Long gone are the days when the knowledge from school was enough to do your job long-term. Quick advancement in technology made us shift to constant learning in order to move with the times. Continuous learning culture is not a privilege anymore, but rather a necessity for every tech company.
Whether you want to hire a mobile app developer or find an experienced QA engineer, be ready to offer attractive development opportunities besides decent compensation. A recent Global Workplace report shows that lack of growth opportunities are in the top three reasons for quitting the job. So, if you want to retain your tech talents, continuous learning practice may come in handy.
What Exactly Is Culture of Learning in the Workplace?
Continues learning benefits both managers and tech specialists. While the first ensure their company goes hand in hand with the new trends, the second get the opportunities for professional development. Culture of learning in the workplace imposes some set of exercises and behaviors across all organizational activities.
The idea is not only providing additional trainings to specialists to be up-to-date in their field. The culture of learning can be seen in communication between colleagues, in giving constructive feedbacks, and collaboration for knowledge sharing.
Looking at broad opportunities for continuous learning culture, we would define these top five:
Investing in Training
Where would the top tech unicorns be today if they hadn’t invested in their specialists’ training? This is the baseline where the growth of your company begins. Tech environment is too competitive, and the innovation is a key today. Defining a special budget for your team development is the first step in your continuous learning culture. Online learning platforms, workshops, coursesall help to update hard skills. You invest and get a win-win result: your specialists become more experienced and competitive. This, in turn, contributes to progress and fresh ideas in your projects. Training also helps your team to increase their creativity, allowing your company to reap the fruits.
Adopting Continuous Feedback
There’s no need to wait for the performance review at the end of the year to show your team their strong and weak sides. Try providing continuous feedback during different stages of your project, after accomplished tasks. The idea is not only to pinpoint the areas for improvement, but also to encourage and recognize. Feedbacks also help to align a company’s goals with individual objectives, leading to higher final achievements.
Encouraging Growth Mindset
Growth mindset doesn’t focus on talents alone. It reinforces abilities and intelligence that can be trained and developed. It’s one of the main criteria of culture of continuous learning, which transforms challenges into opportunities. Once cultivated in the company on a regular basis, the growth mindset brings many advantages into the working environment. With it, your specialists become more resilient and adaptable. They use continuous improvement mentality, well needed for quick solutions and new strategies.
Establishing Knowledge Sharing
Many are used to knowledge sharing only at the beginning of the new role. It’s common to teach new joiners in the team, transferring responsibilities and putting them in the picture. However, once established on a regular basis, knowledge sharing enhances a culture of learning in the workplace. Tech specialists start benefitting from collective knowledge and learn from others’ experiences. Imagine how much you can boost the overall productivity of your team. Knowledge sharing helps to eliminate repetitive tasks and highlights the best practices in the team.
Providing Time for Learning During Work
Even if you establish ten different initiatives, don’t expect the team will follow if you don’t devote time for this during working hours. The best thing to motivate your specialists to grow is to devote time for that. The recent CIPD survey report on learning at work indicates that from all respondents, 51% confirmed their line managers encourage culture of learning in the workplace. But only 39% consider that the specialists are given enough time for such educational activities. Giving space for learning is a must if you want to succeed in your company’s development.
Continuous learning supposes your strategy is ongoing, otherwise it’s worthless. Organizing one workshop per year won’t bring any use, especially in such a dynamic environment as Tech. Start with assessing the needs of your team and your specialists. Do they have any gaps in working process? Do you want to improve some critical activities? Or maybe you just want to boost their creative ideas and bring new insights in your projects?
You can have a special learning department who’ll take care of all workshops, courses, and webinars. Proactively assessing the team’s needs will bring better results in the end. Set monthly or quarterly plans with all the planned activities in continuous learning. To encourage the team and make the practice a good habit, include trainings in your KPIs or individual development plans. Help the colleagues find the areas where in the project they could apply the newly acquired skills.
Providing learning materials, access to learning platforms, or organizing team activities is not enough. It’s important to show the team the importance of continuous learning and share with them the benefits both parties will get at the end. When they feel encouraged and supported to implement new knowledge at work, they will be more motivated to accomplish their courses and engage in new activities.
In the long-term, the continuous learning is one of the main contributors of your specialists’ retention and your company’s progress. If the process is organized smoothly with consideration of all your team members’ needs, be ready to see exciting results in company’s performance.