Lack of training can manifest itself as internal business issues resulting in employee retention issues, inability to meet clients’ needs, poor employee productivity resulting in low employee morale, and project delays. Investing in training seems like a logical solution; however, it is quickly the first item to get cut from budgets.
Organizations need to be continually working towards a “Learning Culture.” This isn’t something that happens over night or without planning and intention. While it all sounds good on the surface, as managers and employees get bogged down in the day to day work, the learning culture is quickly forgotten. The rapidly changing business environment, however, necessitates that all employees be lifelong learners.
Businesses should work to make employees aware that their personal development is important. Opportunities to attend courses or online classes to develop functional and technical skills, in addition to management skills should be encouraged on individual development plans. If employees aren’t held accountable in their development plans, the learning culture will not succeed. In the same vain, managers should be held accountable for their direct reports’ learning.
With the high cost of some forms of training, there are some low to no budget remedies to stimulate a continuous learning environment within your company:
Talent Knowledge Sharing – Those who have expertise in an area or recently attended an outside conference or seminar can train others. Not only will co-workers benefit from the knowledge sharing, but this will pay dividends in terms of the sharing employee’s career enhancing and advancing!
Information Sharing – New product launches on the horizon? Updated workflow process to share? Use informal lunch and learns or build time into your staff meeting agendas with an internal guest speaker to share the information. This doesn’t always have to be a whole big “thing”, but can be a short snippet of meeting.
Peer to Peer training – Skill building opportunities arise when two peers are partnered to deliver a training session. The newer member of the team may feel more confident delivering the topic with a co-worker and it helps to instill teamwork and coaching skills. For the more senior employee, it give them an opportunity to mentor and teach.
What additional ideas has your company used to enhance its learning culture?