learning activities. Give them the time they need so this is not an issue
4. Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Organisations that are good at knowledge sharing often also have an excellent learning culture. You will need to establish the tools to make knowledge sharing possible as well as the procedures to make it happen. Buy-in from all levels of management is important too. The payback, however, will be far-reaching and will include helping with your efforts to create a learning culture.
5. Make it as Easy as Possible
This tip is not about making training courses easy. Instead, it is about making the learning process easy. One of the best ways you can do this is by creating and deploying e-learning courses.
An e-learning course can be completed anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This is much more appealing to employees than having to take time out to attend a classroom-based training session.
Plus, you can also implement other tools and strategies when you use e-learning that will also help create a learning culture. Some of those tools and strategies are in the next few points.
6. Use Microlearning
Microlearning involves developing an e-learning course in small modules. Ideally, employees should be able to complete a module in less than five minutes. So, when the employee has 5-10 minutes to spare, they can improve their skills and knowledge by completing microlearning modules rather than going on Instagram or doing something else that is not as productive.
7. Make Courses and Training Personal
You can personalise e-learning courses according to any criteria you want. This could be according to a business unit, a role within the organisation, a geographical location, and more.
When you make learning personal, employees relate to it and understand it more, so will be much more willing to participate.
8. Empower Employees
Another strategy you can use to create and foster a learning culture in your organisation is to give employees control over their learning. You can do this in many ways, including letting learners decide which course they want to complete next. You can even let learners make decisions during a learning course. Examples would be letting learners skip modules if they already understand the topic or go through additional content if they need more help.
9. Add a Competitive Aspect to Learning
Another learning tool you can add to an e-learning course is gamification. This can help create a learning culture in your organisation, particularly if you add a competitive element to learning.
10. Recognise and Reward
Recognising the efforts of employees who gain new skills and knowledge is important. You should also consider rewarding employees for their efforts and successes. This can be monetary rewards, although this is not the only option you have. For example, the reward could be the opportunity to work on a different project, i.e. something the employee sees as advancing their career.
11. Continually Measure and Improve
Creating a learning culture in your organisation involves giving tools and encouragement to employees to continually improve their knowledge and skills. You should practice this as an organisation too by getting feedback on your learning courses and assets, measuring their effectiveness, and making improvements.
Developing an Approach
There is no single step you can take to create a learning culture in your organisation. Instead, you are likely to need most if not all of the points above.
In addition, creating a learning culture takes effort as well as clear and visible buy-in and leadership from the senior management team. The benefits to your business of doing so, however, are long-term.