What are the 5 characteristics of a good learning culture?

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Search for ‘learning culture' in the Dikke Van Dale and you will not find it. Yet we all know what we mean by a learning culture: the culture that prevails within a company when it comes to learning and developing continuously or not.

However, what a good learning culture looks like is not set in stone, it differs per company. At one company, a weekly knowledge session is held and this is called a learning culture, while in another company they talk about the annual announcement of learning objectives and how these are safeguarded.

Thanks to our many years of experience, we have a clear picture of a good learning culture. You can read it below.

Learn faster than your competition

Companies that make a strategic choice for knowledge development and continuously learn to embrace, are arguably more successful and will make a difference in the future.

Peter Senge, American knowledge management scientist and director of the Center for Organizational Learning, puts it this way: “In the long run, your only sustainable source of competitive advantage is your organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.”

And although it looks different for every organization, there are of course preconditions for creating a good learning culture.

We will name five.

1) Give the correct example.

‘Talent management is a strategic mindset,' says Lidewey van der Sluis, professor of strategic talent management, in an interview in PWnet.nl.

According to her, good leadership lies in exemplary behavior, among other things. In her words: ‘The tone at the top should inspire and give direction.'

An organization is made by people who work there, from C-level to factory floor. If you want to cultivate a good learning culture, the management must set a good example and take the lead in knowledge development.

By working on it yourself, you will ultimately inspire your employees and take them along.

2) Make your people aware of the why.

Not so long ago our life path, in terms of learning, looked like this: as a child we went to school, then we chose a further education if necessary and then we looked for a job and we had to – hooray! – never to study again. Das war einmal. To continue to matter in the job market, you have to keep learning.

We all know if it is good, but many actually give substance to it when it starts to hurt.

If you don't do anything for six months, it won't hurt immediately. But at some point you really start to run into pain. Gold used to say that stagnation was decline, in today's world with tumbling technological developments, stagnation is the end of the story.

A assassin, our colleague Patrick Kieviet even calls it.

Creating awareness among your employees is also essential for developing a good learning culture.

3) Guarantee knowledge development in a structured way.

OK, as management you set a good example and you have made people aware of the importance of continuous knowledge development. Now you have to ensure that you safeguard knowledge development in a structured way within your organization.

Actually agree on concrete learning goals with employees. Subsequently, as a manager, you must periodically monitor and manage this.

At HR Consultant UK, for example, we communicate our learning goals to each other during our quarterly meeting.

By telling each other every quarter how our learning goals are going, we not only provide the imaginary incentive, we also ensure that learning remains continuously in the retina of the organization and the employees.

Of course there are also other ways to monitor and control, but make sure that you are involved in knowledge development in a structured way.

4) Provide appropriate remuneration.

We often tend to focus on employees who are not engage in knowledge development.

Perhaps it is better to focus on the employees who do. By rewarding them and putting them on a pedestal, you pay attention to the positive. Moreover, you may also get the stragglers in that way.

Incidentally, that reward does not necessarily have to be expressed in money.

All generations have a different view of rewarding. For example, a study by Aon shows that millennials, for example, find the training opportunities themselves and the associated development opportunities more important than salary.

Then make sure you have a good career perspective.

In this way, someone takes steps at both job level and salary level. Other ways of rewarding are important for other generations. Try to connect with that.

5) Provide the correct facilities.

If you want to be involved in knowledge development at a tactical and strategic level, you also have to offer the right facilities for this.

This can be about budget or time, but also, for example, a good platform in which you can follow and book training courses.

Knowing more?

Not completely convinced yet? View our infographic with 9 reasons why you should start the journey to a continuously learning organization now.

Convinced, but not sure how to put continuous learning on the agenda?

We at HR Consultant UK are happy to help you!

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