Strengthening Organizational Learning Culture
Post: Dec 7, 2016
By: Christine Wilton
All organizations have a learning culture.
Does your learning culture make your organization more successful, or does it promote stagnation and conforming to the status quo?
Establishing and sustaining a strong learning culture is critical to ensure your organization remains competitive in today’s changing business environment. A strong learning culture will help your organization attract top talent, boost employee engagement, and improve employee and organizational productivity.
According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Learning and Development Outlook – 13th Edition, 52% of respondents indicated that learning and development is a top organizational priority. Their research showed that organizations with strong learning cultures had better overall organizational performance. Here are a few more interesting facts from this report.
- Canadian organizations spent an average of $800 per employee on learning and development in 2014-15
- Employees spent an average of 31 hours learning
- Organizations spent an average of 1.1 % of annual revenues on learning and development
- 62% had a strategic plan for learning and development
- The top three strategic learning goals are improving organizational performance, developing organizational leaders, and aligning learning with business objectives
How does your organization compare?
Although Canadian organizations are spending more time and money on learning and development, we are still lagging behind other countries. For example, Canadian organizations spend 69 cents for every dollar that American organizations spend on learning and development. So how do we improve? It is much easier to talk about learning culture than it is to change it.
These are my five tips to help strengthen your learning culture
- Make learning a strategic initiative and not just a one-off event. Make learning consistent, highly visible and not optional. You can’t just say that your people are your greatest asset; you have to behave that way.
- Measure and evaluate employee learning along with performance. Ensure employees understand that continuous learning is highly valued and an important part of their performance and they are also accountable for their learning path.
- Leaders need to show that they value learning and model the behaviour. Leaders need to follow up regularly with employees to understand how the employee is applying the learning to their job. Leadership development programs should encourage leaders to take ownership for the learning culture and develop coaching skills.
- Learning should be easily accessible. Ensure employees have time for both formal and informal learning.
- Start off on the right foot. Your onboarding programs should show your organization’s commitment to learning and encourage employees to take responsibility for their learning path.
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