6 Essential Elements To Building A Proactive Learning Culture
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How To Build A Proactive Learning Culture

A culture of proactive, driven and self-directed learners is the ultimate goal for many L&D managers, but it can be difficult to encourage employees to take learning into their own hands. Take employees’ already busy schedules and need for work-life balance and add a request from management to update their skills from material that is not engaging, relevant or user-friendly, and you end up with a recipe for employees who, to little fault of their own, are disengaged in their own development.

Here are 6 recommendations on how to optimize your learning offering to build a proactive learning culture:

1. There Must Be Content For Every Learning Need

No two employees are alike, and their learning needs differ vastly. A team leader may be fascinated by the prospect of improving their active listening skills while their coworker in the accounting department may be equally intrigued by developing their time-management. In order for these two employees, and those in every role, at every skillset, to take proactive action in their own development, the learning tools their company provides, must have materials that are relevant to everyone.

2. Learning Materials Should Be Continuously Expanded And Updated

Soft skills and personal development are topics that are growing in popularity and importance on a global scale. This means that new information is available regularly and employees should not be learning from archaic materials. If entertainment streaming platforms such as Netflix never updated their library, users would lose interest and turn elsewhere. The same can be applied to a digital learning platform. A training program with frequently updated materials and regular new content will engage and intrigue employees far more than recycled information they have already consumed.

3. Choose An Easy-To-Use Digital Platform With Concise Learning Content

The ease-of-use of both digital learning platforms as well as the training content itself is an essential factor in successfully building a proactive learning culture. Learners are far more likely to engage if they arrive at their desired material in the fewest number of clicks possible. An easy-to-use platform takes the User’s Experience into consideration and through providing user-friendly menus and links makes accessing learning at the point of need quick and painless.

In the same way, learning content should also be easily digestible so that employees can learn quickly and apply their new skills in less time. Difficult and dense content has the opposite effect and causes employees to switch off and disconnect. Digital training content such as bite-sized eBooks or short courses should only be as short as possible and as long as necessary.

4. Ensure Learning Is Quickly Accessible From Anywhere

When an employee feels the desire to invest their valuable time in developing their skills, the last thing they should be met with is restrictions and limitations. In order for engaged learning to take place, platforms should be easily accessed through a single sign-on process. It is also crucial that learning materials are offered both online and offline in a downloadable, mobile format and can be accessed on-the-go via multiple devices.

5. Make Sure Learners Are Made Aware Of Available Resources

Employees cannot engage in learning if they are unaware of the materials available to them. This may appear obvious but a common reason learning initiatives fail is due to lack of promotion of training content. It is important that employees are made aware of the materials available to them. This can be done through internal promotion through the information channels from which they are used to receiving a communication such as an intranet, newsletters or meetings. This internal promotion as well as using a learning platform that recommends content based on learners’ previous searches is an effective way to increase engagement rates.

6. Look To External Support For Assistance

Implementing the above steps will help learning professionals lead an organization towards a proactive learning culture. However, this shift doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes requires external support. Learning platforms that offer dedicated customer service to assist with technical, promotional and content-specific problems and requests can make a vast difference in the success of learning initiatives and employee engagement. And, after all, what is soft skills development without human connection and communication?

Building a proactive learning culture is an investment in the future of employees, organizations and L&D teams alike. In order to develop the self-directed learners that will be paramount to future business success, it is important that content offerings and learning platforms are set up to support and promote a proactive learning culture. And, through digital learning, all of the above can be achieved in a way that isn’t nearly as expensive as they may sound.