In my last post, I mentioned the importance of implementing learning cultures to develop employability. However, it would be an illusion to think that simply by giving this injunction, a leader would transform all his staff into highly creative creatures! This question about the development of learning cultures is not a new one! What often makes it come back, however, is that CEOs do not necessarily have the concrete tools to create a learning culture.
Fostering a learning environment requires, a number of proven concepts in adult education, but which are ultimately quite simple to implement. Here are some things to try.
Stimulate collective intelligence and participation
Whatever method you use, the more you encourage people to become transformers, the more you can create change. Once psychological security has been established, involve, ask, challenge, in particular through open-ended questions. Demand (gently!) concrete, practical, contextualized solutions! This dialogue is made possible in particular by engagement surveys leading to focus groups, which will provide qualitative insights. Then use these tools to open constructive discussion and encourage the teams to make concrete proposals: empowerment is also one of the keys to engagement.
Pleasant emotions foster curiosity and enthusiasm, while unpleasant emotions block learning. Develop an environment that is safe enough for error to be used as an opportunity for improvement. Why not take inspiration from the US Army’s “AAR*” process, for example?
Mentors all over the place
Reverse mentoring and mentoring are among the techniques employees use to learn. By creating intergenerational support groups, learning is richer and new perspectives emerge. Senior-junior tandems are proving to be effective methods for developing skills.
Make learning more accessible
New technologies have been gradually integrated into continuing education. And for good reason! The smartphone is an essential learning tool. Pedagogical innovation also makes it possible to develop a culture based on new modern approaches: MOOC*, e‑learning, mobile learning. With m‑learning, employees can learn anywhere, anytime. If you add social learning to it, you get the sharing of knowledge and experience between peers.
Augment the approach through group learning
In 1944, a group of students who had participated in training scenarios proposed to Kurt Lewin, Founder of American Social Psychology. Lewin discovered that learning is greatly facilitated by the combination of concrete experience and analytical perspective on it. After a learning experience, participants discuss what happened: the data is then analyzed and the conclusions returned to the participants, with the aim of taking them into account for a future experience, and being able to improve it. This is now called the Lewin feedback process. This mechanism is fundamental to anchoring learning!
It’s always about balance
Technological tools will probably never replace the power of otherness and group exchange. On the other hand, they have a key role to play in supporting the establishment of work environments focused on lifelong learning. Continuous learning that ultimately only requires to be initiated by a first action: to decide.