The world of work is constantly changing. In recent times the pace of change has only accelerated thanks to a perfect storm of economic shifts and rapid technological innovation. The current generation of employees, whether they’re established in their careers or just getting started, has come of age against a backdrop of constant change.
Employees are tech-savvy, career-oriented and global in outlook. They change jobs more often. In our observation of the financial recruitment market, these circumstances have led to a strongly increased focus on growth, learning and personal development. This is coming to be seen as a key aspect of a new role in addition to other draws like financial packages or benefits.
Fostering a Learning Culture in any organisation can lead to a number of benefits like increased employee retention, increased productivity, better buy-in from team members, greater adaptability to change and improved engagement.
Here are some steps you can take to start to implement a learning-focused culture in your organisation.
Make Formal Training & Development Plans
While ongoing training and learning does not necessarily have to mandatory for every employee, introducing further training as a regular team exercise can be the way to transition to a learning-focused culture. A formal plan around training and development is more likely to be followed through on and implemented successfully.
Rewards & Recognition
It’s important that all learning that takes place within the organisation be directly relevant to the business, with a clear business case underpinning it. And it’s also important that new skills and learnings that employees arrive at are recognised. This will encourage others to do the same and lead to that cultural shift where ongoing learning is valued.
No Stupid Questions
Employees should feel free to express ideas, ask questions and speak up without being made to feel that they’re ignorant or that they should already know the answer – within reasonable limits of course! Differing opinions should be valued – sometimes the synthesis of opposing ideas can lead to new insights that wouldn’t have been arrived at otherwise.
Start from the Top
Culture starts with the beliefs, attitude and habits of leadership. Team leads, managers and seniors set the tone for an organisation. Encourage team members to take ownership of their own personal development and ongoing training – for example through suggesting topics, organisation training and knowledge-sharing sessions. If leaders embrace a learning culture that will send the right message to others – be the change you want to see.