By: Rachael Hunter – July 2015
The current buzzword from the learning and development world lately seems to be‘continuous learning’, but what does that mean for your organisation, exactly? It’s all well and good to have ongoing training programs and a variety of curricula for your employees to follow, but unless they are willing participants in the learning process, your success in implementing a culture that positively embraces training will be quite limited. If you really want to have success in establishing a culture that positively embraces training, you have to model the behaviour from the top down.
First of all, as a manager, you should recognise the benefits in having a culture that truly embraces learning, as a workplace that does that will have employees that:
- Easily adapt;
- Anticipates change well;
- Are more responsive to changes in the marketplace;
- Become more goal-oriented and loyal;
- Grow through innovation.
This sounds great; however, promoting this mindset can be easier said than done, particularly because the people in management may not be aware of exactly how to implement a culture that embraces learning instead of simply telling employees they must take professional development courses. Dictating to employees doesn’t work; they need to be willing participants in their own learning experience, not have their requirements to learn forced upon them. Therefore, to be effective, you need to ensure that training is encouraged at all levels of the organisation. Managers should be undertaking training on a regular basis as the personnel within their realm of responsibility. Training should also occur on a regular basis.
It’s through regular learning and training that all levels of an organisation can come to view their world a little bit differently and come to realise that working in an environment that emphasises continuous learning allows people to grow and become increasingly dynamic. This will, in turn, benefit the organisation as a whole. Employees who are encouraged to become dynamic, well-rounded members of an organisation will be the ones who are encouraged to be creative, to think and to embrace the learning that their management has encouraged them to take.
The other benefit of adopting a global approach to learning and training is that employees may be inspired to reach new heights within their organisation. It’s often said that we model the behaviour of those we are inspired by. What better inspiration towards a view that embraces learning and training than management? By seeing that management is also engaged in the training process, employees can’t help but be inspired to embrace it themselves, as they will realise this is not simply a trend that their managers are following blindly. By demonstrating that managers are also engaged in the organisation’s training program, employees can realise that their organisation is one that does not simply pay lip service to ideas. Employees will come to embrace the same ideas that their managers are – that training and learning are necessary components for the betterment of an organisation!
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