How to Foster an Organizational Culture of Learning
Guest Writer: Courtney McIntosh
Increasingly, organizations are discovering the value of investing in a learning culture. And it makes sense, learning drives engagement, retention, innovation and so many other business priorities. That’s why I’m delighted to host this guest post by Courtney McIntosh with actionable insights. Let’s all learn together about this… and please share what you and your organization are doing to promote a learning culture.
Learning culture, defined by Stephen Gill, co-owner of Learning to be Great, LLC as “a work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge and skills at the individual, team, and whole organization levels in order to achieve the goals of the organization,” may be a top factor in organizational success. In fact, results from a survey of L&D professionals that showed that top-performing organizations were five times more likely to have a learning culture.
Though the benefits of a culture of learning are becoming more clear, the logistics of creating this cultural change in your own organization can still be a challenge. However, with a solid plan in place and buy-in from executives and company influencers you might be closer than you think.
The first thing to keep in mind when working towards a culture of learning is that it is going to look different at every organization. Steve Garuilo, who led the way towards a learning culture at Johnson & Johnson notes that this culture comes in “a lot of different smells, and a lot of different styles because every organization is different”. You will have to experiment to find what works best for your organization.
When it comes to cultural change, it is key that you get executives and senior managers on board. It is these individuals that set the strongest example for the company, after all. Support by senior leadership of your learning initiatives might include championing your efforts by taking part in learning events themselves, connecting learning to promotions, or simply giving you the support, you need to get learning programs in place.
Key influencers in your organization, such as the internal communications team can also be helpful in spreading learning culture as they tend to have strong connections in all departments. In addition, Garguilo recommends that you try to connect with “catalysts” within your company who exemplify the culture that you would like to create and “amplify voices buried deep within the organization who are connectors and who are making new ideas happen.”
Extended development exercise added by CFO.University
Benchmark your company against this “learning culture” standard defined by Gill:
“A work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge and skills at the individual, team, and whole organization levels in order to achieve the goals of the organization”
How do you and your company stack up?
The Strategy and Culture courses and content at CFO.University will help you bridge any gaps you find. Type “culture” into our search bar and learn away!
A learning culture is within your grasp and the increased engagement employees will feel when they are able and encouraged to learn on the job on a daily basis has the potential to take your company to new heights. Discover the best learning style for your company and get the right people at your organization on board to succeed. For more tips on creating a learning culture, check out this years L&D report!
Courtney McIntosh is the site manager at , North America’s most popular search engine for professional training. She works to ensure that professionals are able to easily navigate the site and find the right classroom, on-site, or online training course.
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