How to create a learning culture that attracts better candidates

Posted on 22nd May 2019

I feel I need to start this blog by explaining what I mean by a learning culture, by this I mean my definition of it, not one from a textbook or research paper.  I say this is for two reasons:

  • To make sure the title of this blog does not put people off, thinking it is going to be full of theories and models they may feel not relevant to them.
  • To reassure you that this is based on my 18 years’ experience working with our clients to develop their people and teams.

Basically, a learning culture is an organisation where learning is happening all the time and is actively encouraged and sought out at all levels.  It goes way beyond planned learning activities, such as courses and qualifications, and includes attitudes to learning, feedback on performance and sharing of learning.

If you are working in a learning culture, then in an average week you may well:

  • Have had a team meeting to discuss a project that has just been completed, and you have shared what you learnt from this, both what went well and what could have been better.  Also, what skills team members developed and how else these can be used.
  • Had time to read a blog (maybe this one) on a topic that really interests you, and more importantly reflect on what you’ve learnt from it and then share it with someone else.
  • Reviewed your personal development plan and ensured you are on track, and perhaps organised one of the activities on it.
  • Been asked to join  a new project team in an area you are unfamiliar with, and the reason you have been asked is that your manager knows it will push you out of your comfort zone, develop new skills and give you that challenge that you love.
  • Worked on your next CMI assignment, towards your level 3 in Coaching and Mentoring and had a coaching session with a new member of the team.

The best of all the above in a learning culture?  This is a normal week, where learning is happening all the time and actively sought out.

What do you think it is like to work in an organisation like this?  Do you think people enjoy working here?  Of course, the answer is YES, and does it attract better candidates who want to join your organisation – YES!

The cynic reading this (I don’t mean you of course) may well say that doing this takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.  However, look at the list above again which of these cost money – not many.  Which of these take time – all of them, but time very well spent. 

In a learning culture people are much more agile and open to change, and resilient as they know that when things don’t work that there is still learning to be had and they can bounce back and try again.  All of which significantly adds to the bottom line in terms of productivity, efficiency and innovation.

So, give some thought to if learning is part of your organisation’s culture, and if you feel the answer is not so positive then I can only encourage you to act on this and then enjoy the benefits for all involved.

As always, if you need any help and advice on how to do this then give us a call on 0153 215240 or email info@gatewayhr.com

Emma Wynne Character
Written by:
Emma Wynne
Managing Director