We have been talking before about the huge importance of creating a learning culture among employees at the level of an organization, which brings multiple benefits to all the members involved. Why is that? First of all, because employees are engaged in their professional development, they see it both as an organizational benefit and an opportunity for career growth.
It also encourages a growth mindset among employees and within the organization, because people usually like a good challenge, especially when it brings personal benefits and teaches them how to better adapt to changes and how to easily switch roles within the organization, for example.
A Deloitte study supports this point, stating that “organizations that allow for individual initiative and appropriate risk-taking in the work itself can make enormous strides in building a strong learning culture”. Moreover, a learning culture helps everyone to keep pace with the changes in technologies and business environments, with constant change being the new reality of our lives.
Thus, a learning culture is essential. But what’s a high-impact learning culture? According to an HR article, it is “the set of values and processes that encourage individuals and the organization as a whole to increase their knowledge, competence and performance.” Basically, a high-impact learning culture is possible at the level of organizations which foster an environment where employees take charge of their own learning, and the leadership is focused on modeling learning behaviors and encouraging continuous learning.
Organizations usually adopt a high-impact learning culture that provides constant access to learning resources, fosters collaboration across learners, and encourages clear communication. And, as LinkedIn suggested in one of their articles, every company should aim towards achieving a high-impact learning culture:
“CLOs: it’s time to strategically consider and put on your four faces; you have a tremendous opportunity (and an obligation) to drive the change needed to create and support a culture of always-on learning. C-suite and business leaders: you can’t afford to be complacent; you also “own” learning.”
The beforehand mentioned Deloitte study also supports the claim that for a strong learning culture to exist at the level of an organization, every member of it should support it, including managers, employees and leaders, as this is the key to greater success and a widespread adoption of desired learning practices.
Oracle wrote an article, talking about a few essential steps that need to be implemented as the foundation for a high-impact learning culture, and we’ll summarize a few of their points here. Firstly, they say that learning should be seen as a key aspect in the strategy of every organization, and it should be supported by the management, with leaders taking ownership of the learning culture across the organization. Secondly, the first impression always makes a difference, so the onboarding process is both essential and a good starting point to encourage the new hires to take responsibility for their own learning and development within the company.
According to the same source, “some high-impact learning organizations have onboarding programs that start as early as the talent acquisition phase and continue through all talent management processes. Such an approach can demonstrate an organization’s commitment to learning, helps recruits hit the ground running, and personally benefits the individuals.”
Another important step in implementing a high-impact learning culture is encouraging knowledge-sharing among employees, making the most of social and collaborative learning and incorporating learning into every performance-management process. People like learning from each other, using their co-workers' experience and expertise in finding solutions to challenges and conducting brainstorming sessions to get to the root of a professional obstacle.
To wrap it up, organizational leaders should focus more on implementing a learning culture across the organization, encouraging employee development and adopting a growth mindset.
Some (final) thoughts
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