By TAHMID SADMAN
An effective learning culture is imperative in organizations operating in competitive markets. Therefore, the concept must be applied in both startups and established businesses. An organization is only as good as the people and this makes a compelling case for the introduction of a learning culture which can work orders to the lines of optimizing work place efficiency. A learning culture entails a lot of factors to be at work simultaneously-organizational values, effective teams, trust, mutual respect, transparency, hunger for organizational improvement and fairness. That said, it is an intricate process, but it can work wonders. The following points elucidate the processes of creating a dynamic learning culture.
- Stress the importance of learning– It is important that firms emphasize the importance of learning. Management at all levels must emphasize this in order for the Learning has to be targeted towards relevant areas. For example: finance managers must have adequate knowledge in areas of investment evaluation, customer financial analysis, working capital management, leverage etc. It is also important to continually expand the knowledge base as more knowledge should boost understanding skills, intuition, creativity. This will ultimately lead to better results.
- Make learning programs official– Otherwise, they will just remain “plans”. Adding them to the annual schedule shows purpose and will enable the employees to prepare accordingly.
- Walk the talk– Create an in-house structure that facilitates learning. It is vital to ensure that each employee is lectured on a topic that is relevant to him/her. Make sure employees are exposed to content on a regular basis, it is important to ensure that such content is interesting otherwise employees will lose interest. Also, create simulations of possible business scenarios and ask them to come with solutions and rate each solutions. Help out the low scorers by providing them with feedback. If you have enough financial buffers, reward the winner with a bonus.
- Create platforms for knowledge sharing– Company intranets can be really helpful here. In an intranet, employees can share experiences, takeaways and other content that can be bolster learning. Facebook groups and Google drives can work well too.
- Have tolerance for mistakes– Mistakes are inevitable and are likely to pop-up every now and then, but instead of getting bogged down , exploit them. Give a feedback in the first place and ask the employee himself/herself to review them.
- Debates– Debates are a great way to broaden the perspectives of the employees as they test their parameters. Employees are forced to think from multifarious angles By holding debates, firms can get insights into customer tastes, business strategy, the overall business environment and other business issues.
- Integrate “learning effort and capabilities” in KPI– This will coerce employees to undertake initiatives to enhance their learning capabilities and promote learning within the organization. The end result is a much more knowledgeable workforce who will be able to steer the organization in a much more efficient way.
- Internal Hiring-Internal hiring creates incentives for employees to prove themselves which , in turn, induces him/her to pursue more learning avenues to boost his/her profile.
- Link learning outcomes to performance improvement– This will help employees understand the purpose learning programs and once they do that, they will more motivated towards grabbing learning opportunities-both off the job and on the job.
- Ensure active participation of top management– If top management are in the thick of things, the importance of learning will become even more clearer to the employees. Hence, they will be more driven.
- Tweak job responsibilities– This should be done on a regular basis so as to ensure greater exposure to the different areas of the business and enhance learning.
Tahmid Sadman is a guest contributor to GradInsights, the career research service of GradConnect. He can be reached at [email protected] More articles from Tahmid and the GradInsights team can be found at www.grad-insights.com.