While various factors could affect the adoption of eLearning by employees in your organization, the single-most important one could be the culture of your organization. Does your organization have a culture that fosters eLearning? Before you answer that question, maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself if your organization has a culture of Learning per se? That might seem like a somewhat rhetorical question given that in today’s competitive world, learning is the basis of survival. However, you might well be surprised at the findings. Sometime organizations that started on the right track with learning could easily end up stagnating and getting complacent along the way. So before you promote eLearning as a change initiative, you will need to critically examine the culture of your organization to see if it is geared towards learning at all. If it is not, the best of your promotion activities for adopting eLearning will die without a whimper. From our own experience in the field of training and development, we know that eLearning is most successful in companies that have a corporate culture built on a foundation of employee development and Continuous Professional Education (CPE).
A revolutionary eLearning culture cannot be created in a vacuum – it has to begin with changing the organizational culture. So how do you go about creating a culture of learning in general and eLearning in particular? The first step towards cultivating and nurturing any culture is being aware of the current culture. If you see potential problems in your organization about building a learning culture, get an action plan in place by partnering with strategic HR, Organization Development professionals, and Talent Management groups within your organization to start building a culture that promotes and rewards learning. Employees will soon see that not engaging in learning is not an option anymore and that the surest way to commit professional suicide is to stop learning. Once they see that learning is indispensible to adapt to new challenges and workplace demands; and to be able to survive and succeed, learning will begin to be a part of the DNA of the organization’s culture.
If you already have a culture of learning in place, that’s half the battle won. The other half is to now get in place a change management plan for adopting eLearning. Achieving a cultural shift is no easy task, but given the right focus and strategy, quite possible and adds great value. Yes, it cannot happen overnight. As with any other change initiative, it needs a well formulated plan that takes into account both the enablers of change as well as potential disablers.