Building a Culture of Learning

We hear a lot from the thousands of candidates we speak to every year.  One of the top items on a candidate’s wish list is a culture of continued learning.  Recent human resources trends have even come up with a new form of this learning called symbiotic learning.  Symbiotic learning has at its core a commitment to continued learning.  The difference is that symbiotic learning focuses on a two- way exchange of information.  This means that new and current employees, senior and junior, learn from one another.  But how does an organization build a culture of learning to promote this kind of exchange of information?

Creating a Culture of Learning

Many human resources teams struggle with ways to improve company culture.  One of the easiest ways to improve this culture is by creating a culture of learning that encourages employee development.  This can be easier said than done, but there are some important tips your human resources team can do to create this kind of environment:

  • Start from the beginning. A culture of learning should be instilled in employees from the very beginning. This means during the hiring process, hiring managers can nurture a culture of learning.  Introducing candidates to this concept doesn’t need to be difficult, though.  Human resources can structure job postings to specifically attract candidates that seek a culture of learning.  While interviewing, the hiring manager can use video interviews to introduce candidates to stimulating videos that offer deeper insights into their industry and company.  The human resources department can encourage a culture of learning that persists throughout an employee’s career.
  • Introduce training into employee onboarding. Believe it or not, many businesses don’t actually train their employees when they join the company.  In many cases, onboarding ends at the signing of hiring documents and the office tour.  A great way to instill a culture of learning is to start the new employees off with opportunities to learn new skills and enhance skills they already possess.  Consider how this simple step can help build a culture of learning that helps set an employee up for success and engender good feelings about the organization.
  • Partner senior and junior employees together for mentorship.  Many junior employees are very eager to learn new skills and grow within their career.  And many senior employees have years of experience and knowledge that could be lost if they were to retire. A great way to build a culture of learning is to pair these two types of employees together.  The junior employee feels they’re gaining valuable information to propel their career. The senior employee gains satisfaction from passing on knowledge. This is a great way to also build a team and enhance the company culture.
  • Offer employees opportunities to attend classes, symposiums, and other learning opportunities. It can be difficult for employees to learn more skills when there’s so much work to be done.  But human resources can build a program that offers employees opportunities to take a day away from the office to enhance their knowledge.  Employees often value these opportunities to focus on themselves instead of the work.  One day away from the office won’t mean an employee falls way behind.  But it could mean they gain valuable skills and knowledge that increase job satisfaction and enhance their work product. These kinds of opportunities support a culture of learning that endures beyond one employee’s experience.
  • Offer tuition reimbursement. It’s no secret that a better educated workforce can help a company produce better work overall.  Many companies that offer tuition reimbursement find that their employees stay longer than employees who don’t take advantage of this benefit. Human resources can use this to build a culture of learning that strengthens the health of the company overall.

Creating a culture of learning does not have to be difficult.  And it doesn’t have to be expensive when companies have limited budgets.  Try some of the ideas listed herein and find out how creating a culture of learning can support your company today.

Photo credit: Bigstock

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail