Ways to create a learning culture in organizations

Sooner than later, a lot of jobs will become redundant due to technological integration. Businesses that focus on bridging the skills gap by upgrading themselves can succeed in the long run. In the wake of these findings, “growth mindset” has become a buzzword in many major companies.

For companies trying to cultivate an organizational learning culture, the growth mindset must be incorporated from day one. What exactly is this “growth mindset”? In simple terms, individuals who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and inputs from others, have a growth mindset. These people tend to achieve more than those who have fixed mindset vs. those who believe their talents are innate gifts.

The ability to learn is a skill that can be acquired. When entire organizations embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed to learning and growing. As an organization that values learning and adaptability, we have narrowed down some of the key factors required to facilitate a learning culture in organizations:

Senior leaders of the organization need to set the standards for organizational learning by being open to learning themselves. The language they use and their attitude towards learning can set the stage for others. Being open to feedback is a major part of this. By involving team members at the beginning and end of meetings with questions like “what are we missing?” or “how do you think we can improve on this?” can encourage employees to be open to be more involved.

Pursuing a passion outside of work can help employees develop new skills, network with new people and destress. This allows for better productivity and creativity in their actual work. Google is the prime example of this. It encourages its employees to devote 20 percent of their time to side projects, which is one reason why it remains one of the most innovative companies. Gmail and Google Maps are a result of this. Other companies who invested in side-project initiatives have developed some of the most popular products: Twitter, Slack and Groupon.

Investing in skills-development programs and allowing employees to take time from working hours for these courses or side-projects is also necessary. Your money should be where your mouth is. Impending deadlines, on-going projects, endless meetings etc. are the main stumbling blocks towards spending time on learning modules. Employees must feel reassured that learning is not only allowed but advocated and encouraged as organizational culture.

Employees must be rewarded for their training-related efforts and performance. Practice of awarding points, badges and installing leaderboards help. Particularly in today’s remote working environment, training along with its associated systems of feedback and reward play a huge role in employee motivation.

The learning process must be made more social. Involving entire teams or assigning accountability buddies makes learning more effective. Having a forum for employees, where they can post new learnings, ask questions, and interact makes the process more dynamic and fun.

Plan what your long-term goals are and what skills will be required to reach there. Organic and informal learning may already exist in the organization, but this will need to be structured and formalized. If the skills acquired by the team is not being utilized, team members will lose interest in learning further. Product knowledge, codes of conduct, onboarding etc. needs to be meticulously planned for the knowledge to percolate down to all levels in a controlled and uniform manner.

The growth mindset is not a policy, but a cultural shift. Maintaining a learning culture in organizations need nurturing and constant effort. At Aligned Studios we have always found it mutually rewarding to encourage employees to interact to share knowledge and ideas. It helps build camaraderie and leads to enhanced performance, as well as loyalty.

Contact us to know how you can have employees who are up to date with industry developments and trends.