Learning & Development

Creating a Learning Culture and Making It Fun

As environments around us are changing exponentially, thriving organizations are ones that are able to adapt and be nimble. Being comfortable with change, uncertainty, and ambiguity takes a workforce skilled in learning.

learning

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3 Steps to a Learning Culture

Tania Luna, co-CEO of LifeLabs Learning, has identified three things that organizations must do to create a learning culture.

  1. Take a stance, and position learning as a core skill for applicants and a company value.
  2. Equip people with the skills to learn.
  3. Build learning into an organization so employees don’t have to feel the friction of being encouraged to learn with no guidance.

She offers some examples of what this might look like in practice:

  • Weekly one-on-one meetings between managers and direct reports. “Share feedback and extract learning from the previous week, then discuss skills that they want to acquire and how they can do so,” she suggests.
  • For project kickoffs, when you’re about to start a new project, Luna recommends asking what the team hopes to learn from the project. Then, once the project is complete, meet again to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what could be done differently next time.

Creating a culture centered on learning can be a good way to engage employees in learning they often feel is too boring, too basic, or too generic. Engagement matters.

Making Learning Fun and Personalized

A 2015 study found that 69% of employees under 40 say that training opportunities play an important part in deciding whether they want to stay at a job. In its State of Workplace Training Study, Axonify found that 43% of those who received training found it to be ineffective.

Joe Miller, edtech thought leader and VP of Learning Design & Strategy at professional training company BenchPrep, says that as employees demand more engaging and relevant content, we are likely to see more personalized, “create your own adventure”-type training that takes advantage of employees’ interests, as well as their perceived acumen.

The thinking is that the more interest an individual has in a subject area, the more likely he or she is to master it.

Taking a Lesson from the Kids

In a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, for instance, the reader assumes the role of the protagonist and makes choices that determine the main character’s actions and the plot’s outcomes. The theory is that it teaches kids to love to read by taking their own interests into consideration.

Similarly, this type of training is more likely to engage professionals who have little time for continued learning as it is and are more likely to persevere if content is fun and relevant to their interests, Miller says.

How could you combine culture and fun to boost learning outcomes in your organization?