3 Powerful Tips to Cultivate a Positive Corporate Learning Culture

In the corporate world, training is a necessity. Whether it is onboarding training for new hires, software training for a new system, or upskilling for a promotion, staff need ways to increase their knowledge. However, people don’t usually appreciate being forced to learn new things!  It can be intrusive, boring, and inconsistent. Part of a positive learning culture is overcoming these pre-conceived notions. If training is really an essential part of a business, shouldn’t it at least be enjoyable? Thankfully, there are ways to encourage a positive corporate learning culture, where employees expect to consistently learn new things to their benefit, in ways that are interesting and truly useful.  

Just in Time Training

If presented with the option to sit and listen to someone explaining training, or to work on a project you are passionate about, most people would probably choose the project.  

Just in Time training (JIT training) brings the convenience of learning a new topic wherever/whenever training is needed. Whether you need to freshen up on a skill on the road, or you’re running into roadblocks in your cubicle, JIT training allows you to find the answers you need when you need them. 

So, how does this help improve learning culture? By providing shorter and more to-the-point training to employees, you allow them to learn as they need to during the workday. This can benefit learning retention because instead of watching training they won’t need until “someday,” you are allowing employees to learn something and then immediately put it to use!   

Bigger Brains offers several avenues for JIT training.  Mini-courses, such as the Brain Bites series are information-dense but under 45 minutes. The …in 30 Minutes courses offer a way to focus on one function of an App. All Bigger Brains courses are searchable for that one bit of information you just cannot seem to remember when you need it! And of course, Bigger Brains courses are available wherever, whenever you are, on whatever device you choose! 

Three people in a learning culture at their place of employment

Don’t Invest in Talking Heads

“Oh no, make it stop”! That goes through many an employee’s heads when faced with many online/video training courses. The talking head, the lack of interaction, the sameness of the voice/movement/phrasing.  Many training courses make it easy to tune out, even fall asleep. Bigger Brains courses combat this with a unique teacher/learner format that simulates interaction. Learners ask questions, examples are shared and discussed, practice files walk you through the steps, handouts are available to refer to. You can stop and go as needed; search it later (for a JIT experience!)  Many courses also come with the BrainBot retention booster that assists learners with retaining the training later.  

Giving your staff interesting online learning along with shadowing, mentoring, live sessions, and workshop options, will show that you care about how they see training and can best learn. 

Be Aware of Busy Seasons and Off the Clock Necessity

When scheduling training, it can be easy to plan due dates around when you think things should be completed. While this may work for some smaller businesses, it is important to consider all department schedules before making mandatory training due dates. 

For example, a company that focuses on selling back-to-school supplies is going be marketing-focused during the summer season. If you were an L&D manager in charge of buying and scheduling training for this business, you probably wouldn’t want to schedule mandatory training during the summer. Why not? During the busy times for different departments, stress levels are usually already rising for the employees working in that department. Adding additional mandatory work on their already large loads is a perfect way to burn out employees.

It is important to note that busy seasons may change depending on what your company does. In that same way, these rush periods may change depending on the department within the organization. As a learning and development manager, it is important to sit down with department heads and ask them to keep you updated on high and low-stress periods throughout the year. This can help improve communication throughout the company and help employees feel heard and appreciated.  

Additionally, employees are people too. Work-related training should be done within the hours of an employee’s workday, and not something that follows them home. When you assign employees “homework” to complete on their days off or after their workday, you strip them of the ability to have a balanced work and home life. Consequently, this might make employees feel disrespected, the perfect reason for them to start considering a new job. 

Encourage Staff Feedback

On the topic of communication, learning culture can drastically improve in a company simply by encouraging employee feedback. Knowing how employees feel about training programs or assigned courses can help a company improve their employee satisfaction in the long term. 

What kind of feedback should a L&D manager look for? All of it! Whether an employee says they prefer a live expert explaining new software, or they explain that they are hands-on learners and would rather learn new topics by shadowing another employee, managers need to be responsive. Additionally, if an employee is already confident in their skillset regarding software (and they have not shown this to be false), maybe they don’t need to go through training for those same skills.  

General feedback can seem overwhelming at first, but it helps you understand your employees and what they need to help them grow. It is important to make sure that employee feedback is heard and acted upon. If employees provide feedback but it is never acted upon, it shows employees that their opinions aren’t important enough to warrant a change.  

A Bonus to a Positive Corporate Learning Culture

These strategies will help with employee retention. Additionally, employees will be able to find answers quickly, learn without having to go to a supervisor, or participate in a large group where they might not thrive.  They have a say. It is learning on their terms. Show them you care about helping them up the ladder! 

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