How to create the right environment to grow a learning culture

Happy employees are the key to happy customers!

Without any growth or promotions, a job is as good as a daily chore and sooner or later the employee will react. The employees are investing their full time to work for you and to grow your business and therefore you should invest your time in helping them grow.

The best way to do so is by creating the right environment to grow a learning culture.

To create the right environment to help motivate your team, you must first determine their unique qualities. For example, if your team is highly creative, you may want to find ways to encourage creativity. There are many ways to do this, such as providing walk-in freezers for daydreaming, giving employees the option to design their work spaces, and eliminating any environmental sounds like equipment running or people talking. If your team is more analytical or social, you may want to engage them by having the office space open, avoid fluorescent lights, and create areas for informal meetings.

A learning culture is not beneficial for only the employee but for you too as with all the new and robust technologies, it is not possible to use them without properly learning about the same, and therefore if your employees are learning, they will be easily able to cope with the changing technologies.

It is also beneficial for the employees as when they are learning, they know that they are not just stuck in one place and that they are actually moving forward.

To keep us in the fast-changing environment, it is very essential that your company keeps on learning new things, or else this can be a huge setback for you. The new generation of employees expects the workplace to continuously feed them with new knowledge and skills.

This is possible only if you work towards creating the right environment to grow a learning culture. But first, let’s have a look at what learning culture is.

Gigantic companies take utmost care of their employees. Amazon and many other multinational companies are always top of their games because of their outstanding skills and because of the excellent growth environment provided to them.

What is a learning culture?

Learning culture means creating an environment in the workplace that supports a “growth mindset”. People in such an environment not only want to learn and grow, but they want to share their knowledge with others too.

A learning culture cannot be created by the employees, it needs the support of the company and managers to create a learning culture. They will have to motivate the employees to participate in this culture. They will have to compensate and reward the employees when they become a part of the learning culture. Therefore the upper management of the company plays a vital role in establishing a learning culture.

There are four dimensions to a learning culture: Environmental, Strategic, Physical, Cognitive. A learning culture is the key to maximizing the effectiveness of organizational collaboration. Environmental dimensions refer to the nature of the work environment. The environment can be purposely crafted to promote collaborative learning among workers, could be strictly separated for private work, or could be flexible by providing both. 

Strategic dimensions are the management of the learning culture. They are the design and operation plan of the learning culture. One way to promote collaborative learning could be to create a workspace with multiple desks all facing each other, which enables conversation to happen spontaneously. Physical dimensions are the physical features of the environment that are attracted naturally among the employees.

Creating a learning culture in your organization is taking everything you do in your organization to create a culture of learning. With the fast pace of the world today, it is no wonder that learning is necessary if you want to succeed in business. To start, you should address the things that often occur in most companies, but start with everything you can do to promote learning. These ideas can range from stipulating in your employee handbook that employees are permitted to use the Internet for personal use (including online educational pursuits) to providing intellectual freedom for employees. Holding meetings in pairs can be a great way for employees to encourage discussion and share new ideas.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the key to building a thriving learning culture lies in four basic principles. These include: 

1. Your company must accept that every person brings their own perspective to the table, so they should be encouraged to share what they know. 

2. Facilitate cooperation between colleagues in order to create an environment where employees can help each other while fostering a feeling of trust. 

3. Rewards should not only be given for outputs, but rather to acknowledge the process of learning. 

4. Celebrate attempts to go above and beyond, encouraging employees to go the extra mile to produce good work.

Benefits of Learning Culture:

  1. It improves the morale and motivation of the employees.
  2. It saves the company a new hire, as they can promote the existing employees after training and learning.
  3. It challenges rigid opinions and behaviors.
  4. It fixes a “growth mindset” in the employees and thus your whole company will have a growth mindset.
  5. It prepares the whole company to adapt to the changes without any problem.
  6. It helps everyone in being in sync with the latest technology.
  7. It increases employee productivity.
  8. It prepares the employees and your company for the next step.
  9. The long term ROI of learning culture is huge.

So now if you are impressed by the benefits of learning culture and you want to create the right environment to grow a learning culture, let’s have a look.

