Companies that don’t keep up with the times will quickly find themselves behind the times, and this is where building a learning culture comes in.

Not only should companies keep abreast of trends in the work world, but they should also ensure that their employees are prepared with the latest skills available. This type of company learning culture develops capable and confident employees who are always developing and who have the ability to easily adapt to new technologies while also growing professionally and personally. 

As technology advances at an accelerated rate, it’s essential for companies to make certain that their workforce is armed with the skills and tools they need to remain competitive.

Learning and training are not one-off elements taking place over a few hours or a few days in a classroom. The best companies with the best employees build ongoing training and development into their foundation. It’s seen as a regular thing, not a novelty or a few days away from regular work tasks.

This doesn’t mean just a refresher or updated training on new software — although this is important and shouldn’t be overlooked — but it should also take into account new techniques for communication, sales, marketing, and recruiting, for example.

Here are a few ways to encourage a learning culture in the workplace:

  • Invest in learning initiatives and training staff. Don’t just slide by — delivering the same old courses. Keep looking for and take advantage of new training courses, such as Velsoft’s Skills You Need for Workplace Success, and other opportunities out there.
  • Skill enhancement should be something employees want to do. When a staff member actively seeks out training, there’s a much better chance that they will retain the knowledge. Organic interest is one of the best predictors of skills retention: simply put, people remember stuff they are interested in.
  • Incentivize corporate education through promotions or bonuses. Set aside time for training that gives employees a break from their routine rather than adding to their daily workload.
  • Lead by example: As a supervisor or manager, learn new things and then present them to staff.
  • When employees learn new skills, arrange for them teach others, like the fabled US Navy Top Gun fighter weapons school where chosen pilots learn advanced skills and then return to their units to share those skills with colleagues.
  • Provide a variety of training options: Present instructor-led courses or offer asynchronous e-learning programs that any worker can fit into their schedule, no matter how busy they are. Make sure to allow time for them to participate in these training courses. This flexible approach is vital for work-from-home employees who may be working totally different hours, or who may be located in a totally different time-zone than in-house staff.
  • In the new workplace where employees may carry out various different tasks during the run of a day, give them the employee development support they need to effectively make the transition between tasks. If they’re working on billing one minute and then writing a job ad the next, ensure they completely understand the requirements of each task. Then they will do them well and the company will benefit from a job that’s done properly.

When employees think they know it all, and there’s nothing new to be learned, a company can easily become stagnant and get left behind. Don’t let that happen to your company and your employees. Lifelong learning is the solution.