In order to understand how to foster a distant learning culture in the workplace, it is imperative to first understand how culture overall is developed. Workplace culture is the glue that holds an organization together; it is the deeply ingrained identity of a company.
With COVID-19, the business landscape has shifted to virtual, thus affecting the learning culture like all other work aspects. Therefore, employers wanting to build a culture of learning in current times need to create an environment that empowers people to pursue knowledge. And this is not essential merely for individual evolution but also for the growth of the company as a whole.
Plus, given the fact that Millennials are the largest demographic group ever, leaders need to figure out a way to satisfy Millennials’ drive for career development and also manage learning opportunities for other generations in the workforce.
Deloitte’s report reveals that companies with continuous learning cultures are 46 percent more likely to have first-mover advantage and be 58 percent more prepared to meet future demand. In addition to that, they also have a 26 percent greater ability to supply quality products and they experience 37 percent greater employee productivity.
Creating a culture of learning isn’t something that happens overnight, but there are some actionable ways that can facilitate the process:
Provide Online Learning Opportunities from Subject-Matter Experts
An effective way to deliver distant learning opportunities to employees is by leveraging the skills and knowledge of subject-matter experts and conducting knowledge-sharing programs online. There is plenty of information that you would want to offer to your employees, and subject-matter experts give internal employees an advocate to turn to for questions and reliable best practices. Plus, they help you direct towards the top-notch resources and generate content that employees can gain knowledge from.
As a result, this peer-to-peer engagement creates an environment where employees can interact as active participants and learners.
Offer Gamified Nano-Learning Modules
Any type of learning that presents learners the opportunity to interact has a higher chance of success than a traditional page-turner course. And gamified learning has been astonishingly successful because of its interactive nature.
Employers can offer an eclectic range of interactive nano-learning modules of gamified learning to their employees so as to help their team pick up concepts faster and remember them for a longer time while staying engaged and motivated throughout the training.
Communicate Your Goals
Since culture is an issue that concerns the whole organization, leaders must ensure that each employee recognizes the value learning offers to them on an individual level as well as to the business as a whole.
Simply announcing your program in an e-newsletter or social media post and then expecting employees to “get it” isn’t a good idea. HR managers must integrate the learning culture into the hiring process and communicate it as a part of their employees’ values. Employers should share their philosophy around learning, energetically market their educational offerings and talk about their training and development opportunities.
Lead by Example
If, as an organizational leader, you are engaged and dedicated to your own continuous learning, a culture of learning would automatically be reinforced. Similarly, if you yourself practice what you preach – try peer-to-peer coaching and instill the habit of providing and receiving constructive feedback in your company, your team members will replicate.
You may also do this by setting your own learning goals, discussing about some training that you have recently taken and being willing to rectify and reflect on your mistakes.
Teach Your Team How to Give Feedback
Employers wanting to develop a culture of learning need to teach their employees how to effectively give and receive feedback. Many managers only give out positive feedback because they fear hurting their team members’ feelings, being disliked or having their own authority questioned. What they forget is, negative feedback that is given in a constructive way has immense power. And this constructive feedback should be concrete, with suggested plans for improvement, sparking their curiosity and their eagerness to learn and improve.
In short, when your team learns to give and receive constructive feedback, they’ll be able to continuously learn from each other and improve their skills.