Five tips for building a culture of growth and development

by L&D02 Nov 2016
Organisational L&D programs are falling short when it comes to creating a learning culture that reflects how people learn in today's workplace.

Nina Mehta, a Talent Management Consultant for Halogen Software, told Training Journal that as a result, employees are looking beyond formal training resources to acquire the skills for the information they need to do their job.
Mehta said that 70% simply turn to search engines and 80% get what they need from on-the-job interactions with peers and managers. 
“For skills development to have an impact, they need to be built into the fabric of an organisation, effectively creating a culture of learning,” she said.
Below, she shares five steps to establish a modern culture of forward-focused growth and development:
1. Conduct regular and ongoing performance discussions that include reviewing and planning learning and development. Underpin conversations with employees about their performance with the objective supporting and encouraging a learning culture. Align learning activity with business results and make it a transparent and intrinsic part of individuals’ career advancement. 
2. Leverage your line managers. When it comes to staff development, direct managers have the largest role to play in providing employees with an opportunity to apply and grow their skills and abilities. Yet, 64 per cent of L&D leaders identified the fact that ‘managers don’t encourage, enable or follow up’ as an obstacle for learning. Executives should be primed to take every opportunity to underline the fact that learning and development is valued within the organisation. Managers must facilitate employee development by enabling employees to put into practice what they learn through stretch assignments, team collaboration, and offering regular coaching and feedback on their performance.
3. Use external learning resources. Training professionals and line managers cannot ignore the fact that employees are accessing external digital learning resources to acquire new skills or to gain knowledge to help them in their role. Organisations can use this approach as a springboard to identify the best resources and point employees to them. L&D departments that develop digital literacy when it comes to web resources will be better placed to meet the expectations of the next generation.
4. Put regular and effective communication at the heart of your talent strategy. Make sure employees are in no doubt about the value the organisation places on learning and that they will be rewarded for their participation. Communication about learning and development should be frequent and part of how your organisation promotes its talent strategy, ranging from short emails, blogs on company intranet sites, and through to presentations during all-hands company meetings.
5. Ensure all employees are included in the learning culture. Make sure employees at every level and in every location, have learning opportunities. This may mean providing mobile resources for remote workers or resources in different languages for employees in different countries.