One of the most important assets of any organization is its people. A skilled and engaged workforce is a cornerstone for the success of business which means employee learning experience and satisfaction are high on the priority list for business leaders.
Employees themselves today view learning and development opportunities as a key requirement to perform their job better. As per the 2021 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, Gen Z – one of the newest entrants in the workforce - is highly motivated to grow their careers, with 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement.
It’s therefore imperative that organizations embrace a culture of continuous learning to attract and retain employees.
Here are five ways to foster such a learning culture in your organization:
Embed Learning at all Levels
Learning can become a norm only when it is entrenched in the very ethos of the organization. It is also upto senior leaders to ensure that they make employees feel encouraged to seek out new ways to learn and grow and offer them the opportunities to do so. Needless to say, this means it’s necessary to have leadership and management buy-in for learning initiatives.
Leaders also need to consider making learning one of the core values of the company. Once it is portrayed as a foundation for employee development, it is clear how integral learning is for the growth, day-to-day working and long-term success of the organization. As learning becomes a part of the company culture, L&D investments too start taking precedence instead of being viewed as additional expenses.
Measure the Effectiveness of Learning Outcomes
Deploying learning programs without checking their effectiveness can often create lesser result-oriented impact. One significant method to check effectiveness is by using a common skill category for all departments. Organizations can ensure that all employees have completed every learning experience that is related with that skill and then check circumstantial data like competency level, performance against industry standards and other assessments.
It helps to have a comprehensive framework when tracking the impact of skills and consequent knowledge acquired. Consistent data provides insights for more strategic investment decisions. Once the results are out, you can get a better idea of what potential your people have and check if they need to switch to new roles that better align with their skills.
Acknowledge Employee Achievements
People love to be appreciated and recognized for their achievements. Adding recognition to L&D strategy helps employees understand the value that the organization places on growth and encourages them to try for new milestones.
One way of creating impactful and consistent recognition is by offering digital badges to employees after they accomplish certain skills. This means when an employee completes a course or program, he/she gets a digital badge to showcase the validation of the new knowledge. Such credentials go a long way in helping connect people to the right opportunities and projects.
When it comes to successful L&D activities, feedback is one tool that can help employees develop as well as improve the overall culture. Meaningful and constructive feedback is known to foster a continuous culture of learning. Employees need to feel empowered to offer their feedback to their managers.
Leaders also need to ensure that they establish an environment where feedback is welcomed and employees are allowed to offer their opinions through candid conversations to unearth areas for improvement. All this is possible when learning becomes an intrinsic part of the company which can then help leverage the benefits of continuous learning in the workplace.
All employees have unique skills sets, knowledge and learning needs as per their role and aspirations. The learning programs that they take up should fulfil their requirements and trajectories. Since there can never be a one-size-fits-all approach to learning, it’s important that L&D is able to customize learning experiences for employees. Depending on the level at which individual employees are, some may need advanced training while some may still be eyeing the basics to prepare for a new role they are embarking upon.
Either way, investments in learning for the workforce will boost productivity and retention which is why companies should give importance to personalized learning.
In order to satisfy employees’ need for knowledge, you should start by making learning one of the pillars of organizational focus. The next step is to ensure that employees have the means and resources to kickstart their development. By giving due importance to learning and growth at all levels in the organization, you can successfully foster a culture of learning that encourages your people as well as business to grow.