Implementing a Learning Culture – Part 1
20th November 2014
Implementing a learning culture can seem like a mammoth task, but if you follow our process and advice it should become a lot easier…
We’ve already published a series of articles which demonstrate that learning is an integral part of a business’ success. This is a bold statement, but one that is based on solid evidence. We provide our advice based on our own knowledge and our hands-on experience in helping companies from countless sectors to fuel their profits and productivity through effective learning. And, to top it off, their employees are really happy too.
Have a look at our previous articles and hopefully you’ll see the ways that your own company can benefit from effective employee learning:
- Driving business growth through learning
- Training within the recruitment process
- What is a learning culture?
- How to develop a learning culture
So, now that you’ve caught up on our past advice, here’s the next part in the series that we want to talk about:
Implementing a learning culture
When it comes to getting everyone on board and implementing a learning culture within your own business, it might seem like you have a mountain to climb. Breaking the process down into a number of stages makes it a lot easier…and far less daunting!
These stages are:
- The Team
- The Process
- Creating an Action Plan
- Implementing the Plan
- Review and Revise
In ‘Part 1’ of this process we’re going to tell you how to tackle ‘The Team’ and ‘The Vision’ stages. Part 2, which is all about the action plan, can be found here: Implementing a Learning Culture – The Plan of Action
Step One: The Team
You should treat the implementation of your learning culture like any other company project, so for that, you’ll need a project team. The input from your team of employees is really important, as you need to hear their views and opinions to make sure that the system you implement is fit for purpose and supports the needs of the entire business. It’s also vital that you appoint a leader, and this should be someone that you can trust to provide project governance and to drive forward its progress.
Within this team, you should include a good mix of people from different areas of your company. If you can recruit a spread of people from each of the different learning stages into your team, then even better.
Step 2: The Vision
The first task for your team is to clearly define the objective of implementing a learning culture. How do you want the business to look in two or three years time once the learning culture is in place? How will employees learn and how will they feel about the company? How will they view their own development, skills and knowledge? All of these factors need to be considered in order to help your company to progress forwards to this point.
Try to encapsulate this business vision in one phrase. By making this phrase concise, as well as being engaging and visionary, it will help your entire workforce to remember it and connect with it. Ultimately, what you want to achieve here is a concept that everyone can believe in and strive for as the company’s true goal. Reading ‘Made to Stick’ will help with this. Try not to think about what the company currently does, as you’re implementing a learning culture. Your vision is all about dreaming big and really going for gold by painting a picture of how your team wants things to be in the future.
Some examples of a vision statement may include:
- "Supporting the team to develop a better company."
- "Continuous lifelong learning, development and improvement."
- "Seeing staff progress through a staged career path."
Sleep on it
This may sound like odd advice, but trust us, it works! Sleep on any ideas that you or your team come up with…you’ll be amazed by what your brain can do while you sleep. An idea which may have been dismissed previously can seem like a genius concept the very next day and vice versa. We always suggest that you have your planning or ‘brainstorming’ meetings over an afternoon then sleep on it and reconvene in the morning to take advantage of your brain’s power to work things out while you are asleep.
We’ve covered the first two stages in the process of implementing a learning culture, don’t forget to read up on part 2, which will help you to create and apply your ‘Plan of Action’.
If you want to know how we can help you to develop a learning culture as well as effective employee training, then please get in touch with a member of the BOLT Learning team.