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Creating a learning culture

colleagues sat round table in office listening to one colleague standing and speaking to the group

As an organization are you interested in attracting top talent? In growing your business? Providing your employees, the tools they need to be successful? If you are than you need to create a learning-centred work culture.

Our reAmrit Saroyacent ITSM and PPM benchmarking surveys showed some interesting findings about the contradictions from employers and individuals when it comes to continual learning.

For organizations the challenges that they want to address including increasing visibility across projects within teams, breaking down siloed working, focusing on the needs of the customer and greater collaboration. And yet there seemed to be little evidence to suggest that the organizations were creating the learning culture that would tackle these challenges. Only 26% of our ITSM respondents valued their organizations learning structures and most actually found these structures to be a hindrance to their ability to develop new skills and knowledge.

This is a problem. Organizations will never overcome their challenges if they don’t implement a culture that enables their workforce to learn.

Let’s look at the learning types of your workforce. In the ITSM industry 39% identified as pragmatists and 35% as activists. For the PPM industry 39% saw themselves as pragmatists and 29% as activists.

What’s the difference?

Pragmatists like to put their learning into practice and try out new ideas. They like to take the time to think about how to apply what they know in reality, through interactive and problem-based learning, using case studies and discussions.

Activists learn by doing. They take an open-minded approach to learning, involving themselves in new experiences, trying to solve problems through brainstorming, discussion, roleplay and interactivity.

Does your organization enable these learning styles? If not don’t panic. You can very easily and quickly start to put in place activities that will enable your employees to learn and help you solve some of your organizational challenges.

5 steps to build a learning culture:

  1. Share information
    How many times have you heard the complaint ‘I didn’t know’. This is at the heart of siloed working and a lack of collaboration. If teams aren’t sharing information with each other and the wider business this will continue. Implement lunch and learn sessions, ask employees to share their experiences through the company intranet, reward employees for sharing their knowledge.

  2. Reflect and learn
    This is integral to agile working and one of the reasons why agile is being adopted by so many organizations. Teams share their experiences, reflecting on what went well and what they would improve in the future. These lessons can then be used in future activities.

  3. Listen and act
    Your employees are your greatest resource. They have valuable knowledge and experience about your business, your processes and your customers. They know what works and what doesn’t. Listen to their feedback and then act on it!

  4. Don’t play the blame game
    If you always blame your employees when things go wrong people will stop telling you when it happens. This means the problem grows and soon becomes a barrier to success. Transparency is key. Enable your employees to own up to mistakes and then empower them to fix them!

  5. Listen to the customer
    Your customers are your most important stakeholder and their views need to be heard. Your employees should know what your customer likes/dislikes, what satisfies them and what frustrates them. Let them share this with you and work together to deliver a greater service.

This week, AXELOS is celebrating Learning at Work Week. Take a look at our Learn While You Earn campaign page to see how we support professional development.

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