How to Create the Ideal Learning Culture

I recently read an article about creating a learning culture that I found intriguing. Today businesses only move forward if their people do. A study by Bersin by Deloitte found that high performing learning organizations are 92% more likely to innovate, 46% more likely to be first to market, 58% more prepared to meet future demand and experience 37% greater employee productivity.

Today professional skills only have a life of 2.5-5 years. But it’s not just about teaching your workforce one new skill at a time, it’s about creating a learning culture in which everyone has the tools they need to constantly keep up with industry changes. Companies who implement learning cultures have seen a rapid increase in upskilling and internal mobility.

So, how do you create a learning culture that connects, engages and motivates your people? Here are 4 ideas that can work without increasing headcount.

#1 Peer Mentoring

Connect people across the company from day one. Team up newbies with mentors from different departments. Great idea! This not only increases cross-departmental knowledge and collaboration but gives new employees an outlet (besides their manager) for questions and gives current employees leadership opportunities.

Go the extra step and provide a training space to encourage employees to share the knowledge they’ve learned with others.

#2 Learning & Development Gamification

Gamifying the learning process can motivate employees to learn and retain information. This can be done with classroom and online learning. Tracking points for correct answers, giving out points for working through content and making correct decisions along the way + creating a visible leaderboard are ways to work gamification into your L&D strategy.

#3 Integrate Learning into Performance Management

Create a culture where employees lead their own development. Every employee from the CEO to the newest hire should come up with their own learning goal. This can be anything from a professional to personal skill they want to develop. The company gives each person a budget (e.g. $3,000) to spend on building their skill through materials, seminars, courses, etc.

#4 Get buy-in from the top, but engage with middle management

Yes, leadership will need to be on board with creating a learning culture and understand what that means and looks like. But you truly need middle managers for that on-the-ground traction to make it work. Managers will know how to help their employees embrace this concept and can be a great resource for them before, during and after learning events.

Kathy Wachtel