Developing a Learning Culture in the Workplace

Jessica mitsch By Jessica Mitsch ● June 23, 2021
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Momen­tum attend­ed the 2021 Learn­ing Ideas Con­fer­ence on June 16th, where our CEO Jes­si­ca Mitsch led a pan­el on devel­op­ing a learn­ing cul­ture in the work­place. Here were the key takeaways.
The Learn­ing Ideas Con­fer­ence brings togeth­er researchers and pro­fes­sion­als from across the world to dis­cuss new tech­nolo­gies and ideas to reimag­ine work­place learn­ing. The 2021 con­fer­ence was vir­tu­al, fea­tur­ing keynote speak­ers, pan­els, and a vari­ety of spe­cial­ized sessions.
The ses­sion Cen­tral­iz­ing the CLO: Tech­nol­o­gy and the Con­flu­ence of Work and Learn­ing,” was led by Momen­tum CEO Jes­si­ca Mitsch and fea­tured three guests: Eri­ca Depiero rep­re­sent­ing the work she did at Cit­i­group, Michael Can­non from Red Hat, and Regi­na Dowd from TSR Con­sult­ing. The dis­cus­sion cen­tered around skills devel­op­ment and con­tin­ued learn­ing in-house up to the C‑Suite lev­el as a way to retain high per­form­ing tal­ent in an increas­ing­ly com­pet­i­tive marketplace.

Why Is Instill­ing a Cul­ture of Con­tin­u­ous Learn­ing Important?

Devel­op­ing a learn­ing cul­ture in the work­place is essen­tial to a company’s suc­cess. The impor­tance of doing so was a main point of dis­cus­sion through­out the con­fer­ence. Michael Can­non opened the con­ver­sa­tion by not­ing the fast-paced nature of the cor­po­rate world that encour­ages a sin­gle step approach to learn­ing. He argued that in real­i­ty, learn­ing is a con­tin­u­ous process that requires both tri­al and error. Attend­ing a class or train­ing is a great start, but one train­ing will not make your employ­ee an expert in the skill. They must have a learn­ing mind­set and be ready to take con­tin­u­al steps towards improvement.
Momen­tum for exam­ple, pro­vides much of the ear­ly-on train­ing required to learn code. How­ev­er, it is just the launch­pad. Addi­tion­al learn­ing and prac­tice beyond grad­u­a­tion is what makes the most suc­cess­ful web devel­op­ers. Both Eri­ca and Michael iden­ti­fied the impor­tance of mak­ing learn­ing part of the enter­prise organization.
In order to instill a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous learn­ing with­in a com­pa­ny, there must be sus­tained behav­ioral changes. Exec­u­tives should form rela­tion­ships and cre­ate trust among employ­ees over time. They should under­stand the prob­lem a team is hop­ing to solve through train­ing, and focus on actions and goals that will encour­age learn­ing and pro­duc­tive outcomes.

Why is Upskilling Impor­tant to Over­all Acqui­si­tion Strategies?

Upskilling and learn­ing are not only impor­tant for com­pa­ny cul­ture, but are also nec­es­sary to retain and acquire strong employ­ees. Regi­na pro­vid­ed insights from an out­side-the-com­pa­ny per­spec­tive as to how learn­ing at all lev­els affects the tal­ent mar­ket­place. With such a com­pet­i­tive land­scape, com­pa­nies need to know how to sup­port their teams. They must be able to retain cur­rent employ­ees and bring on new tal­ent. Career growth is an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion new can­di­dates take into account when decid­ing between companies.
Devel­op­ing a learn­ing cul­ture will not only aid in recruit­ing efforts, but will also lead to increased reten­tion rates. Invest­ments in learn­ing makes for hap­pi­er and more pro­duc­tive employ­ees. Fur­ther­more, in-house learn­ing pro­vides employ­ees with invalu­able skill sets and mind­sets that match that of the organization.

As Tra­di­tion­al Learn­ing Struc­tures Are Chang­ing, How Should Com­pa­nies Eval­u­ate Talent?

The ways in which tal­ent used to be eval­u­at­ed are becom­ing less salient. Non-tra­di­tion­al avenues for learn­ing are emerg­ing all around us, while col­lege degrees are not always require­ments in today’s tech indus­try. So the ques­tion that emerges is how can com­pa­nies ensure new hires are com­ing in with the right skills? The shift towards hir­ing for poten­tial was not­ed by all of the speak­ers as this ques­tion was posed to the group. While expe­ri­ence should remain a con­sid­er­a­tion, the abil­i­ty to learn and devel­op skills is becom­ing an increas­ing­ly impor­tant cre­den­tial when look­ing at the long-term val­ue a can­di­date will bring to the company.
Cul­tures of con­tin­u­ous learn­ing are becom­ing more com­mon­place, so com­pa­nies will need to be agile and sup­port both tra­di­tion­al and non-tra­di­tion­al meth­ods to find­ing and learn­ing new skills. Momen­tum can help you do this by pro­vid­ing upskill train­ing for what­ev­er tech­nol­o­gy needs your team may be facing.

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