Ida from Spark!

How to build a culture of continuous learning and development

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Companies across America have felt the ups and downs of the past several years in many ways. Rapid growth, furloughs, layoffs, record profits: you name it. At the core of it all is the humans, the individuals, who make up these companies.

Employees today are looking for more meaning in their job. They want coaching and development and gravitate toward companies that recognize and invest in their staff. Building a learning culture in your organization is helpful to showing your employees that you value them not only as workers who can get a job done but as people worth investing in for the future.

How do you build a learning culture at your company?

The first thing you want to do is establish learning and development as a priority for your organization. Writing down training and development goals, and sharing them with your team communicates intention and creates accountability. (For example, if your team provides services to clients, your goal could look something like this: Our team will complete facilitation training together in order to improve our ability to navigate hard conversations with clients.)

To build a learning culture at your company, make learning accessible. 

This means providing resources and support, such as training programs and educational materials, that are easily accessible, available, and relevant to employees.

Additionally, it’s important to reward and recognize employees for their learning efforts. This can be done by providing incentives for taking courses or attending training programs that provide value to the individual, the team, and/or the organization, as well as recognizing and promoting employees who demonstrate a commitment to learning and development.

What topics should you prioritize?

When setting out to build a culture of learning, it can be difficult to identify what topics to encourage your team to focus on. On this front, listening to your employees is critical to success. What are your team’s strengths, and how can you help them continue to develop their talents? What are they interested in learning more about?

If someone is interested in what they are learning about, they are much more likely to be attentive learners who utilize their new skills and apply their strengths at work.

What do we do at Spark!?

Spark! encourages our team members to take new courses, attend conferences and summits, and focus on improving strengths. Team members usually complete a “Professional Development Request” to capture how training content might be applied at work before signing up for different training and opportunities. Each week, we also share a weekly learning moment where someone shares a new tool or strategy they learned about recently.

Let’s not forget, Human-Centered YOUnity™ is all about professional development, and everyone on the team at Spark! has participated in the courses we offer. “Origins: The Power of Personal Story,” is an online and in-person course dedicated to helping people reclaim their story, and use its power to connect with others and unify organizations at the grassroots level.

Ready to take the next steps? Reach out to Spark! and we can arrange a time to visit your office and share our insights with you and your team.
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