How can human resources make a business competitive in the marketplace? Education!
Three steps for human resources to develop a learning culture in the workplace.
There may be several factors to a company’s success, but one of the biggest is when their workforce that can adapt and learn quickly. In business, change is a constant, and the human resources department who embraces change (and can learn and teach from it) is the one that will certainly benefit.
For human resources departments, developing an organization that values education is vital to the company’s health and prosperity. Stagnant and unmotivated workers can become an anchor that weighs down and sinks a business. Everybody in human resources talks about engagement; the corporate culture that values education and knowledge is one that has fully engaged workers.
However, fashioning a learning culture from scratch is not easy, especially when human resources is faced with employees that fear making mistakes, fail to challenge ideas based on merit, or constantly resists positive change.
When this is the climate human resources face in a company, something must be done!
Three steps that will guarantee to convert a lifeless workplace into one with a learning culture:
Step #1: Let your employees know it is OK to learn
In some organizations, it is a general belief among employees that education is not part of their daily roles. Many employers frown upon workers who take time to read journals, articles or websites pertaining to their jobs.
Everyone, from the CEO down the chain of command, should take a dynamic role in making sure learning opportunities are available, relevant and associated with business goals. In addition, learning should be structured and organized, with measurable results. Formalizing accountability will help create the necessary conditions for learning to occur.
Step #2: Learning resources should be readily available, planned, executed and reflected upon
Learning is more than just classroom time; it is a process involving all facets of an employee’s job. Learning materials must be accessible and developed in a logical manner. Constant feedback is also a key factor, human resources should have the ability to adjust learning processes and materials as needs change.
There is a wide range of learning tools available for education, more than just books and videos. Mentoring, job shadowing, networking and coaching, these all are powerful devices for both education and participation. Learning does not have to be a conservative, teacher-in-front-of-the-class affair.
Step #3: Ensure employees are aware of how learning will affect their jobs
This doesn’t mean people will be fired if they don’t attend a training session!
The most effective learning programs are ones providing a direct relationship to an employee’s daily routine, or provide the opportunity to move up in the company. Learning should have a purpose, not exist for its own sake.
Management must also have a role in education, and clearly understand how a well-trained team will strengthen productivity and quickly realize business goals. Everyone should be involved in a learning culture since everyone will benefit from the results.