HomeEmployee ExperienceCultureHow organisations can create a culture of learning in 2024

How organisations can create a culture of learning in 2024

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Ensuring that line managers are upskilled – ideally with a growth mindset – to support their team is vital.

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Learning and development is an important part of any business – it helps retain employees and further business growth, essentially allowing companies to remain competitive for consumers and potential talent, alike.

Despite this, the CIPD’s Professionalising Learning and Development report found that, while nearly all (98%) L&D practitioners wish to develop a positive culture for learning, only a third (36%) feel like they’ve done so.

The report found that this was due to a few different reasons: leaders have traditional expectations of L&D that are di­fficult to challenge; learning is often not seen as a priority; the organisation culture does not support social learning, and L&D is often not seen as an investment.

We all know the advantages of creating a culture of learning at work. It boosts productivity and innovation, and improves employee satisfaction and wellbeing. But how can we push past the roadblocks?

Creating a culture of learning

A culture of learning will need buy-in from leadership teams. The onus here may fall on HR teams to prove the importance of learning – ensuring that there is tangible data and a strategy that will help the business’ bottom line.

It goes full circle, however. In order to prove the value of L&D, you also need to make sure you are implementing the right steps that will allow L&D to work for your business. The below two steps are important: having a dedicated L&D champion and partnering with the right external education provider.

Have a dedicated learning and development champion

When offering L&D opportunities at work, it helps to have a point of contact for employees to reach out to – either for support during their learning process or to provide feedback on what sort of opportunities they are looking for. This will allow employees to know that L&D is important to the business and taken seriously.

According to a 2023 Forbes survey, while there are broad similarities across generations when it comes to how people like to learn, there are still demographic differences that need to be considered. Having a dedicated L&D champion can ensure that the right avenues and opportunities are offered.

On top of this, research has found that the most common reason why people drop out of apprenticeships is due to a lack of support. Having a dedicated team member who can support and guide apprentices, as well as promote courses when recruiting, will make sure that employees are enrolled on the right course for them and for the business.

Additionally, ensuring that line managers are upskilled – ideally with a growth mindset – to support their team is vital. It will not only make sure that learning is embedded in your workplace’s culture, but it will also make sure that employees feel supported when embarking on new learning opportunities.

Stacey Hayes-Allen, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Arden

Supportive line managers can also encourage team members to consider their future careers and what L&D prospects may push them in that direction. Again, this helps foster a stronger learning culture in your company.

Partner with the right institution

When partnering with an external education institution, you want to make sure that they are teaching the right skillsets to your employees.  They should be communicative and host taster sessions, for you and your learners to get a feel of the learning process, as well as review sessions, to ensure everyone is on track during the learning process.

The right institution may also be able to provide hard data for HR teams to present to leadership teams, which detail how their courses help businesses in the long run – pushing the culture of learning further forward.

Some educational institutions also offer courses that are tailored to particular sectors, allowing the exercises and tasks completed by learners to be more applicable to their day-to-day jobs. We do this at Arden University, for instance, so we can ensure the knowledge learners take back to the business can be readily applied.

 Again, this will help with buy-in from upper management, allowing the business to foster a stronger culture of learning.

On top of this, if you are offering more formalised L&D opportunities, such as apprenticeship degrees, it’s important that your learners are getting the practical skills alongside the theoretical. This could mean implementing opportunities that allow them to put their new skills into practice, or making sure they are in the room with the right stakeholders to progress professionally.

This will instil confidence in employees who are learning new skills, with them being able to see it being tangible in their career. Again, having a dedicated learning and development champion can help here. On top of this, partnering with educational institutions that offer practical learning alongside theoretical is a great way to tick both boxes.

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