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Why should you start building a learning culture right now?

Learning culture: is it a necessity?

This pandemic has subjected all of us to a huge change in all the areas of our lives, and the ability to learn and adapt to change has turned from a core of business success to a must do. Thus, one of the most crucial facts to keep in mind is the culture that a company is cultivated among its employees. 

People need to stay up to date, to be able to upskill and reskill, to embark on new roles and responsibilities in order to stay relevant in this changing business environment. This means that companies should have an ongoing support system in place, which means that the learning and development departments can’t just develop and deliver training programs anymore, but rather foster a learning environment that fuels continuous development among employees. 

learning culture 1
Learning culture

This would benefit both the employees, who are exposed to learning opportunities that make them stay relevant, and the employers who have a competitive advantage by working with people that are prepared to adapt to change. Moreover, a continuous learning culture fosters agility among companies because it helps them to react quickly to any change and to adapt to the new market needs. The question is, how do you enforce this continuous learning environment among employees in these difficult times? There are a few strategies that we’ve encountered and we’d like to share. 

Strategies to develop a learning culture

Keep learning flexible

Don’t make time frames around learning rigid, give people the opportunity to learn anytime and from anywhere, offering them learning resources that are available anytime in an eLearning platform. Also, offer them information in the format of microlearning, keeping in mind that bitesize knowledge creates learning habits. Put differently, you can turn the frequently used “did you know that?” into pieces of information that are actually relevant for employees in their day to day working life, fostering a learning culture while doing this.

Use experiential learning

There’s no longer time for information that is not needed NOW. People are focused on so many things, such as adapting to a remote work environment, finding the energy to focus on online meetings, keeping up with their tasks, and general, theoretical knowledge is not something that people want or have time to focus on. 

That’s why you should provide them with experiential learning opportunities while creating a strong learning culture, where they can actively engage in the learning process, having hands-on experience with a specific topic. Also, you should map learning paths to the career paths when choosing the topics, keeping in mind the employees’ future progression in the organization and what skills they need to adapt to new roles. This is how you also offer training programs that are relevant to them, keeping them engaged and focused.

Use virtual reality

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Extended Reality (ER), and Mixed Reality (MR) are ways to deliver near-world experiences to learners that are similar to their day to day work, helping them to immerse themselves into digital experiences where they can get new skills and improve old ones from the comfort of their own homes. 

Foster a growth mindset

“A growth mindset can be a great source of motivation, especially in learning, because it puts learners in control of what they’re doing, encouraging them to cultivate abilities and traits” (source). And as we’ve all experienced these days, motivation is highly needed to keep up with learning and to create a continuous learning culture, where employees seek out knowledge on their own, often coaching and mentoring each other.

Some (final) thoughts

Long story short, if you haven’t started this until now, you should develop a learning culture ASAP. Offer people opportunities to learn, make sure that you are ready to react to change and foster adaptability among people to make sure that you are not left behind in the business environment when unpredictability hits.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

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