Whether or not your organization has spent time carefully cultivating one, it already has a learning culture. The question is: are you and your employees benefiting from it?
Study after study shows that a strong learning culture helps to retain top talent, reduce turnover, and increase productivity and engagement. Companies like Google have become top places to work, in part, due to their transformative learning culture. Not only do they naturally attract the best and brightest in their industry as a result, but these companies also tend to outpace competitors in profit.
As if these benefits weren’t enough, here are five additional reasons to cultivate a learning culture within your organization:
1. Maximize Employee Potential
Prioritizing your learning culture is important because learning is a natural human drive. Employees want to learn and grow and they’re inclined to look for employment opportunities that will help them do so. Capitalizing on that innate characteristic is a great way to not only cultivate their potential but also to keep them engaged.
2. Encourage Creativity and Innovation
When organizations encourage risk-taking and invite and even celebrate the lessons that inevitably come with failure, creativity and innovation tend to soar. Companies with the greatest creative problem solvers and innovators tend to succeed and will continue to do so in the future.
3. Capitalize on Natural Motivators
Studies also show that we’re motivated by autonomy and purpose, and a strong learning culture fosters both. Cultivating a better learning culture empowers employees to think outside the box, take chances, grow and improve, both individually and as part of a team.
4. Keep Pace with Technology
Technological advances create a need for continuous training and development. Things like new software, applications, devices and social media networks create ongoing demand for learning new skills and behaviors. A culture of growth and learning is the only way to keep pace.
5. Build the Skills of the Future
The top skills needed to be successful in the workplace of the future include more nuanced ‘soft’ or ‘human’ skills like leadership, communication, empathy and conflict resolution. These are skills associated with emotional intelligence, skills that cannot be automated or replaced. Emotionally intelligent people tend to be lifelong learners, constantly growing and evolving and therefore seeking a workplace that allows for both. Attract these emotionally intelligent workers by offering a culture in which they can continuously learn, grow and improve throughout their career.
If your organization doesn’t already have a strong learning culture, you’re likely not reaping these important benefits. As the business landscape continues to rapidly shift, new technology continues to disrupt every industry and the effects of globalization continue to unfold in front of us, keeping the pace to succeed requires an ongoing approach to learning and development. We simply must learn, grow and adapt in order to survive. Cultivating a strong learning culture is the best way to create the systems and foster the mindset required to do so.