How often do you see an employee or co-worker playing Solitaire on their work computer or watching the latest Youtube clips? Boredom at work often stems from people feeling that they have already mastered the skills and knowledge necessary to adequately perform their job. This assumption is based on the idea that there is an end-point to learning. Learning does not have to end, however, and you can transform your employee’s attitudes, job satisfaction, and overall engagement by fostering a learning culture in your organization.
A learning culture keeps employees excited, happy, and interested in the work day. As we all know, people who are actively engaged in their work and having fun at are more motivated and productive. Help your colleagues and employees to enjoy their work and accomplishments more by adopting an attitude of learning for individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole.
How to Create a Learning Culture
The leadership in a workplace influences the attitude and culture, so we need to start with the leaders of an organization. Leaders should first create a clear vision of the values of the workplace, implement a plan that helps achieve those values, and then consistently maintain those values by enacting them routinely.
Here are seven steps to help leaders get started:
- 1. Make learning a part of your organization’s routine and this will set a precedent of importance. Scheduling seminars, training opportunities, or workshops will make employees feel that new knowledge and skills are easy to access.
- 2. Welcome questions from your employees – learning happens when people inquire about new ideas and concepts. Create a space in your organization for employees to freely ask questions to foster a culture of learning.
- 3. Honor your employees’ learning process through recognition. Have employees share with each other, and with you, what skills and knowledge they have acquired.
- 4. Encourage individuals and teams to list the expertise that they have already mastered as well as the skills they would like to gain going forward. This makes learning goals concrete and achievable.
- 5. Invest employees’ time in learning. Give everyone adequate time to actively learn, process information, and check-in with each other. This encourages communication as well as the importance of learning.
- 6. In a learning culture you have opportunity to utilize the expertise and talent from people at all levels within your organization. Give them the floor so that they can share what they have with each other and with you.
- 7. Show your organization how important your culture of learning is by displaying your own gained expertise. It doesn’t hurt to also show off your great attitude about lifelong learning.
Fostering a learning culture within in your workplace will help your employees to gain valuable skills that will benefit their individual work and the organization as a whole.