A huge challenge in the world of learning and development is the cultivation of a learning culture – creating an environment where learners are passionate about the information and want to learn, apply what they’ve learned, and even share what they’ve learned. But how does one go about instilling and maintaining this culture? It’s not as simple as just having training available, or even just about making sure every member of your organization has completed 100% of their assignments (although those things help, too). Here are some tips to keep in mind while trying to take on this important and rewarding task.
Make it Easy and Fun
This might be the most difficult thing about instilling a learning culture: how do you make the experience fun and easy? The easy part is, well, the easy part! Make sure that it’s not cumbersome for learners to access their training. For example, you can put a link to the LMS somewhere your learners will see it. Whether that place is their learner portal or your company website, the fewer steps between turning on a computer or mobile device and starting the training, the better. And once they’re there, they should know exactly what to do.
So how else can you bring the “fun” into your training? Harness your learners’ competitive nature by integrating leaderboard functionality! You can pit departments, teams or locations against each other in a healthy competition to win the most points through completing training events. This has a dual benefit because you are also facilitating team-building by creating a common goal for these groups of learners.
You can also consider adding gamification elements to your training in order to pique learner’s interest and make learning more entertaining! Check out our blog “You Have Become Better at eLearning! (100)*” to learn more about ways you can integrate game-type elements into your training.
Gamification elements such as achievements can help to motivate and excite your learners while encouraging content mastery.
Give Learners the Tools they need to Take Ownership
Once learners can easily access their training and you’ve added in some fun elements, one of the best ways to continue cultivating a learning culture is to give them the tools they’ll need to succeed and continue learning.
A dashboard that they can easily access and view what they need to complete next and when it needs to be completed is a great start. Reports for managers to keep an eye on their learners are a great way to hold everyone accountable – part of instilling a learning culture is removing the barriers and excuses like “how do I know where my learners are at in the learning journey?”
Recommending training and communicating what is available are both important as well. The wider the variety of training, the more likely someone might be interested in taking it – and recommendations about what a learner might need to complete in order to advance in the organization can go a long way. Turnover at the lower levels of an organization can be an issue, but one of the solutions can be letting learners know that there are avenues through which to move up and pointing out how to get there.
Example of a Student Dashboard from our Cognition Learning & Development Platform. Students get a summary of their training, outstanding tasks, and reminders of upcoming sessions. They can also view recommended courses based off of their job and current training.
Opportunity to Set Expectations
Any communication to learners is an opportunity to convey two things: your organization’s brand and culture, and your company’s expectations. Oftentimes those two aspects of your organization are the similar, or they tie closely into one another. The installation of a learning culture can be an opportunity to emphasize your organization’s culture as it stands, or it can be an opportunity to communicate new standards, directions, or values of the organization.
It can be as simple as a mascot that summarizes new initiatives in training and points out how the initiatives tie into the company’s core tenants. Opportunities to communicate directly to individual members of the workforce are invaluable and don’t happen every day. Don’t lose the chance to show how valuable they are to your organization.
It Pays Off
Replacing and training new learners is oftentimes the priciest aspect of running any organization. When you create a learning culture, you foster engagement along with organizational loyalty, and you create a pathway for learners to advance themselves and their careers through learning. Establishing a learning culture illustrates to your learners how much you are willing to invest in them.
You got this! If you need support figuring out just how to get this all started, give us a call or send us an email. We can help strategize based on your organization’s needs and get you on the path to learning culture takeover!