It is rightly said that anyone who stops learning is old, doesn’t matter if they are twenty or eighty.
“Anyone who keeps learning stays forever young.”
We are living in an age where technologies and economies are transforming the entire workplace. Employees are consistently trying to do better, and don’t like to remain stuck in the same position or organization for too long.
Similarly, organizations need to have a dynamic approach to learning and adapting to market trends. Therefore, they cannot afford to believe that things will remain the same for them.
Organizations must embrace the concept of learning and apply it to all aspects within their structured team in order to thrive.
An organization with a learning culture actively seeks feedback and support and creates opportunities to transform continuously for the better.
When an employee is curiously engaged in a constant process of self-reflection and growth, it not only elevates that person as a worker and as an individual, but also benefits the organization as a whole.
A strong coaching culture lets employees draw strength from diversity, makes them feel safe to communicate their opinions, and bring new ideas to the table.
A learning and coaching culture enables support at every level of the organization, and positively speeds up change process. This is important because change is a constant in business as in life.
“Becoming a learning organization boosts employee engagement and satisfaction while delivering optimum business results.”
Enriching Virtues of a Learning Organization
You can achieve an influential learning culture when you observe coaching conversations flowing literally in all directions — upwards, downwards, and sideways.
Although many organizations are learning to change, they are still slow in adapting to them. The progressive ones understand the fact that change and development are the essential variables that ultimately determine their success.
“Learning organizations have the power of controlling external pressures rather than becoming a slave to them.”
Here are five benefits to transforming your organization into a learning organization:
1) Increases engagement at all levels with happier and more fulfilled employees
2) Converts high potential leaders into your peak performers
3) Embraces diversity to entice and retain the best talent while reducing employee turnover
4) Pushes for higher productivity and profits through collaboration within the workforce
5) Encourages leadership teams to tackle challenging circumstances with practical innovation
Transforming into a learning organization is indeed a time-consuming process, but you will notice that the benefits you achieve will definitely outweigh the work that you have to put into it.
“Driving your organization through continued learning and growth will prove to be essential ingredients for becoming the next cutting-edge innovators of the future.”
How to Successfully Transform into a Learning Organization
Transforming into a learning organization might seem like a big task, particularly for organizations with rigid hierarchies and conventional practices in place.
It’s been proven over and over that a coaching leadership style will prove to be more effective for employees than the traditional authoritarian command and control model.
Coaching is the key to improve the performance of entire teams, and here is how you can do it too:
Formalize training and encourage feedback — To cultivate a learning culture, start at the top. Engaging senior leaders with executive coaches will help employees follow in their footsteps and recognize the value of being open to learn and grow. Weave coaching elements into the work culture by engaging in weekly or daily feedback sessions. You do this by first creating a safe space for free-flowing ideas across teams.
Give recognition for learning and promote from within — Coaching the right way requires a crucial balance of criticism and praise. Do not always focus on what’s not working, as it demotivates the workforce. Instead, appreciate the things they are doing well, and provide respectful and dignified mentorship where improvement is needed.
Additionally, employees with newly learned skills and abilities should be recognized while encouraging others to follow suit. Instead of reaching for external help when new leadership roles become necessary, trained employees should be entrusted with those more prominent roles. You want to set the stage that learning and growing translates into promotions and rewards.
Listen and empower — As a leader, you must build one-on-one relationships with employees as coaching entails both encouragement and empowerment. Hearing out and valuing their inputs and concerns will encourage them to share their opinions. When you approach things from their perspective, you will get the desired results with improved performance and engagement.
This also creates an environment where people can impact the direction of the organization. A critical step to employee satisfaction is the need to belong, have meaning, and make an impact. Listening and then empowering those who have expressed the need for change to make those changes happen, is the key to ensuring ongoing growth in innovation.
“Learning translates to growth. Growth translates to innovation. Innovation translates into profits.”
A learning culture will ensure employee onboarding and retention, increased performance, skill development, and reinforce constant growth.
Organizations that coach and empower employees instead of commanding them create and sustain a talented and agile workforce, leading to a healthy and growing business.