If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that company culture plays a tremendous role in employee productivity and job satisfaction. This means that learning as a feature of company culture can be a significant contributor to creating a pleasant workplace.
The thing is, there are two main things the current workforce is looking for: flexibility and growth opportunities. A continuous learning culture could allow you to give your team what they want, all the while reaping a multitude of benefits yourself. In a way, you could look at it from two standpoints. On the one hand, it’s an investment in employee job satisfaction (improving retention rates), and on the other hand, it’s a way for your business to grow along with your team.
So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, here are the best ways to develop a continuous learning culture in the workplace.
Realize the Importance of Mentorship
Company culture starts with leaders. So, if you’re determined to make personal and professional growth part of your business’ culture, your managers need to get on board with mentoring your employees in personal and professional growth.
Encourage employees in leadership positions to work with their younger colleagues. Let them know that mentorship is more than just transferring knowledge. It’s just as much about learning to listen and support as it is about showing an efficient way to get something done.
They also say that teaching is the best way to learn, so don’t forget to emphasize the benefits of mentoring your key players’ leadership skills.
Education Should be Part of Your Values
Before you go to your employees and talk about how everyone should embrace the culture of learning, think about why it matters to you. Is it because you want to help your team become the absolute best they can be? Or because you want them to be fulfilled by their work? Perhaps you’re a small business with potential for expansion, and you want to make sure that your people can grow with your company.
Once you’ve identified the aspects of education that motivate you, share and communicate them. This way, everyone can get just as excited about it as you are. Here’s an example: perhaps some of your employees wouldn’t feel too enthusiastic about spending their Thursday mornings learning how to speak Spanish, but if you took the time to explain that you’re thinking about expanding into the South American market, they might feel differently about the prospect.
Provide Everyone with Learning Opportunities
One of the biggest mistakes companies tend to make when it comes to learning and development is that they prioritize management. So, if you’re committed to implementing a continuous learning culture in your company, ensure you’re giving everyone the same opportunities.
Think of it this way: while your youngest interns may just be learning the ropes, they won’t be in a starting position forever and by getting them in on all the learning opportunities you offer, you’re giving them the necessary skills to excel at a faster rate. You’ll be building up individuals who’ll be competent to take on complex tasks earlier on in their careers.
Don’t Forget to Promote the Opportunities You Offer
When developing a continuous learning culture, you will need to constantly market it to both existing and potential employees.
Don’t just send out a newsletter saying, “We now offer XYZ to those interested in learning something new.” Instead, emphasize the benefits that each opportunity will bring to the people who choose to participate. Furthermore, communicate why the program is important for the company. By doing this, you can make professional and personal growth opportunities a part of the onboarding process. New talent may be drawn by them, so point them out, and encourage every single one of your employees to take part in them.
Don’t Let Growth Become a Chore
Finally, while you should ensure that everyone has the opportunity to advance, don’t force people into doing something they’re not passionate about. Listen to people’s needs and try to be aware of the demands this additional training is creating. Don’t pile a ton of extra work on them, but instead make knowledge acquisition a regular part of daily activities. Try to make it fun, social, and, of course, reward those who show the most initiative. This way, it will quickly become a habit, without turning into a burden or source of frustration.
Providing opportunities for growth is one of the best things you can do for your company as it’s a surefire way to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Moreover, it may prove to be a key part of your business strategy.
So, look for ways you can implement education in your company culture. You might bring on a team of experts to teach a few classes per week, start a mentorship program, or encourage your workers to share their knowledge and experiences. Whatever you choose, you’ll find that it’s an excellent way to invest in a positive aspect of company culture.