How To Build A Culture Of Learning

You may have learned something in school or when you first started at your company, but how valuable is that skill today?

With how fast the world is changing, much of what we learned before is obsolete or inefficient.

To succeed in the future of work, employees must become perpetual learners who constantly look ahead and upgrade their skills to stay relevant.

Perhaps no one knows that better than Deanna Mulligan, the former President, CEO, and Board Chair of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. During the financial crisis of 2008, she saw first-hand countless people losing their jobs and struggling to find new employment. That led her to prioritize a culture of learning and continually up-skilling at Guardian Life.

Continually learning and improving on your own is crucial, but that learning becomes more powerful when done within an organizational culture of learning.

Deanna has two pieces of advice for building a culture of learning:

First, celebrate success. Pay attention to when an employee learns something new or changes how they do something. Elevate their success. Get people excited about learning new things and recognize the effort of employees to be perpetual learners. Recognize them in a group meeting, send an appreciative note, or invite them to teach others. No matter how big or small, celebrate the success of continually learning.

A culture of learning also requires giving people room to fail. It’s unrealistic to think that employees will feel free to learn new things without making mistakes. Learning is about experimenting, struggling a bit, and figuring things out. Failure is part of that process. Leaders have to let employees know that failure is normal. That means sharing your failures and not chastising or punishing employees who make mistakes as they try new things.

Employees need to continually improve and learn to future-proof themselves in this rapidly changing world. And while employees are responsible for their development, leaders can build a strong learning culture to support and empower employees on their quest to grow.

Companies with better employee experiences have more engaged and productive workers, higher profits, and the ability to attract and retain talent. In today’s competitive talent landscape, companies can’t afford not to invest in employee experience. and start creating better experiences for your employees and customers today!

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Jacob Morgan

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of . Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work