Why is a learning culture important?

A learning culture is important in business and is increasingly acknowledged as essential for innovation and success. Embracing effective learning isn’t only good for business per se, it’s a key driver in employee happiness and in attracting and retaining talent. There are in fact many reasons why a learning culture is important.

In this blog I’ll be taking a look at what a learning culture is and why it is so relevant now.

What is a learning culture?

Every business has a learning culture to a degree. When a new employee joins there is a certain level of learning. When employees progress, there is also a learning leap. Learning in the workplace happens all the time and includes formal training, as well as informal sharing of knowledge and skills between employees at all levels. Even the CEO has impactful lessons to share and can equally learn a thing or to from his or her employees.

A learning culture can be defined as set of values, processes and practices that encourage all individuals in the organisation, teams and the organisation as a whole to increase knowledge, competency and performance. It isn’t all about the job in hand. Personal learning is also key.

Why is a learning culture important?

High performing teams don’t just materialise. A certain culture directs learners and invests in its people. A culture of learning addresses skill development, improves productivity, ensures a timely response to customer needs, addresses real business problems and ensures employees and the business are able to deal effectively with change.

Importantly, learning promotes improvement, has a positive impact on employee engagement, breaks down silos and helps to achieve business goals. We’ve always known this, so why is it more important now?

There are three main reasons a learning culture in business is now more important than ever before:

  1. Younger generations are much more discerning about who they work for and salary isn’t the only reason they choose one employer over another. Millennials in particular want to be in a supportive learning culture. They want to work for businesses who care about the progression of their employees.
  2. We are in a period of low unemployment. People are interviewing prospective employers, not the other way around. As a result, organisational culture is an important draw and learning and growth opportunities are a big part of that.
  3. Machine learning is the future. We need to be ready for this change and adapt. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will actually create more jobs than it will destroy (that has been the broad pattern with technological advancement so far). Who heard of a digital marketer or a web designer before the world wide web was invented? The point is businesses can and will adapt, but they need to be ready and while a learning culture isn’t necessarily going to future-proof all businesses, it will help them to circumvent many problems. Learning and change are inextricably linked.

The benefits of a learning culture are many. It does entail investment, but the payoff is huge in terms of innovation, developing working practices, challenging rigid behaviours and views and in developing morale and motivation, which ultimately helps to retain and attract the best talent. Companies that don’t stay ahead of the learning curve will fail. It’s no accident that Apple and Google are flourishing.

At WeThrive we believe learning is crucial to employee engagement and fundamental to high performing teams. Our unique 4C Model draws on the latest psychological understanding to help business leaders understand how their employees are feeling, and perceive actionable insights to address problems. Our suite of tools includes learning content to help managers create a high-performance culture. Coaching and learning are a critical part of that process.

We’ve just made our WeLearn resources FREE to everyone. You don’t have to be a client to access these brilliant tools. Start your learning culture journey now and empower your managers to build high performing teams.

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