L&D professionals are constantly challenged with the dynamic organizational environment. The needs and requirements of learners keep changing and with that the method of facilitating knowledge transfer needs to change accordingly. They have to make a conscious effort to develop a learning culture in the organization. How can they achieve this?
Enable learning as an opportunity for personal development: With the shift from training to learning the focus has shifted from the trainer to the learner. We no longer emphasize on what the trainer needs to teach but focus on what the learner needs to learn. Thus L&D professionals need to drive home the point that their efforts are geared towards providing employees opportunities to enhance their skills which in turn help them grow professionally and personally. They take eLearning courses not because the L&D department has directed them to do so, but because they see it as a way forward towards personal growth and development.
Provide learning communities and platforms: L&D professionals can create virtual learning communities within the organization to encourage peer-to-peer interaction and learning. They can reward and recognize employees who contribute to the learning community and facilitate learning relationships within the organization. There are many instances in the corporate world how organizations have benefited from such informal learning initiatives.
Include learning goals as a part of the job description: Many organizations include completing stipulated courses as a part of the employee induction program. Taking this a bit further, L&D managers can include short-term and long-term learning goals as a part of the job description of the employee. This sets clear cut goals for the employees and steers him towards a learning mindset.
Encourage innovative ideas and efforts: Employees can improvise on existing systems or methods in an organization. Such attempts even if not significant should be encouraged as you never know when this might lead to a bigger discovery or break-through. It also encourages others in the team to follow suit and make their own set of discoveries which is beneficial for an organization to perform better.
Learning is an ongoing process – be it professionally or personally. However, individuals vary in their perceptions about learning and that poses a challenge to L&D professionals and organizations who wish to foster a learning culture within their organization. However, if learning is more collaborative where employees at all levels become co-learners, there may be less resistance and more acceptance to learning.