Developing Sustainable Learning Cultures in the Workplace
Ezra's latest research discusses how to go about developing a sustainable learning culture within a workplace in order to effectively promote continuous employee development.
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Ezra discusses how to go about developing a sustainable learning culture within a workplace in order to effectively promote continuous employee development.
Learning culture is a part of overall workplace culture, specifically with regards to the way that learning is implemented in the workplace. Gone are the days of learning characterized by one-off, formal in-person events. The modern workplace needs much more if it wishes to promote continuous development of its employees in an effective way.
Learning Culture Themes
- Learning should be embedded into and throughout work, at all levels of the organization, not simply as formal training events
- Leaders and managers need to support and encourage learning, seeking out new opportunities for their staff and themselves
- Learning should not only be promoted, but rewarded
- The act of learning is ongoing and changeable depending on the organization’s needs, not a finite event or action
Examples of learning culture initiatives include Etsy School, Pixar University and Google’s “Googler-to-Googler” initiative.
- 95% of participants in Google’s bite-size internal learning initiative would recommend it to others
- managers taking part in Google’s learning initiatives saw 22-40% improvements in relevant behaviours
How do companies approach learning behaviour?
- only 31% would describe their company as having a highly learning driven culture
- 56% of employees value learning
- but only 16% of them “live and breathe” it
- only 36% of top management are involved in learning culture activity
- Discrepancy between CXOs (chief experience officers) and CLOs (chief learning officers):
- 70% of CLOs believe learning is not adequately funded vs just 30% of CXOs
Learning culture is more powerful than singular learning “events” – what’s the point in running a single training session, workshop, or seminar, when things move on so quickly?
Benefits of learning culture for employees include
- career opportunities
- job satisfaction
While the benefits for the company include
- no more wasted training
- attract and retain top talent
- innovation and adaptability
Companies that tie internal promotion to learning and development are 22% more likely to have higher retention rates and satisfied employees. A key challenge for many is support from the senior leadership.
- 78% of L&D professionals struggle challenging leaders who have expectations of learning that are too “traditional”
- 76% felt that learning was not prioritized by management
- 64% believed that learning was only seen as a cost-center, rather than an investment
Embedding a continuous learning culture is possibly one of the most important initiatives for a business. An organization with a strong and positive learning culture:
- is 32% more likely to be first to market
- has 37% greater employee productivity
- has 34% better response to customer needs
- has 26% greater ability to deliver products
- is 58% more likely to have skills to meet future demands
- is 17% more likely to be a market-share leader
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