Some Ways to Create the right environment to grow a learning culture

1.   Plan what you want your employees to learn:

Creating a learning culture in your company is a tit for tat situation. You are the one that is helping the employees learn new things and therefore you should get some benefit from it too. Thus, the first step to creating a learning strategy is to find what you want your employees to learn,

Whatever they learn should be in sync with your company’s strategy and you should gain the benefit of the same. If you want to increase your sales, give them training in that department, if you want to improve customer relationships, give them training in that. Just make sure that you are giving a chance to learn to all your employees.

2.  Examine your current learning culture:

If you already have a learning culture established in your company and yet you are not satisfied with the same, the first thing that you should do is to examine the loopholes of your learning culture.

You have to check if the employees are able to learn what you want them to learn or not. If they are learning that or not. If there are any problems, your first project scope is to solve them to ensure that the learning culture stands tall and is benefiting you and the employees.

3.   Appoint Subject Matter Experts:

There may be plenty of skills and other things that you may want your employee to learn, but the main question is how?

Finding the right material and skills is the biggest hurdle in growing your learning environment. The simple answer here is to appoint a subject matter expert.

Lets say If you are having a software product which could be a productivity tool, store management software, task management tool, logistics software, or any other app for solving the problem of the user then you must have a product subject matter expert who could provide training to your customers. If you do not have the subject matter expert trainer for providing training, product knowledge, etc. then you may get slow conversion in your business

Once you hire them, your only job is to tell them your goals and the skills that you want your employees to learn, the rest lies to them. They will create the full content and exercises for the employees and even for the managers that will help them learn all the skills and knowledge that you desire.

4. Ask the employees:

The biggest loophole behind the hurdle that is stopping the growth of learning culture can be that you are making the employees learn what they do not want to learn.

The reason can be that they are not able to understand the benefits of this knowledge or this knowledge is not useful for them. When the employee learns some skill, this should not benefit only you, but the employee too, or else they will not learn the skill properly.

Make sure that you impose a learning culture that everyone accepts.

5. Make the process easy:

Employees will not learn if the process is hard or if it takes a lot of time. The most ideal form of learning for the employees is in-house learning and training. You have to understand that the employees have a life outside the office, and if they work more than 8 hours, they will not appreciate learning if they have to do so after office hours.

Therefore the best thing is that you allow the learning during office hours only.

6. Learning starts from day one:

You have to incorporate the learning culture for the employees from day one and this means that they have to become a part of the learning culture from the day they join the office.

Begin the recruitment process as a well-planned and effective process by using courses like workshops, mentoring, LMS, for the new recruits to start their training from day one. Once they finish the basic training and start working, make sure that they have their plane made by the experts so that they can start growing.

7.  Experiment with various learning methods:

In learning what matters is the knowledge that you gain and not the process. Your objective here is to find the right method for your employees that gives the maximum results.

You can try one-to-one session training, and group problem solving as methods that are less structured.

For more formalized training types you can choose face-to-face training sessions and online training courses through various communication tools. These two are the most adopted training methods that many companies choose as they have created great results.

You can also choose from webinars, conferences, speeches by professionals, and many more training methods available out there.

8. Promote Learning:

Workplace analysts say companies should focus on workers’ skills and morale. By learning and working together the company’s growth can be achieved in a short time. Some simple steps to ensure a workplace an individual can grow in, would include investing in training and development early on, with mandatory, regular training that matches skills with need, encouraging companies to promote from within, and fostering an enjoyable work environment with tangible time off and informal learning. 

Educating employees on how they’re furthering the company’s success with, and without tasks is another great way to encourage growth. Educating employees with industry standards and best practices can be difficult, but so is keeping them engaged with their responsibilities and rewards.

Bring your marketer out when you launch any learning program. Message them on their WhatsApp number, on the app that you use for office-conversation, slack, and also send flyers of the same to all the employees.

Make sure that everyone knows about the same. Share the full schedule with them. Also, you should tell your employees what’s in for them. Tell them all the advantages and incentives of the training. If there are to be any promotions do let them know to motivate them.

Conclusion:

A learning culture will transform your company into the most productive company. You and your employees will grow together. Follow the above-mentioned steps to create the right environment to grow your learning culture. The expense that you do today, will become a huge source of ROI.