As Remote Learning Persists, Companies Shift From “A Culture of Learning” To “Learning as Culture”
As businesses have experienced a prolonged period in which all or part of their workforce is homebound, a proactive and engaging approach to distance learning can set the tone for company culture – often filling the gaps created by distancing and separation from the physical hub of the organization.
In recent years, a growing number of companies have adopted a mindset of having a “culture of learning” as one of their internal and external values. But what does it mean to create and support a learning culture? According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review article, a culture of learning is “a culture that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge, and shared learning directed toward the mission and goals of the organization.”
As businesses and workforces have experienced a fundamental shift in the reality of daily interactions, significant pressure has been placed upon corporate culture. The risk created by disruption of this magnitude is that culture may be set adrift, blurred by uncertainty. Having to adapt to persistent waves of change in their daily work dynamic has, in many instances, led employees to feel isolated and detached from the company culture that they were accustomed to not that long ago.
From an employee development perspective:
- Do you have a finger on the pulse of this impact?
- Can you gauge which of your employees feel isolated or insecure about their ability to adjust to new ways of working?
- Have you begun to identify which team members are struggling to learn new skills to support productivity in a virtual work environment?
During this transformation to distanced engagement, learning has become the catalyst for culture, and a defining factor in how companies demonstrate their commitment to supporting and caring for their workforce. This new mindset of “Learning as Culture” goes well beyond semantics. In practice, it underscores the importance of ensuring the relevance of learning, development, and reskilling programs to your team. By measuring the level of engagement learners are exhibiting and using analytics to understand the areas where programs are making a positive impact or where they are underperforming, a new level of learning personalization becomes possible. Personalized learning is another key indicator of corporate commitment to learning as culture, as it is a clear signal that the company not only values learning, but also values an employee’s individual learning and development, especially during challenging times.
In a time when most of us are longing for stronger attachment and a sense of connection, L&D can move to the forefront in answering the call by orchestrating omnipresent, highly relevant, innovative and individually-tailored learning as culture.