You need a learning culture in your organization if…
The amount and complexity of knowledge and skills that each employee needs to learn is increasing. Any job that is relatively simple and repetitive is being automated (e.g., taxi scheduler; bank teller; helpdesk rep) and even some higher skill jobs are being taken over by artificial intelligence (AI) (e.g., package mailing and delivery; automobile transportation; health assessment). To do the complex jobs that remain, people will have to be smarter, more creative, and more engaged than ever.
Employees need to quickly learn new information, new skills, and develop new abilities. The software and hardware that workers need to use changes constantly. Operating systems are updated, new apps make work easier and more efficient, and new ways of organizing work promise greater employee engagement and productivity. All of this constant change means that workers need to be learning anytime, anywhere, and on-demand. Learning has to be continuous and integrated into the worklife of the organization.
Current onboarding and training programs are not helping organizations achieve their business goals. Research puts the transfer of learning from formal training to the workplace at somewhere between 10% and 50% depending on the content and purpose of the training, and this low rate has little to do with the quality of instruction. We have no reason to believe that these statistics are any different in your organization. This means you are wasting time, money, and effort on a method of learning that has little payoff. It’s not about creating better training; it’s about creating a mindset and an environment that supports learning in all of the activities of your organization.
The pace of change is preventing your company from competing effectively in the marketplace. New products and services are coming on the market every day that challenge the sustainability of your business. You need employees who are creative, innovative, and willing to take risks and experiment. This means learning! Your employees need to be developing creativity and innovativeness and learning from their mistakes and their successes. And you need leaders who support this risk-taking and encourage people to learn from these experiences and apply that learning to creating new products and services.
A multi-generational and multi-cultural workforce is a challenge to maintaining employee engagement and productivity. You may have as many as four generations of employees working together. And you likely have many different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. This means wide diversity in experience, thought, and ways in which they approach their work and solve problems. While this diversity is potentially good for your organization, the implications for learning are significant. Employees need to learn how to work together effectively, the organization needs to learn how to keep these different employees engaged in their work, and leaders need to learn how to get the best out of a range of workers with different needs and expectations. Being unresponsive to these differences will prevent you from retaining the best talent.