by Susan Jeffrey
10 Jun 2019
Why your company needs a learning culture
Most companies offer learning, but too often it’s limited to compliance or the occasional day-long training session. In a tough business climate, companies need to offer learning opportunities that help them remain competitive (especially against large organizations). In order to make training more effective and ensure long-term survival, it is essential to institute a learning culture! Check out three reasons that a learning culture helps employee and organizations thrive:
High performers are made, not hired
Past performance is the biggest reason that candidates become new hires, but to help them become true rock stars, stakeholders should create a learning culture that teaches “soft skills,” like how to have tough conversations, improve decision making skills, etc. The benefits to this are two-fold: 1) they’re role-agnostic, meaning they’re applicable to any job or department, regardless of whether an employee is in marketing, IT, finance, etc., and 2) they encourage increased communication, break down silos, and improve overall efficiency. The benefit to a learning culture can be seen on the bottom line: companies with a more thorough commitment to learning “achieve higher productivity and profits levels compared to the other companies in their segment.”
Strengthen your recruiting edge against larger companies
Nearly every company offers training in some capacity (a document about password formatting technically counts as training), but a culture based around learning increases workforce retention and is also a primary factor in attracting Millennials. A PWC survey found that among younger workers, 35% say a company’s training and development programs were most important to their job search. Overall, 70% of workers say they had to leave their company to advance their careers. A learning culture ensures you’ll be able to attract and keep workers long term.
Nearly 52% percent of Millennials say career progression was the most important factor in choosing an employer, so instituting a learning culture will make organizations more attractive to this group and reduce overall recruiting pains. This frees up HR teams to become more of a strategic driver of organizational goals. Millennials can leverage learning initiatives to prep them for more senior roles or make a lateral jump to a different career path that better suits their needs. If your company’s learning culture doesn’t address the broader needs of workers, they’ll look for one that does.
Learning is critical for every company, but for SMBs, the better investment is in creating a true culture of learning. This helps employees reach their full potential and builds an environment where employees can enjoy increased career mobility. SMBs can also leverage a learning culture to better build and retain their workforce.
Jason Silberman, eLearing Industry, April 5, 2013, "How Continuous Employee Learning Helps Boost Performance", https://elearningindustry.com/how-continuous-employee-learning-helps-boost-performance.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, "Millennials at Work", https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/financial-services/publications/assets/pwc-millenials-at-work.pdf.
Bonusly, George Dickson, May 29, 2019, "20 Surprising Employee Retention Statistics You Need to Know" , http://blog.bonus.ly/10-surprising-employee-retention-statistics-you-need-to-know.