Creating A Steady Studying Tradition Of Ongoing Worker Coaching
How to cultivate a continuous learning culture that nurtures internal talent
Investing in the development of your employees is part of creating a learning culture for your company. In this article, we discuss how to cultivate a continuous learning culture that nurtures internal talent, including:
- How corporate culture and training go hand in hand
- Why continuous education is important
- What needs to be included in an ongoing employee training program
- Create a training that is scheduled throughout the year (with incremental goals)
Making continuous employee development a priority helps create a culture that focuses on the importance of continuous learning. Not all employees start at the same entry point – they all come from different career levels, backgrounds, cultures and preferences, and each one is unique in their own way.
Continuous learning requires employees to understand the entire work system they belong to and their role in your company. We have identified three different levels of ongoing employee training at company, departmental and individual level. Let’s examine these three levels of learning culture in more detail.
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I. Company-wide training
As with any cultural assimilation, it can be difficult for new hires to get used to your corporate culture. When considering how to create a learning path for each employee, remember to put the individual at the center of their own training plan while keeping your company’s goals in mind.
Think for a moment which areas of continuous learning your company needs to cover for each employee throughout the year, such as:
- Mission updates
- Product training on new functions
- Achieve sales success and sales targets
- Marketing and press releases
- Awards and company recognition
- Workshops and virtual meetings
Some of these “gains” from your company’s history should be incorporated into your onboarding for new hires. As the year progresses, consider how you can deliver these via town hall, email updates, or a company newsletter or video from your CEO.
There are so many ways to get the bigger message out and reach the broader audience of your employee base. Everything helps build the corporate culture and inspire enthusiasm to come to work every day. All of these activities should also be aligned with your company’s mission and vision.
II. Department level
Each department has updates for new projects, priorities, and work in progress. We need a way to train, train and keep every team member informed about what’s going on in their department. This is something you can’t do just once a year. There should be at least a monthly department meeting, if not a weekly team sync. It’s important to talk about an overarching strategy, not just working tactically on tasks, so that the work you are doing helps with your company’s strategic priorities.
Here is an example: An engineering team can meet for a daily standup to discuss what they’re developing for the product, work on software bug fixes, roadblocks, and assignments, but it’s important to take a break to see how this works out Rest helps the company. When we apply this to continuous learning, it can show what is missing so that you can work better as a team and focus on specific training for those opportunities.
III. Individual level
Creating an individual learning and development plan for each employee may sound overwhelming, but it’s about setting goals that are tailored to each individual where they need help.
Another example: if you have hired a new HR generalist, they will likely have experience with staff operations and internal communications, but may have difficulty learning your HRIS system or its components. Hence, it is important to create a learning plan to ensure that they can bring themselves up to date and be successful in their new role.
Whatever the individual’s list of needs will be specific to their role and need their own unique path of learning. When building training courses, don’t expect to spend so much time reusing that content. Instead, spend the time studying and planning, because everyone has different strengths. First, make a list of the areas each employee may need help in, then set time-based goals for achievement to measure their growth.
LAP – Instead of creating individual training plans for every single thing an employee needs to correct at their work, you can focus on the 2-3 areas that can have the greatest impact.
Instead of setting each goal as a long-term annual goal, consider it monthly or quarterly. If you set an annual goal, it can be postponed until December. Think about how you can work with the directors or managers of each employee to measure progress.
The whole goal here is to see how you can make steady progress toward bigger initiatives. Using our HR generalist example, instead of wanting your new hire to become a master of your HRIS system, focus on the areas where they need to learn the technology, and then create an ongoing plan for further Training.
This is how you create a continuous learning culture
Now that we know the three different categories of continuous learning for our employees, how can we encourage participation? It’s about motivating employees and teams so that they are convinced of their learning plans. Instead of telling them what to learn, let them tell you about their options and they will stand up for this continuous learning goal instead of just feeling like it is mandatory.
It is fun, for example, when the departments exchange ideas in a learning workshop about various things that they find exciting in order to help themselves and, ideally, the company.
Consider hosting a “study day” to bring employees together to share the things they are learning with the company, department, or other new hires who started around the same time. It’s an opportunity to share stories or experiences about what they’re going through and learn from each other.
Continuous training all year round
How often should you train? Most teams meet weekly (or interact with each other on a daily basis), but it’s important to have a monthly plan for what you want to accomplish. For both your team and individuals, setting small goals can ultimately lead to something bigger and be in line with your company’s mission.
Without a plan, you act reactively instead of proactively. Your company has set itself a revenue target for what it wants to achieve this year and then needs to meet quarterly targets. It’s a very specific annual goal with benchmarks along the way, and you need the same for your staff’s learning path.
When you set up a workout plan with insane weekly results it can be overwhelming. But if you just set yourself a big annual goal with a soft skill that needs to be improved, it can be pushed into the background again and again by both the individual contributor and his supervisor.
A continuous learning plan is designed not only for companies, departments and teams, but also for individuals. You can’t just schedule a few workouts for the year and get it done; Consistency is the key. As with any other journey, an employee’s learning path must have an end goal with specific and measurable benchmarks or mini-goals in order to achieve it
Consistent employee training on an individual level, on a departmental level and company-wide ultimately influences your corporate culture. As a leader in your company, you are the one who paves the way for them to learn.
We wrote the How To Make Great Training Awesome: Your New Employee Onboarding Checklist eBook so you can jump through the parts of this book to find the information you need to be successful with your new employee training. Each chapter ends with key insights, and you can also attend the webinar to discuss how to incorporate storytelling into your staff training.
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