A learning culture is a set of organizational values, processes, and practices that encourage employees - and the organization as a whole - to continuously learn and add new skills. An organization with a true learning culture improves employee morale, reduces turnover, attracts better talent, fosters innovation, creates more effective teams, and is generally more productive. After discussing these benefits, we outline seven basic steps for forming an intentional learning culture.
Most learning directors would claim that their organizations value learning. But many of them do not have a true learning culture. At best, they have what one would call a "training culture."
What's the difference? In a training culture, performance problems are tended to by the use of training. The challenge, from this point of view, is getting good content, delivering it efficiently, and tracking attendance. Much less attention is paid to the context surrounding training, such as employee and management attitudes, tracking, and so on. Training is largely centralized and instructor-led, and measures success in terms of delivery.
A learning culture, on the other hand, focuses more on the workplace outcomes than on attendance at training events.
Although employees might still receive formal training, they are encouraged to learn on their own, as needed.