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How to Build a Learning and Development Culture in Your Company

Creating a learning and development culture at work has always been important to HR leaders. Today, it is even more imperative to the HR function. Giving people opportunities to learn and grow on the job is the key to keeping them motivated and engaged at work. This is logical because working in a setting where you can expand your skill set and overcome novel obstacles is much more rewarding. 

One of the best things your organisation can do to remain competitive in the twenty-first century is to establish a learning and development culture. Leaders should invest in employee learning and development culture to attract top talent and develop new and innovative products and services. Doing so will foster a learning culture that will pay off in the long run. 

A learning and development culture is where employees constantly seek, share, and implement new skills and knowledge to enhance organisational and individual performance. It is a mindset within an organisation in which learning and development are pivotal to how people prioritise their time, perform their duties, and engage with one another. It is a culture in which people actively seek opportunities to improve themselves and others, as well as to explore innovative methods for the organisation to improve. 

Why Is a Learning and Development Culture Important?

Developing a learning and development culture may be the most important thing you can do to improve your organisation’s performance. Its impact spans the entire organisation; from employee retention and reputation to performance and profitability, benefiting the individuals and the business.  

It increases talent retention

Today’s cohort of employees anticipate some kind of connection with their managers. The more opportunities for advancement they have, the more employees will invest in your organisation. And if they see that they can have a rewarding career from the start, more of them will stay. On the other hand, it is critical to have a strategy in place for an ageing workforce. Instilling a learning and development culture in your organisation will improve the performance of your existing talent pool and attract new talent. 

Encourages a high-performance mindset

It should come as no surprise that a learning culture produces motivated, high-performing employees. Most motivated employees want to deliver exceptional results and are astute enough to recognise opportunities, set goals, and develop themselves for growth. This mindset can be supported by encouraging employees to focus on their learning and take ownership through a well-planned learning and development plan. 

Promote innovation

Developing a learning culture in the workplace promotes innovation. A learning and development culture is more than just formal training; it stems from the organisation’s acceptance of failure and the creation of a safe environment in which people can learn from their mistakes and grow over time. 

7 Ways to Integrate a Learning and Development Culture In Your Company

7 Ways to Integrate a Learning and Development Culture In Your Company​

1. Assess your current plan for gaps in learning

The first step is to examine employee performance closely to identify skill gaps. This assessment entails gathering data to identify competency and performance gaps and the underlying causes that must be addressed. This process is also helpful in determining employee training requirements. One of the numerous ways of identifying skill gaps is by subjecting your employee to a series of skill gap Assessments – tests and quizzes are standard methods. Still, other methods include practical assessments or role-playing activities. With the result of the assessment, you can then start working on creating a strategy that promotes potent and effective learning for your employees. 

2. Lead by example and develop a personalised learning plan

Ensure that your employees understand the importance of learning to your entire organisation. As such, leaders should be heavily involved in the learning and development process by actively promoting upcoming training sessions or leading classes and discussions. By doing this, employees will recognise the value and jump on board if their leaders are committed to fostering a learning culture. You can also make learning more relevant to employees by focusing on individual objectives. Their line manager should meet with them to set goals based on what they want and need to learn to do their jobs, as well as discuss their career goals and what training would help them get there. They should then devise strategies to help them achieve their goals. When developing a training programme, it is critical to create personalised learning plans with tailored content for your employees. These are more engaging and they help employees achieve their personal goals. 

3. Use the right platform to make training more accessible

Utilise a learning management system (LMS) that supports both learning and training. Consider one that is simple to use to get started quickly. Additionally, look for features that allow employees to practice real-life skills and interact with other learners to share knowledge. Employees will not put forth the effort to learn if the process is not seamless. Preferably, you should also provide on-demand training so that your employees can access learning materials at any time and from any location. This system is essential in today’s workforce because it allows for more flexibility. 

4. Implement learning outcomes into performance evaluations

Incorporating employee development into quarterly performance reviews and status meetings is another way to foster a learning and development culture. By developing an individual development plan, both the employee and the manager will be able to refer to it and follow up on learning commitments made. This holds employees accountable for not deprioritising learning. It also indicates to the manager that they are responsible for ensuring that their teams make time to grow and learn. 

5. Encourage Knowledge Sharing Sessions

Encourage employees to share their knowledge with others in the organisation after they have completed their training and had time to apply what they have learned. The knowledge-sharing sessions can be accomplished by leading a discussion group, giving presentations, or writing blog posts or articles. Increase opportunities for employees to share knowledge and teach one another through informal learning. People will be more engaged in the process if they are encouraged to talk about what they are learning, and learning will become a part of your organisation’s culture. Allow employees to use a Live Q&A platform to ask burning questions. Other employees can then nominate themselves or others to host an “internal webinar” to answer the question. This is a fantastic way to encourage collaborative learning. 

6. Learning should be incentivised and rewarded

Even within a learning culture, getting people to attend training and remember complex information can be difficult. Consider offering incentives and recognition, such as branded merchandise, after a team member completes a course to increase participation. Short-term learning challenges can also be used to encourage employees to complete webinars within a specific time frame. While rewarding course completion is a good start, it is also critical to reinforce desired learning behaviour in your organisation. The reward system is an excellent way to show your employees how much you appreciate the time and energy they put into learning.

7. Begin early

Aside from assessing and hiring candidates who are curious and open to new experiences, you can incorporate learning into your new hire onboarding program. This establishes early on that your organisation values learning and provides resources to encourage employee growth. You can include activities such as mandating new hires to complete a specific onboarding curriculum, such as learning about your customers, value proposition, or other aspects of your business. 

A learning and development culture cannot be formed in a single day. It is a continuous process. Investing time and resources in developing your learning and development culture and meeting your corporate goals will create a work environment that encourages learning. Creating this culture within your organisation requires an investment, but the rewards are enormous as you’ll maximise your employees’ potential, expand your business, and improve overall employee engagement and productivity.  

We at Workforce Group appreciate the opportunity to assist businesses in incorporating learning and development programs into their company culture. 

If you need further clarifications or require the help of our senior and experienced consultants, please reach out to us at hello@workforcegroup.com.

Olasunkanmi Adenuga

Olasunkanmi Adenuga

Director, Workforce Learning

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