A modern learning culture inspires, supports, engages and empowers employees with “always-on” learning.
Workforce change is the new norm. The fourth industrial revolution has already created many new jobs (and will continue to) and changed the skills required in others. Sixty-five percent of today’s school children will graduate into jobs that do not exist yet and 375 million workers will need to switch occupational categories due to automation by 2030. Upskilling and reskilling workers while maintaining performance levels is becoming an increasingly important priority as organizations prepare for the future of work. To effectively adapt to change and keep the lights on while positioning themselves for success tomorrow, organizations need to actively work today to create an internal culture of modern workplace learning.
What is a modern workplace learning culture?
A modern workplace learning culture inspires, motivates and supports employees as they move into new roles, and empowers them to acquire new skills and competencies, or develop those they already have on demand. It also considers the expectations, needs, and preferences of modern learners. It puts those principles at its core, leveraging next-generation learning tools and modern learning experiences to encourage greater employee engagement, workplace efficiency, and organizational agility through always-on learning.
How to create a modern learning culture
Critically, creating a modern learning culture in the workplace can not only help organizations adapt to change with agility, it can also drive improved performance. A Bersin study showed that a strong learning culture led to 30-50% higher engagement rates and subsequently:
- 52% greater productivity
- 92% more likely to develop innovative products
- 56% more likely to be first to market with new products
Here are three ways your organization can get started now.
Align learning and development with business objectives
There’s nothing worse than feeling like your work doesn’t matter. To build a strong learning culture, organizations need to show employees how their work contributes to achieving the business’ objectives. By stepping back and seeing where their work fits into the larger puzzle, employees will be more engaged and productive at work.
Using a three-step, “Plan, Achieve, Measure” approach, you can start aligning your learning objectives with your business objectives, setting you up for success. To do this, first, identify key factors that influence the success of your learning program, then use them to develop measurable ways to assess learning which will help you make the case for learning in your organization. You can achieve these key factors by building out specific steps and timelines. Finally, focus on continuous improvement by using qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate your progress.
Create content for the modern learner
Americans spend over 10 hours per day in front of a screen. Trends like this, as well as the popularity of YouTube as a learning resource and the prevalence of mobile platforms, show that the workforce of today learns differently than the one before it. Instead of sticking with outdated training methods, you can start implementing strategies like delivering personalized learning paths and bite-sized content as well as introducing gamification and leaderboards into your training. Making learning available anytime, anywhere by delivering the types of learning content your workforce needs through the channels they prefer will help you to truly engage and inspire them.
Build with sustainment in mind
A piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is the sustainment of learning. Did you know that 70% of the material employees learn is forgotten within 24 hours of their training and that 90% of it is forgotten within one week? After putting so many hours and so much thought into creating training courses, not including strategies for employees to put what they have learned into practice is a huge missed opportunity. Employees need consistent opportunities to build on the skills, knowledge, and behaviors they have learned after training is over. Setting up automatic releases of related content post-training as well as providing a space for collaborative work and knowledge sharing are just two ways you can help your employees to retain what they have learned, increasing their engagement and productivity.