Our century-old workforce model of “learn, work, retire” will soon be a thing of the past. It used to be common for people to work at the same job doing the same thing for years — even decades. But today’s rapidly evolving world demands its workforce to evolve alongside it or risk falling behind.
In a recent article for Forbes, innovation strategist Lital Marom discussed why creating a culture of learning within your workplace is key to thriving in the future of work. It helps solve the talent crisis that many companies are facing today.
Harvard Business Publishing, Lital writes, has reported that 54% of the workforce will need upskilling or reskilling by 2025, with the PWC 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey showing that CEOs believe skills shortages will threaten their companies’ growth.
“It is not necessarily workers that are in short supply,” Lital writes, “but rather workers with the necessary skill sets to propel organizations into the future.”
Fostering a culture of learning within an organization seeks to solve this by empowering employees to fill the gaps impacting their ability to do their job well in this new world of work.
How to Build a Culture of Learning
Lital shared five ways to start building a culture of learning within your workplace, which begins with understanding how people learn and leaning into a learner-driven model.
1) Personalize the Learning Experience
The Internet has greatly influenced how people learn. “People,” Lital writes, “have become accustomed to learning what they need, when they need it, and in a way that works for them.”
Lital recommends that leaders consider and capitalize on the many diverse ways of learning available today, and provide guidance to employees to ensure what they are learning is relevant to the organization’s needs.
“The key to success is in aligning organizational needs and learning resources with employees’ interests and development needs,” she writes.
2) Make Learning a Habit
To keep up with change, learning must be proactive, not reactive, Lital says. She recommends turning learning into a habit by making it easy, accessible, and meaningful.
“Gently remind employees about learning opportunities through daily feeds,” Lital suggests, “allow people to see what their peers are learning, and recommend and set goals and deadlines for training.”
She also recommends that leaders check-in with their teams to ensure what they’re learning aligns with their skills gap, and support them by providing the right tools and enough time to achieve their goals.
3. Socialize Learning
Learning is enhanced through social situations. It’s how we learned in school, and continues through adulthood as we work in teams at work and engage in online groups or clubs on our personal time.
Lital recommends that organizations invest in creating systems that enhance learning through social opportunities, such as coordinating groups and promoting content sharing, facilitating online collaboration and discussion, and coordinating learning events or mentorship programs.
“Ultimately,” Lital writes, “folks in leadership positions are the social directors of learning for the organization.”
4. Create Learner-Driven Experiences
Research shows that employees want to learn. Leaders can capitalize on this by providing employees with learning opportunities that speak to their personal and professional goals as well as the needs of the organization, Lital writes.
5. Measure Progress
Lital recommends that leaders assess skills gaps on an ongoing basis by asking employees to rate their skills and comparing their answers to how their managers rate them. This can help leaders measure progress while also inform future areas of learning.
Despite concern about a looming talent crisis, Lital says, it’s evident that self-driven learning is at an all-time high. And now, it’s up to leaders to learn how to use this for the betterment of their organizations.
“It is incumbent on leadership teams to harness employees’ interests and goals and guide them in a direction that matches the organization’s needs,” Lital writes.
A thought leader on agile business processes, digital transformation, and the future of work, Lital Marom is an expert at helping organizations unlock the potential of their business by leveraging emerging technologies and new business models.
Interested in learning more about Lital and what she can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].