Why Your Company Will Fail Without A Learning Culture

A Strong Learning Culture Keeps Employees Around

I learned through Fast Company that the Google offices in Zurich, Switzerland, have hammocks. I’ll be honest; that looks like a backache waiting to happen. I’ll take an ergonomic desk chair and some on the job training over that hammock any day! Am I the only one who feels that way? Not according to Deloitte.

A Strong Learning Culture Keeps Employees Around hammock

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015, which surveyed more than 3,300 organizations around the world, points to company concerns focusing on engagement, retention, and learning. Key takeaways include:

  • The number 1 issue companies face now is employee engagement and retention.
  • 87% of study participants cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges.
  • 50% say the engagement challenge is “very important”; double the 2014 percentage.

So how are our companies countering the engagement challenge? They’re developing a learning culture for all. The Human Capital Institute (HCI) notes that many organizations are no longer focusing Learning and Development just on high potentials, but emphasizing that everyone can benefit from learning. In their quarterly report on trends and challenges in talent management, HCI goes on to say:

  • Formal mentoring programs are expected to grow 131% over the next two years.
  • Many companies plan to invest more in learning technologies such as Learning Management Systems and knowledge sharing platforms.

Why is there so much interest in increasing learning programs and developing a learning culture? According to HCI, creating a learning culture leads to a closer alignment between business objectives and learning and development. It’s really a value add for an organization.

A Learning Culture Makes Learners -And Their Talent Development Journey- Feel Important

“Learner centric eLearning is where it’s at these days,” says Ruby Spencer, Director of Global Curriculum at PulseLearning. Spencer suggests avoiding merely “pushing” information at learners, and instead employing a “pull” method. One way to do this is with real-life scenarios. Learners are forced to play out the scenario and pull the information from the scenario themselves, thus taking a more active role.

Spencer uses the example of a real-life scenario where characters of various roles are presented. Icons correlate to different role groups, and learners select the one they identify with to access information that directly relates to them. This helps the learner feel like his or her job role matters and that he or she is important to the company.

Research done by the Boston Consulting Group supports the learner centric concept. The BCG reported that “appreciation for your work” and “learning and career development” both ranked among the top ten factors leading to job happiness. Unhappy employees leaves companies; happy employees stay.