There are many benefits to creating a learning culture in the workplace. When employees continually learn, their job performance improves, and they may even develop needed skills to advance to higher positions. Efficiency also increases, and employees may begin to develop a mindset of constant improvement.
Other benefits are that employees may adapt to change better and have more ownership and accountability regarding their jobs. It takes time and effort to develop a learning culture in the workplace. Here are some ways to do so.
1. Recognize and reward learners in the workplace.
There are many ways to do this—offering public congratulations when someone earns a degree or certificate, talking about who is enrolled in a program, and making sure all employees are aware of incentives like tuition reimbursement are just a few. When people see co-workers getting rewarded for continuing education, it will encourage them to seek out learning opportunities as well.
2. Make making mistakes acceptable.
Creating a learning culture means understanding and communicating the truth that making mistakes is part of the learning process. A sense of shame or even discomfort around making mistakes will stifle learning because people will not want to take risks. On the other hand, looking at mistakes as part of an ongoing learning process will lead to greater innovation, as people learn from those mistakes and build on them to eventual success.
3. Use on-demand learning to make it more accessible.
New methods of learning like webinars, online modules, and video instruction make learning more accessible. Employees can access them when they have time, and the entire team doesn’t have to be together in order to learn.
4. Use different learning styles.
Formalized learning like required training can often be looked at by employees as boring and a waste of time. Using educational material that incorporates different learning styles—visual, auditory, hands-on, etc.—will make the training time more interesting and lead to better retention of the material, since any given group is likely to have people in it who learn very differently.
5. Teach managers how to coach.
One-on-one learning can be extremely effective. Managers who can coach their employees on best practices and desired outcomes will find them more highly motivated to improve and succeed as a result of their continued learning. Part of the overall training strategy for any business should be training their managers on coaching skills so they can impact their team positively.
6. Encourage feedback and dissent.
It is not possible to know without asking, whether training or ongoing learning programs are effective and helpful to employees. Also, not every person is the same and feels the same way about learning or about particular learning initiatives. Many businesses try to squelch dissent because they feel it will lead to disloyalty or people leaving the company, but feedback and dissent are necessary in order to identify where the company can improve and to move forward in doing so.
CCSU provides many continuing education opportunities for those in all job fields and also for personal enrichment. Join our mailing list for more information about all the ways professionals can continue to learn through our courses.