Products fail, processes go wrong, only thing that helps a company win is – People and learning is the magic wand that helps develop high performers & loyalists
A friend of mine, an engineer by profession decided to change his stream to become an artist. I was worried about how he would make the transition and how he would survive as an artist. My worries were quickly resolved after I saw a talk on how people can become what they want if they have fair amount of knowledge and passion. Passion he definitely has and knowledgeable – he obviously is.
We change jobs, technologies, fields & preferences. Amid the changes one thing that remains constant is learning. Learning is the only thing that helps us survive, live and succeed.
He quit his job, changed his routine, but what remained with him was the learning. Learning from his previous job which he applied and became a well paid artist.
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” ― Albert Einstein
5 years back I changed my profession – from a job seeker I became an entrepreneur, what remained with me and helped me in my endeavor was my knowledge and learning that I had over the past 5 years of my corporate job. What helped me sail through the transition was the discipline that I had learnt during my school days.
As per studies done on human psychology related to work, learning seems to be an integral part of the psychological need at work.
We see high attrition rate in small organization, where learning is not given any importance. Small companies are always on a burner, no time for mentoring, coaching or learning. Companies hire freshers, put them on the job and let them manage projects independently. This backfires most of the times.
As new joiners or freshers on the job, most of them are clueless about the working of an office. They are unaware of processes and concepts. They need someone to guide & mentor them. Once they are inducted in the system, the need for learning does not stop. That’s why we see learning & development as a separate department in big organizations. We often hear of personal coaching to CEOs, special workshops for high level executive and training programs for employees at all levels.
In terms of employee engagement, learning need is one of the top needs of an employee. If satisfied, the employee stays on and gets added to the list of loyalists. If not, even the best pay scales will not be able to retain the good performers.
Companies these days want innovation, continuous improvement & new ideas, but the only way for continuous improvement is commitment to learning.
Learning is not only about organizing programs and workshops. It is a culture that needs to be ingrained in the company. Learning is creating, developing, acquiring and transferring knowledge and eventual change in behavior. Companies benefit when learning becomes a part of everyday work life.
Follow the below mentioned 8 steps to ensure you have a learning based culture
- Communicate & understand the learning needs of the team
- Groom the managers in mentoring & understanding the learning needs of their team
- Have knowledge sharing sessions within the team, where experiences & knowledge can be shared
- Organize training workshops conducted by professionals
- Encourage reading. Simplest form of learning is through reading. Encourage employees to read books, blogs, professional magazines etc.
- Encourage employees to go through video tutorials or pod casts.
- Measure the effectiveness of training and learning sessions
- Do not make it a one off event. Make learning a continuous process.
Today the only differentiating factor and competitive advantage for a company is their team. Products can be replicated, processes can be copied, but there is only one thing that cannot be copied from the company is: People & learning is at the core of people.
So create a learning culture through these ideas.
By Gauri Palekar