How to Build a Vibrant Learning Culture in Your Organization
Work is busy. In fact, worker productivity has increased by more than 60% during the last half-century. But as employees focus on doing their “day jobs,” it can be hard to find time to learn new skills that will help them to be the best they can be – personally and professionally – as we move toward a future version of work.
Carving our time for learning is not just a valuable investment in employees’ individual growth and development; it also has a significant impact on the overall success and competitiveness of an organization.
Here at Skillsoft, we understand the importance of upskilling and reskilling – and we are committed to the learning and development of every team member. Employees are encouraged to set aside time every three months for a dedicated “quarterly day of learning.” There are a variety of resources available, including instructor-led group training, online courses, workshops, and coaching programs.
I've personally benefited from Skillsoft's culture of learning. I've taken courses on leadership, communication, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). I've also attended Leadercamps on various topics. These learning experiences have helped me to grow as a leader and to contribute more effectively to my team.
Encourage Your Team to Thrive Through Learning
As a leader, it is essential that you offer your team learning opportunities. Here are some actionable insights on how to cultivate a culture of learning in your organization:
- Make learning a priority. Leaders need to send the message that learning is important and that it's okay for employees to take time out of their day to learn. This can be done by setting aside time for learning each week, by encouraging employees to attend workshops and conferences, and by providing the right resources and financial support for employees to pursue professional development opportunities.
- Provide a variety of learning resources. Some people prefer to learn online, while others prefer to learn in person. Some people prefer to learn independently, while others prefer to learn in groups. By providing a variety of learning resources, you can ensure that there's something for everyone.
- Make learning accessible. Everyone should have access to learning opportunities, regardless of their role, level of experience, or location. This means offering a variety of learning formats, such as online courses, workshops, webinars, simulations, case studies, discussion circles, and coaching etc. It also means making sure that learning resources are available to employees in different time zones and locations.
- Recognize and reward learning. When employees take the time to learn, it's important to recognize and reward their efforts. This can be done by giving employees public recognition, by providing them with opportunities for advancement, or by offering them financial incentives.
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Tools and Resources
Here are some tools and resources that you can use to cultivate a culture of learning in your organization:
- Learning management system (LMS): An LMS is a platform that can be used to deliver and manage online courses. There are many different LMSs available, so choose one that is right for your organization's needs. I might be biased but have you experienced Skillsoft Percipio yet? Skillsoft’s online learning platform helps organizations identify and measure skill proficiencies to ensure their workforce stays relevant. The platform makes skilling personalized and accessible, offering a blend of self-paced online courses, hands-on practice, virtual live online classes, and coaching to close skill gaps. And it’s available anytime, anywhere, on any device.
- Learning content provider: There are many companies that provide learning content, such as online courses, e-books, and videos. When choosing a learning content provider, look for one that offers a variety of high-quality content on topics that are relevant to your employees. I encourage you to explore the Skillsoft course catalog and access one of the most extensive course libraries in the world, including interactive videos and simulations, and grow your organization and people with AI-driven learning.
- Coaching program: Leadership coaching is not just for the C-suite anymore. As businesses look to retain top talent and fill the talent pipeline, building effective leaders becomes an integral part of skilling across organizations. To succeed during workforce transformation, businesses must prepare all employees to be leaders, not only in their roles but also at their company. And in a world that has become rapidly virtualized, coaching plays a critical role throughout the employee lifecycle.
- Measure progress: Skill Benchmarks are a way for you to gauge your and your team's proficiency in a particular skill and truly identify the ROI for all the efforts spent on Learning and development.
- Gen AI in learning: Use technology to scale learning and make it stick. We recently announced the general availability of Skillsoft CAISY Conversation AI Simulator, an innovative generative AI based tool for simulating business and leadership conversational skills. CAISY makes those difficult work conversations easier, by providing employees with an emotionally safe space to practice important business conversations with an AI-powered trainer. CAISY not only plays the role of the other person within the conversation but also provides personalized feedback and guidance on communication style to guide development.
Where to Start?
Here are some tips for cultivating a culture of learning in your organization:
- Start with the leaders. Leaders need to model the importance of learning. This means setting aside time for learning each week, sharing their learning experiences with others, and encouraging their team members to learn.
- Make learning fun. Learning should be enjoyable and engaging. Look for ways to make learning fun for your employees, such as offering gamified learning experiences or hosting social learning events.
- Make learning social. People learn best from others. Encourage employees to learn together and to share their knowledge with each other. This can be done through mentorship programs, communities of practice, or simply by encouraging employees to share their learning experiences with their colleagues.
- Measure the impact of learning. It's important to measure the impact of your learning programs to ensure that they are effective. This can be done by benchmarks, collecting feedback from employees, tracking employee performance, and measuring the impact of learning on business outcomes.
By following these tips, you can cultivate a culture of learning in your organization that will help your employees to grow and develop, and that will help your organization to succeed.