Canada Association of Tourism Employees

How Leaders Can Make Or Break It

The role of leaders in maintaining a successful online learning culture

Managers are essential to an employee’s entire work experience. According to Gallup, they account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement. However, according to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2021, only 40% of learners said their supervisors challenged them to learn new skills in the past six months, even though more than half of those surveyed thought their supervisors supported their career goals.

And managers aren’t the only advocates of learning that organizations use. In the LinkedIn 2020 report, only 27% of L&D experts said their CEOs are active champions of learning. It is time for companies to rely on their managers as the drivers of the modern learning culture.

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Lifelong L&D: How to Develop a Learning Culture to Support Modern Work Environments

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Executive buy-in for organization-wide buy-in

A successful learning culture cannot really exist without the approval of your company’s top executives and executives. And buy-in goes beyond simply accepting a new learning initiative. It requires a thorough understanding of the commitment and investment required to create a learning culture – and the huge payoffs that come with it. In order to get your managers on board, it is essential to establish a clear connection between the learning goals and the company goals. Show your executives how a culture of learning is the answer to many of the business challenges that keep them up at night.

For example, if your leaders are focused on improving operational efficiency, show them how a learning culture can excite and encourage learners to retrain and retrain. This in turn helps them to remain flexible and ready to take on new or additional tasks. Or if your executives are anxious to stay one step ahead of the competition, show them how a learning culture can be a key driver of innovation.

The bottom line is that each learning objective can and should be tied to one or more strategic goals that your leaders are working towards. By showing your leadership team these connections – and receiving their support – you are laying the foundation for a successful learning culture.

Once accepted by the top, a modern learning culture needs the support of the organization’s hands-on leaders in order to be successful. This is where your managers come in.

Manager: The lawyers for practice-oriented learning

The employee-manager relationship is really one of the defining aspects of an employee’s experience. For example, your team looks for productivity, behavioral trends, and corporate cultures. Managers are the link that connects employees with the organization. These hands-on leaders play a vital role in developing people and teams, so it makes sense that they should be the greatest advocates of a learning culture.

To better support their employees’ learning goals and modern learning culture as a whole, managers may need to be given the tools and training to help them be successful. Some managers may be new to a position, others may have more direct subordinates than ever before, and some may not have worked for an organization with a focus on learning. In these cases, your managers may need an idea of ​​where and how to get involved. As:

Learning meaning and application

First and foremost, it is important that managers can communicate the value of training – including areas such as compliance training – to ensure that team members always understand the “why” behind the “what”. Before this can happen, managers may need to understand “why” for themselves. Managers should also be ready to help their teams not only identify areas for competency building, but also how to apply what they have learned.

Personnel development

By working closely with their team members, executives get to know their strengths, possible growth areas and areas in which employees want to expand their skills. Make sure managers are trained to turn these valuable insights into opportunities to develop their people and help them grow. Managers can do this by helping them develop personalized learning paths for their employees or by directing them to the right learning content.

Social responsibility

With corporate responsibility for diversity, equity, and inclusion growing, it is more important than ever to make sure your managers are properly trained to guide their teams through these issues while maintaining company standards. Managers need to be trained to recognize unconscious biases, follow inclusive and diverse hiring practices, recognize the differences between team members, and create a work environment that promotes equality.

Employee wellness

In a recent study, almost half of those surveyed worked remotely. 27% said they struggle with not being able to unplug the plug, 16% struggle with loneliness, and 12% face distractions at home. All of this together creates conditions that can lead to stress, anxiety and ultimately burnout. In a remote working environment, managers need to learn how to support their employees at home. This could include identifying the signs of stress, knowing the helpful resources such as wellness training that are available to employees, and encouraging their team to develop healthy work-life balance practices.

There are many other areas that managers can be involved in to develop positive learning habits that will ultimately have an impact on the business. This could increase employee engagement, build retention, build a pipeline of leadership talent, and much more. The key is figuring out what is most important and determining how the learning and your managers will help you achieve those goals.

How an LMS can contribute to a modern learning culture

Look no further than your LMS to make sure your leaders are ready to drive a modern learning culture. In addition, it can be used by your managers to support employee learning needs.

With an LMS you can:

  • Provide executives with access to training and course libraries.
  • Create learning pathways for managers on topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion; Well-being of employees; Learning application and more.
  • Assign content that communicates the “why” and purpose of learning so managers can become your learning advocates.
  • Build leadership communities for knowledge sharing and best practices through discussions and forums.
  • Make sure managers know what learning opportunities are available to employees so that they can take them to relevant training, events, forums, etc.

With an LMS, managers can:

  • Recommend existing training courses or course libraries to learners based on new or necessary skills.
  • Create a personalized learning path specifically designed for an employee and their professional development or retraining / continuing education goals.
  • Encourage employees to join with other employees looking to advance their careers or to form their own discussion groups with them.
  • Enable mentoring opportunities that utilize a mix of on-the-job learning, discussion and training.

And while an LMS is a useful tool to support your learning advocates and their team members, there are several continuous learning options that can complement your LMS initiatives. These can be conferences, online events from well-known industry organizations, local or national associations, local events and more. The same goes for managers. Giving them the flexibility to learn in a variety of formats increases engagement, skill development / maintenance / application, and overall growth.

With the right LMS, much of this professional development can happen automatically. Learn how AI and machine learning are creating powerful L&D opportunities for your learners.


Managers are important actors in promoting change and acceptance among their employees. In order to create a successful learning culture, these leaders must be an important factor in the overall strategy.

For more tips on how to build or improve your learning culture, download the eBook “Lifelong L&D: How To Develop A Continuous Learning Culture To Support Modern Work Environments”. It contains strategic tips, evolving L&D trends, and best practices to support your modern learners through a learning management system.


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