The value of corporate culture is closely tied to opportunities for employees to learn new skills. The Society for Human Resource Management weighed in in a recent article:
Learning and development programs provide companies with an opportunity to send a strong message about the organization’s culture. In addition to signaling how much the company values education and growth for its employees, these programs can help create environments where more employees feel welcome at work.
That’s a powerful statement.
So how can HR professionals create a corporate environment that promotes learning?
It’s not as complicated as you might think.
This post will discuss three interlinked, simple strategies to create a business environment that promotes learning. And that type of environment is guaranteed to improve your employee retention.
Strategy number one:
Cross-pollinate employees and teams to promote learning.
Employee engagement and motivation are critical to any company’s success. One of the best ways to keep motivation high is to promote learning. And learning opportunities can start inside your business. HR professionals can create a culture that allows employees to learn new skills by moving within departments and teams.
Mentoring programs are also hugely beneficial to this type of learning-based culture. Not all employees are interested in learning new jobs and skills. However, HR teams need to ensure plenty of opportunities for those who are.
Offer employees frequent, cost-effective opportunities for continuing education and upskilling.
External classes and online certifications can augment interdepartmental learning and advancement opportunities. Online education has become recognized as a legitimate learning platform, courses are widely available, and valuable certifications are affordable.
Online education is an excellent way to promote learning at a pace determined by the employee.
Educational opportunities can be a mutually beneficial way for employers and employees to invest in each other’s success. An employee’s willing investment in the time it takes to complete the course offsets the employer’s direct education costs. Often, a commitment by the employee to stay with the company for an extended amount of time in exchange for course fees can also be negotiated.
This can be a real win-win investment.
Let employees engage in “train the trainer” activities.
More highly skilled employees make your workforce capabilities stronger. Workforce capability in your market makes you more competitive. It’s that simple.
HR teams need to be conscious of leveraging their knowledge workers, and as your employees become more skilled and educated, they can share their knowledge with coworkers. Always remember that knowledge transfer can happen in formal and informal training environments.
The old saying, “knowledge is power,” is ringing true in many ways in the workforces of 2022!
These three simple strategies can go a long way toward building a culture that promotes learning, recognizes your employees, and supports healthy workforce retention.
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