Yesterday we began to explore how to implement an effective learning culture in your company. Today, we’ll look at some more tips. [Part 1 of this article appeared in yesterday’s edition.]
Focus on the Why and How—Not the What
When encouraging your current employees to seek out their own answers and be curious, remind them why it’s important (i.e., it will foster better product development and happier customers). And instead of telling them what to do, provide them with guidelines for how they can be more autonomous thinkers by encouraging them to ask questions, conduct research and polls, or administer experiments.
Constantly Stimulate a Growth Mind-Set
Instead of generating a learning environment where employees feel like there are “right” ways and “wrong” ways of doing things, generate a learning environment that encourages them to constantly grow and learn from and with their experiences. When employees make mistakes, permit them to use those mistakes as opportunities to learn more about how they can uncover more desirable results in the future or to understand how something works. This will allow them to feel more confident about seeking out challenges in the future, as well as allow them to learn more about their task at hand.
When employees collaborate, they learn from each other. They share knowledge, best practices, and more. A company with a healthy learning culture endorses teamwork, social platforms, and social outlets that sanction employees constantly swapping knowledge and experiences with one another.
Encourage Managers to Be Coaches
Managers in companies with a strong learning culture will regularly ask their employees questions that inspire ideas, motivation, and further inquiry. They’ll also provide their employees with opportunities to discover their own answers or lead their own projects. If employees don’t feel they have the room to ask questions and conduct their own research, they won’t ever be able to challenge their own assumptions, learn, and grow.
Utilize Effective Learning and Research Channels
You’ll want to administer learning channels and platforms that allow your employees to share data, information, tips, techniques, and more with one another. You’ll also want to have a robust library of information they can search through when they have questions about something. In addition, you’ll want to be sure your learning programs and courses are yielding real results, regardless of their medium. If the learning channels your company uses aren’t effective or naturally fostering more inquiries and growth, they will be abandoned, and people will stop seeking answers to their questions and conducting their own research.
Promote Informal Learning
Above all else, allow your employees to pursue their own lines of inquiry as they see fit. While formal training programs are critical to any organization, informal learning is critical to a company’s learning culture. It’s ultimately the employees themselves who will have to decide to ask questions, share knowledge, etc.
To stay motivated as you implement a learning culture across your organization, remember the words of Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte:
“The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.”1
- LinkedIn Learning. “2017 Workplace Learning Report,” https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/lil-workplace-learning-report.pdf. Last accessed 1/11/2018.