Creating a Learning and Development Culture
Your learning and development program will fail quickly if your organizational culture does not support learning and development. A learning and development culture is one that empowers employees to take ownership of their own development, ensures employees have access to a variety of learning tools and methods, has buy-in from all levels of the organization, and views learning as a continuous process rather than a single event.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these components.
1. Empower employees to take ownership of their development
Recently, there has been a shift to treat employees more like customers of training and empower them to “pull” the training content that best meets their current needs. In order to empower employees to take ownership of their own development, it is helpful to have a platform that allows employees to customize what and when they learn.
2. Ensure employees have access to learning and development tools
Your organization should ensure that employees have access to a broad range of learning tools and methods. Not all employees learn the same way (e.g., visual vs. auditory; hands-on vs. self-reflection) and not all employees have the same learning needs, which is why a variety of methods and tools is critical.
3. Buy-in from all levels of the organization
One important aspect of creating a learning and development culture is to ensure there is buy-in from all levels within the organization, from entry-level to c-suite. For instance, entry-level employees should understand the importance of learning and development and see that the organization values learning and development rather than just “ticking the box.” Furthermore, senior leadership should endorse learning and development activities and remove any systemic barriers that may prevent people from participating in learning and development activities.
4. Cultivate a culture of psychological safety
Another important aspect of creating a learning and development culture is to foster psychological safety – the idea that it is okay and accepted to take risks and make mistakes. If people are afraid to take risks or to make mistakes, they will be unlikely to try new things, and ultimately less likely to learn and develop.
5. View learning as continuous rather than a single event
Learning and development should be viewed as a continuous and ongoing process rather than a single event. Employees should have the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills, and regularly receive coaching or feedback to keep track of their progress.
Check out our Learning and Development Toolkit for more great tips!