Culture is a broad concept. But let’s narrow it down a little bit and talk about…learning culture. Now, think about your organization. In that context, does it ring a bell for you?
If it doesn’t, don’t worry. We’ll help you. Learning and development (L&D) is our business. And it plays an important role in growing a learning culture within an organization.
Let’s find out how. To that end, we must talk about what culture means in organizations.
Organizational Culture: What’s That?
We can all agree that culture doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And it consists of a set of values, behaviors and norms with which a group of people agree and comply.
Going further, if we translate culture into an organizational setting, we’ll end up with written processes, procedures, rules and restrictions. What for? To direct the way people should work.
On that note, you might conclude that culture is an organization’s foundation and a collective concept. It’s the essence of that organization, and it applies to all employees and management structures.
Now that you know what organizational change means, we can answer the next question.
What’s a Learning Culture?
Well, first and foremost, it’s a concern of talent managers. They’re responsible for—not defining—but shaping it.
And why can’t talent managers define it from scratch? Because it’s not the creation of a single person. It’s both inherited and expanded on by the people who are part of the organization.
The part of the organizational culture that relates to learning is the organization’s learning culture. In other words, the way an organization learns and values learning determines its learning culture.
So, you might want to know how you can build a learning culture from the ground up.
How Do You Develop a Learning Culture?
Talent managers define processes, procedures, rules and restrictions that influence an organization’s learning culture. However, doing that is not enough. In fact, changing a learning culture is a challenging endeavor.
It’s a group effort that demands commitment from talent managers, directors, managers, L&D professionals and employees. And they must all collaborate for the same purpose.
Nevertheless, any organizational change is a difficult and complex process, sometimes the elephant in the room. Different people also experience the benefits of learning differently, depending on their interests.
That means one thing: You must involve key stakeholders in the process of changing your organization’s learning culture. You must get support from top management.
And unless key stakeholders engage with the process of shifting your organization’s learning culture, that change won’t take root. Employees won’t embrace learning as they should. And you don’t want that.
Read on to learn about some aspects of organizations with a strong learning culture.
Evidence of an Organization With a Healthy Learning Culture
In more practical terms, here are some characteristics of an organization with a good learning culture in place:
- Everyone works collaboratively and learns from each other.
- Information and knowledge sharing is a reality.
- The opportunity exists to experiment and fail without disapproval.
- Directors and managers seed curiosity among employees, participate in learning activities themselves and foster positive discussions.
- Everyone acknowledges and shares their own mistakes as a contribution to continuous improvement.
- A growth mindset is present across the organization.
- The attitude of giving and receiving positive feedback runs in the veins of everyone.
But can L&D help you develop your organization’s learning culture?
The Role of L&D in Developing a Learning Culture
First, L&D professionals heavily contribute to developing an organization’s learning culture. They also play a vital role in maintaining that culture.
Second, people expect to learn at the company that hired them. It’s a given these days! And it’s a way to develop their careers, which is a common goal among employees.
In short, learning is no longer just a job requirement. Rather it’s something that comes with being part of an organization with a learning culture. Learning is now an essential part of organizations’ strategies and DNA.
As a result, it’s a great time for L&D professionals to nurture a learning environment at their companies. Strategically.
And how do they do it?
L&D professionals, and HR directors, work alongside top-level decision makers to include learning in corporate strategies. Consequently, they must
- Define learning plans.
- Get approval for their implementation.
- Design the learning resources that they need.
- Prepare the required technology to deliver training.
Yet, that’s not all! Remember the hunger for learning that employees currently have? If you’re an L&D professional and you’re planning a learning strategy,
- Consider bite-sized learning resources.
- Include soft skills development in your learning plans, in addition to the development of technical, job-specific skills.
- Remember topics such as well-being, unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion.
The definition of learning strategies and the design and implementation of learning programs make up an organization’s learning culture.
Moreover, the shift in employee expectations toward learning in the workplace changed the access to learning programs. They’re no longer only accessible to managers and directors, but to all employees within an organization. In turn, businesses now look at and improve their learning offerings.
Therefore, L&D is absolutely essential to growing an organization’s learning culture. And we, at CoreAxis, can give you a push in the right direction.
Let us know if you’d like more information about our learning solutions!