Promoting a Culture of Learning

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If Employees and Employers Agree on the Connection Between Training and More Invested Employees…Why Isn’t More of it Happening?   

Good question. Give me approximately three minutes and I’ll give you several good answers and at least three good ideas to make training – or upskilling – more broadly implemented and more proactively accessed. First, here is some important background, aka facts: 

According to LinkedIn’s “2023 Workplace Learning Report,”  investing in employee training is a top priority in many organizations. All indications support the connection between upskilling and increased employee engagement, retention, productivity, and even innovation:    

  • Improved Productivity: According to a report by the World Economic Forum, upskilling employees can lead to a 10-30% increase in productivity.
  • Increased Employee Retention: A study by LinkedIn found that employees who feel that their company is invested in their career development are 2x more likely to stay with the company.
  • Better Employee Engagement: A survey by Gallup found that employees who feel their employer invests in their development are 3x more likely to be engaged in their work.
  • Enhanced Innovation: A report by Deloitte found that organizations with a strong learning culture are 92% more likely to innovate.


The Path Toward Learning Culture is Littered with Good Intentions

More companies are aware of this connection and have embraced a learning culture:

  • A report by LinkedIn found that 70% of companies plan to invest more in employee training and development.
  • According to a survey by PwC, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned about the availability of key skills, and 77% are planning to increase investment in upskilling and reskilling programs.
  • A Deloitte report found  68% of organizations have increased their focus on reskilling and upskilling.
  • A survey by Udemy found that 80% of employees believe that upskilling is a responsibility shared by both the employer and the employee.
  • A study by Accenture found that organizations that invest in employee upskilling and reskilling programs are more likely to achieve higher growth and revenue.


 The global corporate learning and development (L&D) market is $350 billion and increasing. Despite this massive industry-wide investment, however,  75% of senior managers at organizations are dissatisfied with their L&D initiatives. Why aren’t these investments yielding the desired results?


  • 93% majority of employees desire training that is simple to finish, with 91% wanting that training to be tailored and applicable to their jobs.
  • Employees may not be aware of the available upskilling opportunities provided by their employer.
  • Employees may feel like they lack time to participate in upskilling programs due to their busy work schedules.
  • Fear of failure: Employees may be hesitant to take upskilling opportunities due to fear of failure or the perception that they may need help to succeed. Employers can address this issue by providing a supportive environment, mentor and emphasizing that upskilling is a learning process and that making mistakes is a normal part of learning.


Tools for Implementing Learning Culture 

Overall, implementing a culture of learning requires a commitment to learning from leaders, clear communication and expectations, and various learning resources and opportunities for employees. Organizations can also use excellent tools to make learning more accessible and adaptable to individual learning styles and goals. For instance, we work with an off-shore company that has developed an AI-driven coaching and mentoring platform that helps everyone within the organization find their “go-to.”  Providing an internal mentor, coach, expert, team member (or project contributor) based on their immediate need (support for completing a project) or long-term career-development goal. In the process of connecting people from every corner of the organization, it promotes an all-in culture where everyone has a more profound sense of “belonging,” which goes a long way in helping retain top talent.    

We also work with a company that develops powerful, customizable bots that route people and teams to the information and support they need to problem-solve, get support, learn, and grow.  

Podcasts can also help “center” and drive learning cultures by showcasing co-workers who have availed themselves of tools and resources to develop their skills and build “equity” in their careers. When most people think of podcasts, they think of public-facing conversations. Few think of them — let alone use them — to communicate with and engage their workforce around a host of timely and vital issues: new company initiatives, major “change events,” inclusion and belonging, balancing work/life…and  learning/upskilling for career advancement. Podcasts have become a wildly popular communications format because they can be conveniently “consumed” when you’re out and about or doing other things, and how they lend themselves to authentic conversations – where people can be engaged in a comfortable, informal setting to share their stories. We produce and host several public-facing podcasts, and are starting to talk with multiple organizations about developing employee-facing podcasts that give all segments of the workforce a platform to share their stories – their challenges, experiences, aspirations, and triumphs…a potent tool for companies looking to promote a culture of learning.          

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