6 Tips to Foster a Culture of Learning
Great organizations foster a culture of continuous learning. Our ever-changing business world requires our organizations to demonstrate agility in order to remain relevant. As leaders, we set the tone, model the way and put strategies in place that encourage continuous growth and development.
Check out some ideas to foster a culture of continuous learning in your organization:
1. Model the way. Devote time away from the “whirlwind” of your day-to-day operations to reflect on lessons learned. Be vulnerable and admit your mistakes. Set a vision of success and continually challenge yourself and others. Encourage your team to celebrate a job well done but without becoming complacent or blind to opportunities for improvement.
2. Read together. Consider hosting a lunch-hour book club. Choose books on topics related to your people strategy and business goals (e.g., motivation, giving feedback, navigating change, teamwork, etc.). Come together once a week to discuss what you’re learning and ways to apply or test out your theories.
Some of our favorite books to consider: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Good to Great by Jim Collins and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
3. Co-create Individual Development Plans. Meet with your team members quarterly to learn more about their goals and ambitions and to discuss how you can support them in their career development. Look for opportunities to build and stretch their skills on the job (e.g., special projects, new regions, presenting to executives, etc.), offer introductions to mentors or networking connections and provide candid feedback on “readiness” for desired positions.
4. Encourage application of lessons learned following formal training and conferences. Formal training and conferences can offer a wealth of insights and new perspectives. For ultimate growth and development, it’s important to apply these lessons learned on the job. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, on-the-job learning has three times more impact on employee performance than formal training. In other words, you should work with your employees to create action plans following training to ensure behavior change and business results.
5. Debrief every major project or initiative. Don’t let any major project be completed without taking time to debrief successes and failures and what factors impacted results. These sessions should not be about placing blame but, rather, coming together as a team to discuss what went well, what didn’t and what—if anything—you plan to do differently in the future based on what you’ve learned.
6. Take advantage of opportunities to learn and share best practices. Seek out other departments and even other organizations outside of your industry who experience similar pain points to yours. Take a moment to brag about what you’re doing well and what you’ve accomplished. Ask questions to learn how they’ve tackled their challenges. You’ll likely find that your colleagues and business associates are more than willing to show and tell.
Looking to develop your team?
Contact Elsey Consulting Group to unleash your organization’s potential with the tools, training and confidence needed to solve your toughest business challenges.
The future of your company depends on the development and growth of your employees. We’ll work with you to create customized in-person or virtual programs to ensure a ready pipeline of talent who can move up quickly and scale to the next level.
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