Definition of Learning Culture
Why a learning culture is gaining importance?
Successfully implementing a learning culture
Definition of Learning Culture
In the past, most companies regarded learning within human resources development as a task that had to be offered. Continuing education was on the agenda more through a sense of obligation than one of considered strategic benefit.
In reality, however, it was a means to an end: by participating in a seminar in a nice conference centre, the employee was given a break from everyday working life with its recurring routines. This was supposed increased employee satisfaction. No less, no more. The courses were usually not necessary for organisational success. Until a few years ago, it was sufficient to complete an apprenticeship or a course of study at the beginning of a career. The acquired knowledge was sufficient for the whole life career.
Today is different. Knowledge changes quickly. This applies to technical content as well as IT applications. And in both areas it is imperative that employees stay up-to-date. Otherwise there is a risk that they will execute their job responsibilities with insufficient know-how. Sooner or later this will have an impact on the quality of the results and in the long term the company's success will suffer.
To achieve this, environments must be created in which employees can network and exchange information with each other. Offline, but also online. Many companies now operate across global borders. Accordingly, employees must also be able to exchange information via virtual paths. And so that the new knowledge cannot be wasted and passed on directly and profitably to other employees, opportunities should be created to document and share it. Sharing is caring - this principle will also shape vocational and company learning in the future!
It would be best if company learning could be seamlessly integrated into everyday working life. The acquisition of new knowledge and ideas can be called up or developed whenever it is necessary. All this falls under the concept of learning culture: learning becomes a cultural component of an organisation, its no longer a time to time occurrence - but a constant. Alone and together.
It is important that each type of learner is provided with the specific tools they need for professional learning. Be it in the form of coaching, online courses, blended learning or a knowledge app or a combination. In the digital age, companies are faced with the challenge of composing the right learning mix - that secures their competitiveness and helps establish a learning culture.
According to the World Economic Forum, at least 133 million new roles will be created worldwide by 2022 as a result of the increasing division of labor between people, machines and algorithms. Above all, there will be a strong demand for technical skills such as programming and app development, as well as skills that computers cannot master: Creative thinking, problem solving and negotiation skills.
The point is, that when knowledge bottlenecks exist, companies can no longer simply hire new employees to lead their organization into a secure future. Because the size of the pool of available talent is shrinking rapidly.
Corporate leaders have only one option to counter this change: They must create in their organisation a culture of lifelong learning in which skills gaps are addressed before they arise and manifest themselves. Only those who ensure that their own employees always operate at the cutting edge of knowledge have a chance to counteract the competition in times of increasing pressure to innovate and global competition. These are the results of the World Economic Forum's "Future of Jobs Report 2018". This makes the establishment of a learning culture indispensable.
Because lifelong learning is not necessarily inate. On the contrary, many of us prefer the comfort of proven routines. So if you want to establish a learning culture, you have to get employees to leave their comfort zone, regularly. Nurturing the curiosity to learn can be key.
According to SpencerStuart, every organisation that wants to establish a functioning learning culture must first question which factors motivate its own employees to learn and offer them exactly the conditions they need to do so. The following questions need to be answered:
The path to the goal leads via consistent change management. First of all, the status quo must be acknowledged:
The next step is to establish measures needed to raise the profile of learning and improve learning conditions. In order to find the right answers to these questions, companies should engage in close dialogue with their employees and ask them which adjustment they see as necessary. They'll see it soon enough: In addition to the right tools, a learning culture also requires the right learning conditions.
Employers need to know about this:
The examples show: There are many factors that have to play into each other to create a functioning learning culture. From these findings, it is necessary to derive the required structural decisions to support the cultural shift towards lifelong learning.
Why a learning culture is gaining importance?
There are numerous reasons why a learning culture is becoming increasingly important. The most important arguments at a glance.
Granted: The establishment of a learning culture is associated with effort and costs. In this context, however, employers should bear in mind that investing in one's own employees is always an investment in one's own company. In the competition for the Next big Thing, it makes the decisive difference whether a company has the right people with the right expertise to realize it. All the more reason for organisations to be concerned not only with attracting and retaining the best talents. They must also ensure that they are continuously developed.
So much for the ideal. However, many companies are still a long way from achieving this goal. At work, the acquisition of knowledge often encounters obstacles such as stress, time pressure and fear of failure. This, in turn, is detrimental to a good corporate culture and should definitely be avoided.
For a learning culture to fully develop its positive impact on the corporate culture, it must be balanced. In other words, learning must not be squeezed between other to do's as an additional stressor. Staff must be given room. It should also be fun to acquire and maintain new knowledge.
What does learning on the model require?
„It’s highly likely that leaders will have to shed their authority-based, top-down, directive approach and show humility, even vulnerability, in acknowledging that they are not fully in control of circumstances and do not have all the answers. Their job is to release the power of collective learning through collaboration and shaping the organizational context, while modeling the behaviors they wish to see in others.”
For example, with a training course in the field of leadership that comprises six modules. It gives managers the tools they need to optimise their communication, but also to lead their teams authentically, visionarily, understandingly and efficiently - all in the spirit of a modern learning culture.
In these areas, the Swiss Mobile Academy is at your side with help and practical advice. We offer courses, learning materials and pedagogical methods tailored to the needs of today's and tomorrow's world of work. We help you to create up-to-date digital teaching materials and provide you with our Swiss Made technology.
This is why e-learning is often associated with high dropout rates and a lack of motivation. From the point of view of learning psychology, we know that human contact in learning scenarios creates attachment and thus higher motivation, relevance and stamina. This is also possible in the mobile online environment.
If learners are provided with time-shifted or real-time exchange opportunities in online scenarios, these are often used profitably. The common social exchange helps to overcome existing mental hurdles. At the same time it shows that the individual is not alone with his or her ideas, approaches or difficulties. This sense of community strengthens the stamina immensely. All in all, this is perceived as a more human-centric form of learning, even if it happens online. At the same time, learners benefit from the advantages associated with e-learning: Learning at any time and in any place - and very goal-oriented. No travel, no loss of time on the job. Try it out!