How To Create An Awesome Learning Culture In 5 Steps
Learning and Development (L&D) professionals put in a lot of time, effort, and energy into upskilling and training the workforce – the biggest asset of an organization. At the core of these training programs lies the idea that a maximum number of employees benefit from them and carry back some key takeaways for their personal and professional development. But more often than not, very few employees actually access this training or turn up for the ILT sessions pro-actively. Unless it is based on topics that really interest people, there are rare chances that workplace training is going to be the talk of the town in the office.
Unfair as it may sound, it is just logical, isn’t it? Who would like to waste time-consuming training that is overloaded with information and comes with under-supported material on the Learning Management System? As an L&D professional, there is no point in mandating learning programs, because, even if you do an excellent job at putting them together, people are not going to like them if that is not what they are looking for in learning!
Training can be an excellent part of a Performance Support System. And it's very much possible to make it a part of your workplace learning too! For starters, it’s best to let employees tell you what they want. Why not include the feedback of the very people who are your target audience, and then create a comprehensive learning program? A learning environment that is partly created by, and belongs to, the workforce is a great solution to combat shunned training.
To begin with, take a survey of your workforce to determine what it is that they are exactly looking for in learning. So, you are basically creating an awesome learning culture that attracts your employees and includes them to create training programs that are beneficial, interesting as well as engaging.
Keeping all these tenets in mind, we give you a list of steps you can take to create a learning culture in your organization that encourages employees to be a part of the learning process.
1. Start With Yourself
Before you go on to your employees, you need to ensure that your own learning requirements are satisfied. You need to be thinking about what skills you possess now and what skills you may need in the future. Do you have the skills that your organization needs? Are there any gaps in your skills base that could and should be filled? Before you begin creating training programs for your employees, you should start with yourself. Begin with experimenting with the latest learning trends in the market, and then go on to ensure that you and your team have adopted these. Once you have created sessions, try them out yourself first. If you start with your own learning needs, you can definitely lead the way to fulfill your employees’ learning needs in the best way possible.
2. Bring In Support From The Top Management
Just as you would start with yourself, you also need to involve the top management right from the beginning. Gaining their support while devising a learning strategy is a must and you can go up to the topmost bosses with the program. Let the management be the first one to try out the new learning solutions. This is also a great step to inspire employees as 'lead by example' is often the best policy and one that could encourage employees to give it a shot.
3. Incentivize Learning
Expecting employees to take up training programs by making them feel that "you have to do this because your boss says so" may not be one of the best ways of training. It is better to try more effective solutions instead, like motivating learners so they want to participate and engage in training. An easy and smart way to motivate learners is by offering incentives! And what better way to do it than through an LMS with gamification?! Not only does it reward learners (in the form of badges, points, etc.), but the leaderboard, being visible to all the learners, also makes it a super-competitive engagement machine as learners are encouraged and driven to beat each other to gain the top spot.
4. Encourage Millennials To Mentor GenXs
Millennials (born between 1980-2000) and GenXs (born between 1965-1979) together form your workforce in a ratio of 60:40. While the latter may be more experienced and senior at work, the former is more dexterous when it comes to adopting modern technology. You, as L&D, can leverage this equation and have the Millennials mentor GenXs. In this way, you can ensure that both generations are on the same page and are functioning together towards achieving business goals.
5. Be Open To Experimentation
L&D is facing a radically shifting context for the workforce, the workplace, and the marketplace. So, learning strategies are also requiring a user-centric approach and experimentation to maintain a competitive edge. Now is the time to experiment with different kinds of learning and training modes, OTS courses, or courses that have been specially customized for your employees, integrating social and mobile learning with its myriad learning opportunities and, in general, with different kinds of new technologies and platforms.
The time is now right to bring in learning, which is a game changer not just for employees but for all other stakeholders as well. It’s one of the best ways to motivate and retain your workforce. To create an awesome learning culture, just involve your own people and listen to what they want to learn. That should do the trick!