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Workplaces are evolving, and the way we learn is changing with it. Employers can no longer depend on a single course of workshops. Today, it is about continuous learning and creating a culture of learning and development that support it.

What is a Culture of Learning and Development?

A culture of learning and development (aka L&D) involves ingraining learning in all facets of your organization. This learning is geared toward supporting your employees’ personal and professional growth while also improving their performance and productivity within the company.

Though a learning and growth culture looks different for every organization, there are a few common characteristics, like:

  • Encouraging the team to understand the organization’s values, practices, skill sets, and conventions
  • Supporting independent learning and development
  • Fostering a growth mindset and desire to learn at all levels of the seniority hierarchy
  • Allowing learning to shape strategies and processes

Why is a Learning Culture Important?

A solid L&D culture can significantly impact your team’s productivity, engagement, growth, and more. A recent eLearning report even confirmed its importance in relation to employee retention. Over 94% of the employees in the study identified investing in training as a major determining factor in their longevity in the role.

For businesses, cultivating a learning culture can reap many benefits. For example, if your team is comfortable sharing new skills, ideas, and learning, they can identify and solve problems more effectively.

Therefore, making learning culture a priority is not only required but also essential to stay competitive. 

So, if you want to bring about this culture in your business, read on to find our top five 5 best practices to help you create a thriving culture of learning and development that’ll make your organization a talent magnet.

5 Best Practices to Create a Culture of Learning and Development

Building an L&D culture that values and encourages learning doesn’t happen overnight. Fortunately, there are actionable ways to achieve it.

Here are five best practices for developing a successful L&D culture in your workplace:

1. Understand the Foundation

Every company has some learning program in place, be it online courses or onsite training. 

So start by examining your current L&D strategy to find learning gaps. Assess how your employees are learning currently, what training materials they have already, and what else they require.

Get your team, managers, and leaders into the discussion of creating goals that nurture your organization’s learning requirements. Consider using a Kanban board to visualize the goals and understand how the current learning process works. 

Pro Tip: While defining your goal and strategies, allocate a dedicated budget for employee L&D programs.

2. Nurture a Learning Environment

Employees will only learn if your company’s environment supports learning. That’s why you must make the process as seamless and friction-free as possible. 

Make learning the priority from day one. Start with practical and well-defined onboarding workshops, courses, and mentoring. Get your new talents accustomed to learning and encourage current employees to contribute their resources. 

Invest in creating systems that enhance your employee’s social learning opportunities. For example:

  • Host virtual events focused on skill building.
  • Provide the ability to share L&D content.
  • Facilitate top-class L&D technologies and platforms.
  • Implement mentorship and coaching programs.

You also need to work on building a safe and inclusive learning environment. This means celebrating diversity and inclusivity, promoting psychological safety, and open communication. 

Pro Tip: Create an internal knowledge hub where employees can access resources such as videos, e-books, articles, and industry research anytime.

3. Personalize the Learning Experience

A staggering 77% of L&D professionals view personalized learning as the key to employee engagement. Thus, as leaders/managers, you must help your employees create individualized L&D plans that align with their career aspirations and the company’s goal.

Usually, employers use Learning Management Systems and Analytics to understand the needs of each employee. Since team managers know their team members better, you can collaborate with them to set employee learning goals and plans.

You can also provide personalized career coaching to help employees identify career opportunities. The key is to keep the learning in sync with your business’s needs and goals.

Pro Tip: Reduce individual employees’ deliverables when they are taking courses or are focusing on upskilling or reskilling.

4. Make Learning a Habit

With the rapidly changing technology, learning is now an integral aspect of all employees. For businesses to stay competitive, their learning culture must be proactive, and the best way to do it is–to make learning a habit.

This means making L&D opportunities easy, accessible, and meaningful. You can achieve this by:

  • Reminding employees about learning initiatives through daily feeds
  • Setting goals and deadlines for training
  • Recommending what their peers are learning. 

Ensure your team has relevant and well-curated material resources. If your budget allows, you can also provide subsidies for employees who want to gain additional certifications.

Pro Tip: Using the Kanban board, create a system that allows the employees to visualize their specific skill gaps and track their progress in filling them.

5. Measure and Recognize Learning

If formal learning (for example, via an LMS) is at the core of your L&D strategy, ensure to measure the success. Measuring completion rates, exam results, engagement, training history, and more will help you if you are creating an impactful learning culture.

Moreover, keeping regular track of the initiative will allow you to adapt your resources to your employee’s changing needs. You can also connect tracking employee engagement with learning programs in a broad skill measurement.

That said, your learning and development initiatives demand time and attention. It is vital for employees to feel that their learning efforts are recognized and rewarded. 

So establish a system of celebrating learning achievement. It can be anything from personal praise to handing certificates to reinforce the value you place on employee L&D.

Pro Tip: Use the Kanban board to measure and track the completion and success of your L&D initiatives.

Find out why Kanban Zone is a better Kanban project management tool vs. Trello.

The Way Forward

In today’s era of self-driven learning, creating a culture of learning and development that aligns with employees’ interests and organizational goals is easier than ever. By implementing the best practices outlined above, you can kickstart this transformative journey.

But don’t stop there—continuously evolve your learning culture as your organization grows. And don’t be afraid of experimenting–because, in the end, that’s what’ll make your workplace learning culture truly effective.

This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.

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About the Author: Ciara Byrnes

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Ciara Byrnes spends most of her time reporting on digital marketing for an over-stressed audience of marketers and business owners trying to keep up with the fast pace of change. To center herself, she has become a wellness enthusiast, reaching "highs" like morning yoga on the porch of her family's summer lake cabin to "lows" like failing to convince herself that wheatgrass is yummy.

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