A learning organization values employee development and understands the importance of ongoing support. They frame their online training course within a thriving company culture that hones hidden talents, as well as honors the value of making mistakes and taking risks for the sake of employee development. Team members are encouraged to share ideas and contribute to the betterment of their peers. But what does it take to build a successful learning organization to improve workplace performance, without stretching your L&D budget too thin?
You can’t build a house on shaky ground, just as you cannot cultivate a successful learning organization without a sound L&D infrastructure. Everyone must understand their roles, and you need the proper tools to train your staff. Most importantly, every member should be on the same page and feel like they’re part of something bigger. This involves awareness of the company’s mission statement, cultural identity, and L&D objectives. Goals must be in place to guide their efforts and create a framework.
Collaboration and open knowledge sharing are crucial to success. Identify which members of your team possess the desired skills or knowledge. Then devise a plan to disperse their expertise among the group as efficiently as possible to improve on-the-job performance. For example, launch a social media group or online discussion where everyone can share their insights. Or set up a learner-generated library that allows in-house experts to impart their task-based knowledge. eLearning badges, certifications, and assessments are great ways to pick out the experts and disclose innate talents.
Management plays a pivotal part in your training. In fact, they’re the most convincing online training advocates, given their standing within the company. Give team leaders all the resources they need to offer ongoing support and guidance to their subordinates. They also need a place to vent and share their experiences. For instance, try a closed group where they can offer pointers to fellow supervisors and talk about how to promote the new compliance training course. Leaders should also be able to deal with the technical roadblocks that stand in the way of employee development, such as helping their team navigate the LMS and access relevant resources.
“Systems thinking” specifies there must be a system in place to measure employee performance, as well as clearly defined goals and characteristics to achieve success. While some believe that these characteristics must be present prior to putting together a team, others argue that it’s more of a gradual, organic process that’s fine-tuned over time. Whatever the case, you do need to develop measurable performance criteria in order to cultivate a learning organization that aligns with your learning objectives and helps improve workplace performance. For instance, what metrics you will track and how employee performance will be evaluated.
Above all else, a learning organization is founded on ongoing professional development. Every member of the team must be given the tools to bridge knowledge gaps and hone their skills. In turn, each employee must be committed to the process and dedicated to continual growth. The old saying that you can lead a horse to water but cannot make them drink is an apt analogy here. The key is to provide your employees with reinforcement tools and knowledge refreshers they can access on their own. Rather than forcing them to participate in the mandatory training that robs them of their personal motivation. Conduct self-assessments to help them identify gaps and encourage them to create an individualized training plan, complete with microlearning resources to improve knowledge retention.
It’s imperative to respect individual learners and the whole. Training is not just about achieving the collective learning objectives and maintaining compliance. You also need to encourage self-guided exploration so that employees take calculated risks and make mistakes. It’s part of the growth process. This applies in and out of the online training environment. For example, simulations and other interactive resources can help them learn from their errors so that they don’t repeat them in the workplace. However, you must also encourage them to offer up ideas and share opinions with supervisors, if they feel it will benefit the company. For example, encourage them to suggest new ways to approach a task or work-related challenge.
You never want to shut down the eLearning feedback mechanism. Some employees may be too afraid or reluctant to share their honest thoughts or opinions. However, successful learning organizations welcome all forms of eLearning feedback. Even if it isn’t a glowing review of the latest online training course or general practices. Invite your employees to provide input. Welcome it and then act on it so that you can continually improve. Your training strategy, objectives, and work performance evaluation criteria aren’t set in stone. Organizations that maintain an edge over the competition and build a long-lasting legacy are the ones that adapt.
Ultimately, this kind of organizational development is a group effort. Everyone needs to be actively involved in the process of implementing training, providing support, and cultivating a collaborative culture. This article gives you the basic building blocks to get started. But every member of your team must play an active role to maintain the momentum and create a solid infrastructure.
Is it really that important to build a strong corporate eLearning culture? Read the article 7 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs A Strong Corporate eLearning Culture to discover how a strong corporate eLearning culture can boost company morale and improve your corporate eLearning ROI.