Corporate learning has taken a new dimension due to the constant competitive necessity to upskill the workforce in relation to the evolving economic situation and technological advances. Large corporations are going to the extra mile by adopting an innovative learning culture to ensure continuous improvements within their businesses. The annual report that analyzes the FORTUNE 100 best companies to work for, states that the 100 best companies are committed to employee development as a top strategic priority. Various trusted sources indicate that multi-national companies such as Google and Apple have understood the importance of a learning culture to stimulate their companies’ bottom lines. Have you?
Learning culture refers to the ability of an organization to embrace individual or organizational learning as a strategic part of its business strategy. Such an initiative allows organizations to continuously grow, develop and adapt to meet changing market conditions. It’s all about accepting change, embracing new knowledge, adapting to innovations and channeling these into the talent pool. Studies have shown that 60% of employees would opt to stay with an employer that invests in their professional development, rather than go to an employer that pays more but does not invest in professional development. In fact, providing your most valuable asset that is your employees with a proper training and development program can lead to a satisfied and a more productive workplace.
To ensure a sustainable learning culture within an organization, it is essential to choose an appropriate training and development program adapted to the company’s strategy and objectives. Although traditional learning can be effective, modern and innovative learning solutions have increasingly gained traction among global corporations that recognize the strategic importance of having highly effective employees as a source of competitive advantage. For instance, e-learning represents a highly practical and convenient solution to develop an effective learning culture in the long run. This is mainly due to its accessibility and flexibility. According to the 2013 IBM report about ‘The value of training’, every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity.
With solutions such as webinars, simulations and gamifications; digital learning is at the heart of innovation in the learning and development environment. According to Docebo E-learning market trends & forecast 2014 – 2016 report, the huge growth of the e-learning industry has been up to 900% since the year 2000 and according to the Ambient Insight 2012 – 2017 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market, 42% of companies said that e-learning has led to an increase in revenue. Other studies show that employees trained with e-learning materials have 25-60% improved retention rates. These statistics explain why more and more companies are adopting e-learning as a means to develop a performing learning culture. Here are some ways in which a world-class learning culture helps to improve your company’s bottom line:
Drives competitive advantage
Creating an outstanding learning culture means allowing the organization to grow, innovate and evolve in relation to the advancements in the corporate world. A survey by Fortune and Hay group to find out what made elite organizations stand out, found that these organizations value their people and want them to learn and evolve into co-creators and collaborators. With this kind of mindset within a company, a sustainable learning culture is developed and these empowered employees stay up-to date with every changes happening within the industry and at the same time learn the necessary skills needed to adapt to technological changes. In other words, they are constantly evolving. This is what allows companies to set the trend and stay ahead of competitors. Having a competitive advantage means more effectiveness and productivity, resulting into increased profitability.
Increases employee retention and engagement
The 2012 Towers Watson global workforce study revealed the five key drivers for attracting and retaining employees; career advancement opportunities were ranked in the third place and learning and development opportunities in fifth place. Employees including millennials feel the need to grow their careers and therefore acquiring skills is among their priority. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, the opportunity for career development is the number one priority (after salary) for millennials in the market. This indicates that the priority of employees is to grow their skills and career. Through a learning culture within an organization, the best employees are more likely to stay and continue to provide their service. Here’s how a learning culture leads to employee retention and engagement:
-The employee feels valued when you invest in his growth and professional development by providing him with learning opportunities. In this way, the employee feel satisfied with his job and this leads to increased loyalty to the company.
-Increased productivity: Through a learning culture, the employees continuously evolve, leading to more productivity.
-A well-designed and quality learning program is strong engagement tool by itself.
-A learning culture also represents a source of motivation for employees as they are learning new skills which they would be eager to apply to the job.
Boosts productivity and encourages problem solving
There is direct link between productivity and continuous skill development of employees. The learning culture encourages employees to actively apply what they are learning to their specific roles. In this way, they are more likely to perform better in their job, delivering positive outcomes such as a more quality service to customers. This leads to customer satisfaction which will help to keep existing customers coming and also encourage potential customers to choose the organization over competitors. Besides, a learning culture also means adding value to your employees by enhancing their skills. Encouraging employees to learn more, creates a problem solving mentality which allows them to solve problems on their own rather than relying on others to do it for them. Therefore, they are better prepared to make the best job-related decisions.
A powerful learning culture allows employees to excel in what they do and be a constant source of value creation which in turn benefits the organization as a whole. However, it should be acknowledged by companies that developing a learning culture is a lengthy process which is driven by the leaders towards all their staffs. At Procurement and Supply Chain Academy, we specialize in helping global organizations in building their tailor-made world-class learning culture through award-winning academies to generate exceptional return on investment.