Creating a Culture of Lifelong Learning

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Four students at desksWhen it comes to beating the 70:20:10 problem and successfully training a whole workforce, there are many things to consider:

  • How will you train your staff?
  • Will you use gamification?
  • How can you ensure learners continue to develop after the training is over?

In this article, we’re going to address this last point. Since 70% of our knowledge comes through on-the-job training and 20% through observation of others (compared to 10% via formal training), it’s clear that in order to obtain a well-rounded understanding, our learning cannot end when we leave the classroom, close the textbook or log off our Learning Management System.

Instead, it’s important we create a culture of continued learning, whereby employees see their learning journeys as lifelong, expansive and evolving. When employees are empowered to continue learning and approach life as a library of things to be learnt, learning will evolve in unique and often unexpected ways.

Let’s see how…

golf ballImagine you are a salesperson in a golfing shop. You have just finished an eLearning module called, ‘The Physics of a Golf Ball.’ Now you know all about why golf balls spin, the speed at which they fly through the air and the impact that different lengths of grass have on how far they roll.

“Great!” you think. “I’ve finished my assigned learning and now I know a lot of useful stuff about golf balls.”

Now, you have two options. You can either take what you’ve learnt and check out – take off your ‘Learning’ hat and put on your ‘Cruising through life’ hat and try to sell some golf balls.

golf clubsOr, you can keep your Learning hat firmly on your noggin and think to yourself, “Hmm… I found it pretty interesting that a golf ball’s trajectory alters so much when it’s hit with a different club. Let me see if anyone on my Learning Management System knows more about clubs…”

That’s the difference between approaching life with a ‘can-learn’ attitude and closing off your mind as soon as you’ve learnt what it is that you’re ‘supposed’ to learn. Now, you can confidently sell both golf balls and golf clubs – and even explain which ones will work well together!

So how can we create a culture of lifelong learning?

Firstly, L&D professionals need to ensure that learners are rewarded for learning. If they aren’t, what’s the point in making so much effort? Why should they take hours out of their day to study if they don’t get any acknowledgement for all their hard work?

And we’re not necessarily talking about monetary rewards. Check out this article to find out more about why recognition motivates us to continue learning.

golf swingNext, give employees (aka learners) a means to communicate with one another. Our Academy Learning Management System has ‘Insights Groups’, which are special areas of the Academy dedicated to specific topics of interest. Learners join up to them and then chat with their fellow learners on the topics, share interesting ideas and link to further reading. It’s a fantastic way to boost the knowledge of all your employees at once – they begin to learn together!

Finally, it’s a fantastic idea to make the process of learning new things fun. Research shows we learn more when we’re having fun, and besides, if things are fun we’re more likely to repeat them – so add gamification to online learning to give your employees that extra boost.

Pretty soon, you’ll find you’ve created a culture of lifelong learning and you can sit back, relax and watch as your employees boost their knowledge, skills and success all on their own.

Want to find out more? Read our research paper on social learning, click here to discover how to get a great return on investment on your training programme, or click the button below to find out more about gamification!

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