Learning has a crucial role to play in the growth and development of a business. Challenges of innovation and efficiency mean that organisations today face a constant need to evolve, to change and to think outside the box in order to retain a competitive advantage. A learning programme can help to drive positive outcomes by focusing on employees and how the right learning infrastructure can boost their motivation and ultimately drive a higher standard and output of work.
Why does a learning culture boost the business bottom line?
There are three key reasons why investing in a learning culture for the business makes a lot of sense:
1. Creating a competitive advantage
Businesses with a culture of ongoing learning are agile, as employees become fast learners, able to quickly assimilate new knowledge and respond to changes in an industry. Employees seek out and harness new ideas for the benefit of the business and innovation and development is embraced.
2. Improving employee engagement
When employees feel valued they are better engaged with the business and a learning culture is a simple way to create an environment designed to help staff grow. Learning motivates employees and creates a workforce that is keen to exceed its potential and do more, which inevitably positively impacts the bottom line.
3. Increasing productivity
Employees are more productive in workplaces where there is a learning culture. They are more likely to be innovative, committed, enthusiastic and willing to go the extra mile.
How to create a learning culture within your business
There are clear benefits to having a focus on learning in the workplace but how do you turn this into a truly productive and positive learning culture?
• Investigate informal learning opportunities. Academic learning is not the only option – employees could also learn, for example, by shadowing others or completing on the job training.
• Get out of a classroom environment. Not everyone thrives in a classroom learning environment and this can be expensive to set up and administer. Look for alternatives, such as online learning programmes.
• Tailor learning to lifestyle. If you’re able to offer employees learning in small and easy to digest chunks of time and content then they are much more likely to be able to fit this in to existing work and lifestyle commitments.
• Don’t just provide the basics. It’s important to tick off the essentials, such as compliance, but a true learning culture goes beyond that, providing learning and training that is designed to help employees grow.
• Don’t underestimate the value of learning every day. Daily learning – even just for a short period of time – can be an invaluable way for employees to achieve growth and progress. So, invest in an infrastructure that enables employees to take learning at their own pace.
• Listen to your employees. How do they see a learning culture better evolving within the business?
A positive learning culture can have a very tangible impact on the bottom line of any business and is worth investing in.
About the author – Shona Fletcher
Shona is CEO of Enterprise Study, an enabler of learning technology integration.
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