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Embrace Learning


...organizations with strong cultures of learning can attract top talent, engage and retain employees, and boost performance and personal satisfaction.

(Tenney)


Fortunately, most organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of developing a positive learning culture, however, most organizations still don't have a good understanding of how to create this culture. Often the answer is simply to require training, but making someone watch hours of videos is NOT a positive learning culture leading to growth. A first step leaders could take is simply to embrace learning of their staff.



What does it mean for organizational leaders to embrace learning?

Recognize that employees are learning all the time, and, most often, it is on their own. Notice the way your team is already learning, and acknowledge it. For example, if you see an impressive new table in a presentation, watch an employee handle a customer with grace, etc. tell them you noticed they did something new, and ask them how they figured that out. Most likely they googled a question, watched a YouTube video or collaborated with colleagues. Let them know you appreciate them figuring out how to improve on their own.



Why do leaders need to embrace learning?

As leaders acknowledge the learning that employees are already are doing and give value to the learning employees are doing on their own, employees will see that learning is valued, and they will seek more opportunities to learn and share their learning with others. By embracing the myriad of forms in which learning happens, staff will become more engaged and will give more back to the organization.



How can leaders embrace learning?

  • Share Opportunities with Staff

Keep on the lookout for training opportunities that can benefit your staff and share these opportunities. YouTube videos, articles, webinars, are all great learning opportunities which should not be discounted.

  • Ask Staff to Share


Encourage staff to share what they have learned. For example, if they learned a cool new trick with PowerPoint or found a great article, they can share and then solidify their own learning.

  • Create a platform to share learning

You can email your team, but if you use a platform like Slack or Teams, you can create a channel to collect and organize your team's learning.

  • Acknowledge Learning

We know that specific positive feedback is the most effective, so practice that form in acknowledging what employees are learning. For example, "I noticed you learned how to make a pivot table and now it is so much easier to make sense of the data."



Action Steps

Notice and acknowledge at least one thing a staff member has learned on their own recently.






References
  1. “The Manager’s Guide to a Positive Learning Culture | Degreed Blog.” Degreed Blog, 31 Jan. 2022, blog.degreed.com/manager-guide-positive-learning-culture/. Accessed 16 Sept. 2022.

  2. Tenney, Matt. “Why a Learning Culture Is so Important for Success.” Business Leadership Today - the Resource for Leaders Working to Build and Sustain World-Class Teams and Organizations in Today’s Business Environment., 2 Aug. 2022, businessleadershiptoday.com/why-a-learning-culture-is-so-important-for-success/. Accessed 16 Sept. 2022.




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