Does your workplace have a “Learning Culture”?

The ROI of workplace learning

Learning at work strengthens Canada’s economy. Employee performance and organizational productivity are significant indicators of the state of the economy, and workplace learning is a strong contributing factor to both of these indicators. More importantly, from our perspective, previous research and experience tell us that many Canadian workers experience even greater gains when literacy and essential skills are built into workplace learning.designer learning, lisa salvador, totalsdi, learning culture, winnipeg

Creating a learning culture in the workplace

Ensuring that essential skills are effectively embedded within workplace learning is an effective way to reach the employees who could benefit the most from these learning opportunities. Here are a few ways to improve workplace learning outcomes:

Make learning opportunities available to workers at all levels — An increasingly skilled workforce is one of the keys to being competitive, so it pays to provide opportunities for all employees to improve their knowledge and skills, not just those in leadership or management positions.

Include assessment of multiple competencies — An employee’s educational attainment is not always a good indicator of skill level. Discomfort with new technology or difficulty with interpersonal communication can impact job performance just as easily as poor writing or math skills.

Foster a learning culture — A key component of a successful workplace is creating a culture of learning. It helps ensure that an organization can adapt to changing technologies, work environments and the marketplace in general. Simply put, a culture of learning is nothing more than workplace leaders providing opportunities for learning in a supportive environment.

This definition of a learning culture can apply to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as larger organizations. The smallest employers can demonstrate that they value learning, for example, by connecting their employees with relevant community-based programs and recognizing workers’ learning achievements.

As a society we are gradually leaving behind the idea that people are done learning at graduation, along with the idea that learning is something that happens mainly in school. The pace of technological change and increasing demands for a highly skilled and adaptable workforce are making it clear that people will continue to learn throughout their lives and in a variety of settings.

Organizations and enterprises that align themselves with a vision for continuous improvement and support of lifelong learning — in schools, at work and in the community — are investing in their future success, and in Canada’s.

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