Are you using your employees to the best of their abilities? If you see their knowledge base and skills as static, you may be missing out on an excellent opportunity to improve operational productivity, scale your business, retain the best employees and more.
Creating a culture of learning in your workplace may be viewed as a perk or a benefit to some managers, but it should be an essential component associated with running a successful business.
The bottom line is that the world is not stagnant. Between technology, business management concepts, innovative equipment and much more, your situation is constantly changing. Your workforce must constantly improve to keep pace.
Without further ado, let’s see why it always pays off to form a stronger learning culture in your organization, and how to do it.
Why an Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest?
A mid-size business with 100 to 500 employees spends less than six minutes of time training and developing employees, and they do it every six months. More than that, research further shows that almost three out of four individuals did not feel as though their talents and skills were being properly utilized.
Everyone wants to be good at their job, that sense of accomplishment motivates and further engages the employees.
Consider that one-third of all workers leave a company after less than a year of employment, and approximately 70 percent of those that leave say that the amount of training and development they received at a company influenced their decision to look for employment elsewhere.
You can see that failing to adopt a culture of learning can be detrimental to your ability to retain top talent as well as to keep pace with a rapidly changing business environment.
How much does it cost you to find, hire, and ramp up new personnel? A good learning culture will not only speed up the on boarding process or career development plan for an employee, but it will positively impact your company’s finances in many ways.
The cost of providing regular development opportunities to your employees may be negligible compared to the return that it can provide.
Your company’s learning culture should begin with a solid on boarding process, and it should continue with quality education and support provided throughout each employee’s time with the company.
Your company may enjoy substantial financial benefits as a result of your focus and attention in this area.
In fact, these are some of the primary benefits that your company may experience when you focus on creating a culture of learning and development in your workplace.
1. Motivated Employees Will Stick Around
When you create a culture of learning in your workplace, your employees may feel more valued. They feel as though they are progressing in their career because they are actively improving their skills and knowledge in relevant areas.
Furthermore, a culture of learning generally encourages employees to share their ideas and to actively improve. By doing so, these employees feel more connected to the company and as though their daily efforts are making an important difference.
In a Middlesex survey, 74 percent of employees stated that they did not believe that they were working at their full potential in their positions because of a lack of employer-provided development opportunities.
You can see that this may directly result in high turnover, and this can be expensive for companies to endure. From indirectly losing money with bottlenecks and operational difficulties, it can also cost a small fortune for companies to locate, recruit and train the right individuals for openings.
A critical component of motivating employees and encouraging them to remain with the company is education and development.
Employees want to learn and grow, and they may wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to do so. More than that, they may value their position in the company and see themselves as more valuable to the company as a result.
2. Creativity and Innovation Increase and Reinforce Success
In some companies, employees are expected to simply complete their assigned tasks in the manner that they were trained to do so.
There is no room for innovation or improvement, and those who question the status quo are frowned upon. Unfortunately, this type of work environment is stale and likely will not have satisfied, engaged workers. It may also lag in terms of embracing innovations.
A learning culture gives each employee the opportunity to work up to their potential.
Because these employees are constantly developing new skills and learning new concepts, their potential increases over time, and this is a huge benefit from the company. Word will eventually spread about your company’s learning culture, and you may find it easier to attract top talent as a result.
In a culture of learning where innovation and creativity are valued, employees are more likely to solve their own problems and to work independently. By being proactive and well-educated, they become more productive and efficient.
They may not wait around for someone to tell them how to proceed. Instead, they will get right to work and attempt to resolve any challenges that they run into.
3. A Learning Culture Can Revolutionize the Business
A discussion of a learning culture in business may not be complete without a closer look at how the automotive industry has embraced this line of thinking.
The most well-known aspect of innovation impacting the automotive industry is Ford’s introduction of the assembly line, which revolutionized auto manufacturing. This revolution then carried over to manufacturing across all other industries.
However, this is not the only example of how a learning culture in the auto industry has impacted businesses around the world. After Japan was decimated in World War II, Toyota’s leaders had to find a way to survive with minimal resources.
The necessity to improve evolved into the revolutionary Toyota Production System, or TPS.
Through TPS, a general goal is eliminating waste of resources and energy while improving products and promoting an excellent customer experience.
This business strategy wholeheartedly encourages employees to be creative and to participate openly in identifying improvements. TPS later evolved into what we now know as the Lean methodology.
The Lean methodology that arose from the auto industry is focused around the concept of kaizen or continuous improvement through employee engagement. A culture of learning is directly linked to lean methodology because it focuses on continuously improving employees’ skills while embracing technology. This methodology applies to all industries and all business sizes.
Developing a learning culture in your company can be beneficial in profound ways. With these facts in mind, analyze your company’s current culture and to look for value-adding ways to improve. There is always room for operational improvement.
How can you create a culture of learning in the work place?
- Keep employees motivated
- Promote creativity and innovation
- Learning culture can revolutionize business
About the author:
Lisa Michaels is a writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter .