Transform Your Workplace by Encouraging Learning and Development

Beth Thornton

June 18, 2019

Learning and development isn’t a new concept, but it’s gained a lot of momentum recently due to a greater emphasis on collaboration and advances in tech. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report calls 2019 “the breakout year for talent development.” And an article on the history of learning and development notes that the concept of learning and development as a business partner or business consultant was not even thought of 30 years ago, but is now commonplace.

For organizations to keep up in today’s fast-paced world, they need to have learning and development initiatives in place. Learning and development programs keep organizations performing at their best. When learning is embraced as a cultural norm, employees are more engaged, and companies are more competitive. In fact, 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work.

High performing #employees stem from a culture of #learning. See how you can implement this at your organization and improve your #CompanyCulture. @InspireSoftwareTweet This!

High-performing employees flourish in a culture of learning. And conversely, strong workplaces consist of employees who are able to hone and develop their skills. Read on to discover additional reasons learning and development is so important, and how to weave it into your company culture.

The Importance of Learning & Development

Learning is beneficial to both employees and employers. Employers benefit by having a knowledgeable, informed talent force that’s up-to-date on changes, trends, and technologies. Employees benefit by improving both hard and soft skill sets and staying up-to-date in their respective industries. Learning and development also has an impact on retention—94% of employees say they’d stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

So if it’s mutually beneficial for employees and employers, why isn’t every organization doing it?

For one—time. Lack of time is the number one reason employees say they don’t engage in workplace learning. And talent leaders agree; in the 2018 Workplace Learning Trends Report by LinkedIn, learning and development leaders reported employees’ lack of time as the number one barrier to training.

The answer? Full organization support.

How to Inspire a Culture of Learning

A culture of learning strengthens business growth, and more than 84% of executives view it as an important issue. But, it has to start at the top; it’s critical for leaders to support and encourage employee learning.

“People want two things out of an organization;” said Dan Spaulding, Chief People Officer of Zillow Group. “They want to know that you care about them, and they want to know that they have an opportunity to grow.”

When employees feel supported by leadership and can see the “how” and “why,” they are much more likely to embrace (and make time for) workplace learning. Here are 4 ways you can specifically inspire a culture of learning:

When employees can clearly see the reasoning behind their tasks and how they benefit from them, they will be motivated to learn more. Use these 4 tips from @InspireSoftware to inspire a culture of #learning! Tweet this!
  • Align Individual Interests With Those of the Company
      • As mentioned previously, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Align individual learning goals with company goals so employees understand how their new skills will benefit the company.
  • Make Room for Collaboration
      • Cultivating a sense of team learning allows employees to learn from each other. Events such as lunch and learns—where co-workers receive lessons from each other in a relaxed and casual environment—can positively impact employees’ engagement. Team collaboration opportunities allow expertise to be shared throughout the company in a short amount of time and encourage team camaraderie.
  • Be a Coach and Mentor
      • It’s essential to be aware of problems employees encounter while learning a new skill, as they may need support in their efforts. Give employees space to talk about their goals and ambitions, as well as any challenges they may experience to help them visualize career growth. Be a good coach by observing, communicating, and listening; take an interest in your employees’ learning and ensure they have the resources they need.
  • Recognize Success
    • There is a time for constructive feedback and a time for recognizing success. When providing positive feedback and recognition to your employees, make sure your words are authentic. Results are important, and acknowledging learning as an achievement (or a goal in and of itself) will help your employees feel appreciated and hopefully motivate them to learn more.

Motivating employees to learn new things should be an essential goal for all organizations. When managers begin to connect learning to performance, goals, and objectives are more easily attainable. Deadlines and projects matter, but so does continuous learning. Inspire a culture of learning at your company by following these simple initial steps and watch your employees thrive.

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