How to foster a positive attitude toward learning in summary:

  • In this blog, we look at the importance of fostering a growth mindset within organisations, and how to encourage employees to view challenges as opportunities for learning and development.
  • We focus on the role HR plays in creating a supportive learning environment by providing resources, training programmes, and opportunities for continuous skill development and knowledge acquisition.
  • We also look at the significance of recognising and rewarding learning efforts, as well as providing constructive feedback, to motivate employees and reinforce a positive attitude towards learning throughout an organisation.

The World Economic Forum estimates that in the next five years, a staggering 23% of global jobs will be reshaped by new technologies like artificial intelligence.

Within that context, it’s clear that traditional, one-size-fits-all learning and development programmes simply won’t achieve what we need them to. In addition, the future of work demands a culture of continuous workplace learning, where employees are empowered and motivated to acquire new skills and knowledge.

How to foster a positive attitude toward learning Cezanne HR blog

But, that shift isn’t just about keeping pace with change; creating a learning culture within your company also offers many benefits:

  • Improved performance and innovation: A learning culture fosters a growth mindset. This leads to a more engaged workforce, better problem-solving skills, and a constant stream of creative ideas.
  • Attracting and retaining top talent: Top performers crave growth opportunities, and a learning culture is a beacon for them.
  • Happier and more productive employees: Research by LinkedIn shows that employees who learn on the job are significantly less likely to be stressed, more likely to feel productive and successful, and have a greater sense of well-being. A learning culture prioritises employee growth, consequently leading to a happier, more engaged workforce.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: When employees are constantly learning and improving, they’re better equipped to take care of customer needs. They can identify new markets and needs, understand customer behaviour, and develop innovative solutions that keep customers happy.
  • Developing future leaders: Strong leadership requires ongoing learning and development. A learning culture fosters loyalty, helps develop institutional knowledge, and equips employees with the skills to seamlessly step into leadership roles as the organisation evolves.

A learning culture won’t happen by accident

Creating a thriving learning culture requires a well-defined strategy and commitment from leadership. However, without leadership actively championing learning initiatives, they’ll struggle to gain traction.

To create a learning culture that will take the organisation forward, leadership needs to be vocal about the importance of learning, allocate resources, and create a safe space for experimentation and risk-taking. But, while HR should lead the way, C-level sponsorship is crucial for long-term success in creating a learning culture.

Added to that, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work. Employees have different learning styles, interests, and goals. The key is to offer a diverse range of learning options.

Cultivating a positive attitude to learning and company-wide learning culture: 4 steps

As an HR professional, you play a pivotal role in fostering a thriving learning culture within your organisation. Here are four key strategies you can implement to empower your employees’ continuous learning journey:

  1. Embracing curiosity and risk-taking: A key component is fostering a “failure-friendly” environment. Encourage employees to experiment, embrace challenges, and learn from mistakes. This growth mindset empowers employees to take ownership of their learning and approach new situations with confidence.
  2. Personalised development plans: Recognise that your people are unique. Effective learning plans should be tailored to individual strengths, weaknesses, and career aspirations. Work with employees to identify their goals and create a learning roadmap that helps them achieve them.
  3. Continuous and informal learning: The best learning happens seamlessly throughout the workday. Encourage knowledge sharing through coffee catch-ups, internal wikis, or dedicated Slack channels. Implement mentorship programmes where senior employees can share their expertise with less experienced colleagues.
  4. Technology as tour ally: The right learning management system (LMS) can empower your learning culture. Look for a platform that offers a comprehensive content library, coupled with the ability for your team to create custom training materials. This ensures easy access to high-quality learning materials, anytime, anywhere.

Cultivating a culture of continuous learning: Inspired by Google

Although Google offers traditional training programmes, the company’s true strength lies in fostering a culture of continuous learning that goes far beyond the classroom. Here’s how they’ve achieved this:

  • Empowering innovation through “20% time”: Google grants employees 20% of their workweek to pursue personal projects that spark their curiosity. This freedom has led to ground-breaking creations like Gmail and Google Maps, demonstrating the power of employee autonomy and exploration.
  • Learning from every experience: Failure isn’t feared at Google; it’s embraced as a valuable learning opportunity. Employees are encouraged to take calculated risks, knowing that setbacks provide valuable lessons for future success. This fosters a growth mindset and a willingness to experiment.
  • Building a knowledge-sharing network: Peer-to-peer learning is a big focus at Google. Platforms like Google Groups connect employees for information sharing and project collaboration.

The results speak for themselves. Google’s dedication to continuous learning has secured its place as a top workplace, consistently praised for its innovation. With a strong learning culture, your company could be next!

Click here to download our free guide on how to create the perfect employee learning programme

Kim Holdroyd author image

Kim Holdroyd

HR & Wellbeing Manager

Kim Holdroyd has an MSc in HRM and is passionate about all things HR and people operations, specialising in the employee life cycle, company culture, and employee empowerment. Her career background has been spent with various industries, including technology start-ups, gaming software, and recruitment.

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