How to create a learning culture in the workplace - Deepstash
How to create a learning culture in the workplace

How to create a learning culture in the workplace

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The State Of The Workplace

The State Of The Workplace

Technological disruption, VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) conditions fueled by the ongoing pandemic, and evolving organizational architectures are just a few of the major challenges businesses face today. As a learning leader, your role is to equip your workforce with the capabilities needed to stay competitive amidst these changes.

Being transformation-ready doesn’t mean adopting the latest technology to keep up with current trends. It’s about developing a learning culture that positions the entire organization to adapt to the inevitable unknowns the future will bring.

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Supporting Insightfulness

Supporting Insightfulness

Does the culture produce and support insightful workers?

There’s no guarantee that today’s knowledge will solve tomorrow’s problems or that skills will remain evergreen. But insightful employees can recognize when the nature of a problem shifts. They then use that comprehension to hone their skills and seek out fresh knowledge. 

These characteristics help workers face novel challenges, which allows the entire organization to transform as well. 

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A Growth Mindset

A Growth Mindset

Does your culture extol growth mindsets?

Many useless hours a spent by employees hiding their weaknesses. A learning culture fosters growth mindsets. In this type of organization, learning is not seen as a sign of weakness but of character. Failure is not the antonym of success, but part of the growth process.

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Collaboration

Is your culture collaborative and matrixed?

Even the most insightful worker can’t do it all. Sometimes the time required to hone a new skill will be too great. In these instances, insightful workers need to connect with those whose complementary skills can be an asset.

Far too often, the help they need is siloed away in a neighbouring department. And within the hyper-specialized architecture of many modern organizations, that can be a difficult barrier to cross. 

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Adaptability

Adaptability

Is your culture adaptable?

It’s clear that transformation is the default condition of today’s business world. There will inevitably come a day when the tried-and-true no longer works. When this happens, reactionary organizations panic and falter. 

But transformation-ready organizations evolve, and that begins at the employee level. A learning culture provides time and resources for employees to hone the skills needed to adapt to changing market conditions and demands, skills like resilience and agility. 

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Cultivation By Leadership

Is the culture nurtured by leaders at the organization?

Leaders have an outsized influence on everyone in an organization. Directors who want their managers to learn and grow must model a willingness to do so. The same holds true for managers who want to see their team members improve.

Leadership culture must shift from a group of “know-it-alls” to one of “learn-it-alls.” Learn-it-alls grant permission to admit fallibility and desire to grow. 

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Intellectual Humility

This culture shift requires developing leaders with intellectual humility — they must be open to learning, commit to improving, and never use their intellect or position to discourage others. Teaching those skills will mean having open, honest conversations with key leaders as well as embodying intellectual humility yourself.

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The Role Of A Leader

A learning culture isn’t built overnight. Organizations must commit to intentionally developing employees, and that requires being strategic about how investments are made. To begin developing a culture of learning at your organization, consider the following factors.

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Developing a Culture of Learning: Budget

Developing a Culture of Learning: Budget

  • Maintain a consistent budget to gain buy-in by making the value of learning explicitly clear.
  • Write a mission statement that aligns your vision with organizational objectives, then choose and design programs with ROI in mind. 
  • Plan ongoing initiatives to measure their impact, such as the use of qualitative feedback from employee surveys, and always be prepared to communicate on progress to goal. 

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Developing a Culture of Learning: Time

Developing a Culture of Learning: Time

It doesn’t matter how effective a learning program promises to be if employees don’t have the time to participate. For this reason, Google and others have instituted the 80/20 rule. They offer employees 20% of their time to learn, develop, and experiment with new ideas. This ratio can vary, but having a formal rule serves to convey the importance of learning. 

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CURATED BY

jessicadelgado

Medical sales representative

By building a learning culture, L&D leaders can equip their organizations to adapt to a business world that is transforming before our eyes.

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