Who would have thought a couple of years ago, before the start of the pandemic, that things in the workplace were about to change drastically? No one would have guessed that droves of employees were about to begin working from home and that it would change the way people collaborate, network, and get their daily work tasks done. Moreover, it was anyone’s guess that a year or so into the pandemic millions of people would quit their jobs. The Pew Research Center1 stated,
“The COVID-19 pandemic set off nearly unprecedented churn in the U.S. labor market. Widespread job losses in the early months of the pandemic gave way to tight labor markets in 2021, driven in part by what’s come to be known as the Great Resignation. The nation’s ‘quit rate’ reached a 20-year high last November.”
Fortune2 said the Great Resignation “calls for a Glorious Re-Engagement.” In many ways, this is happening. “The U.S. labor market added 678,000 jobs in February (2021),” explained CNBC.3 “The February jobs report ‘indicates that the job market is healthy and resilient to the ebbs and flows of the pandemic…’” Nevertheless, the workplace is still uncertain and less-than-stable.
Instability doesn’t have to wreak havoc on corporate training and your company’s learning culture. In fact, uncertainty in the workplace can actually improve learning culture. Read on to find out why, and how you can strengthen learning culture at this time.
What is Learning Culture, and Why Should Companies Care About It?
There are many different definitions of “learning culture” as it can mean something different to different companies. A good general definition was mentioned by The Association for Talent Development4: “A culture of learning, or learning culture, is one in which employees continuously seek, share, and apply new knowledge and skills to improve individual and organizational performance.”
With this definition in mind, it’s easy to perceive the value of a company’s learning culture. Without a fully developed, mature learning culture, employee performance is often lacking and a company’s bottom line can fail.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic negatively affected the learning culture of organizations that neglected corporate training or put it on the backburner when things were at their worst. Most of these companies’ leaders weren’t trying to be negligent, but to merely keep the organization’s head above water and financially survive. These are the organizations that are now having to scramble to re-prioritize corporate training and rebuild learning culture from the ground up.
No company can afford to go without the benefits of a strong culture of learning (and there is always room for improvement in this area). Training Industry5 cited benefits such as:
- Increased efficiency
- Better productivity
- Improved profits
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Decreased turnover
- Better employee morale
- A greater sense of accountability for learners
Thankfully, the instability felt in the workplace right now can help companies create a stronger learning culture.
Why Uncertainty in the Workplace Can Support Your Company’s Learning Culture
Uncertainty in the workplace fosters ambiguity and a sense of instability for employees. This doesn’t have to prevent your organization’s learning culture from growing. In fact, many employees are more receptive to engaging with corporate training and with their employers because of the instability they are sensing. For example, many employees are interested in switching careers. This is evident in the fact that about 48 million individuals left their jobs last year, per Forbes6. People are continuing to contemplate a career change. Forbes stated,
“...some people are looking to do a complete 180 in their career. They've spent time reassessing and evaluating their current situation — including family time, lifestyle or other priorities — and have decided that the status quo isn't serving their purpose, so they've hit the job market.”
As a result of workplace instability, plenty of employees are interested in trying new things with their career or even starting a new job. This sounds like a bad thing, but it gives leaders a great opportunity to offer role-based online learning paths to interested workers and then promote from within. This would enable employees to make the career switch they desire, only within their current company. Not only would this save organizations from losing money to staff attrition, but it would also strengthen a company’s learning culture.
With online learning path functionality in TOPYX Quick Start LMS, you can create a sequential order of delivery for remote, online employee training courses. The course/material sequence can also be allocated to select users or user groups. You can set eligibility requirements for more advanced courses. More advanced courses become available only after users finish previous courses or materials, and users can only access content assigned to their online learning path.
Request a free LMS demo of TOPYX Quick Start to learn more.
Another reason why uncertainty in the workplace can improve your company’s learning culture is because employees' interests in gaining new skills is currently high, despite the fact that stability is elusive. In September 2021, an article by Amazon7 explained,
“Most workers (57%) are very or extremely interested in participating in training to upgrade their skills or to learn new skills that could help them advance their career. When that training is free and workers are paid while doing it (as they would be during work), interest goes up to 71%. By contrast, 47% of workers are interested in training at a college or university.”
By providing motivated employees with corporate training opportunities, you can strengthen your company’s learning culture. Unmotivated employees may become more interested in training if it’s made clear to them how training will benefit them professionally, and not just in their current job. Pointing out the benefits of corporate training can be a powerful motivator for employees that aren’t naturally inclined toward continuous learning.
To get the buy-in of your entire workforce, you may want to offer online courses that cover transferable skills that would apply to any job role. If these courses resulted in certification of some sort, participants could potentially list their accomplishments on their resume if appropriate, or on LinkedIn.
How to Strengthen Your Company’s Learning Culture
Now is prime time to build your organization's learning culture. Training Industry8 suggested organizational leaders do the following to create and sustain a strong learning culture:
- Formalize training and development plans, and make training mandatory and ongoing. This will help ensure employees take corporate training seriously.
- Give recognition to learners that are putting in effort and time and meeting your corporate training requirements.
- Elicit feedback via polls to evaluate the ROI and efficacy of L&D initiatives.
- Promote from within. “One of the advantages of training is having employees who are ready for a bigger role,” stated Training Industry. “Announce an internal job posting to encourage employees to gain knowledge.”
- Encourage knowledge sharing.
To implement these tips, you’ll need a learning platform that will allow you to deliver effective training to a dispersed workforce. TOPYX Quick Start LMS can help. TOPYX Quick Start LMS helps organizations set up and fully deploy a learning management system (LMS) in a matter of days.
With in-depth learning features and pre-built content to support remote workers and develop skills, TOPYX Quick Start LMS includes everything you need to get started with an L&D program for up to 500 learners. The traditional TOPYX LMS can accommodate any number of users. TOPYX LMS is offered through a flat-rate, affordable pricing model.
With TOPYX Quick Start LMS, your company can:
- Close skills gaps and improve skills
- Simplify financial training audits
- Streamline healthcare training
- Reduce retail staff turnover
“TOPYX allows us to deliver a turnkey, customizable educational solution,” explained Ben Petuchowski, Associate Director, Content Marketing, National Cattlemen's Beef Association. “It’s helping us get our message in front of audiences we might not have been able to reach previously, including the next generation of professionals who are going to be using beef.”
Ready to jumpstart your remote corporate training program with a highly customizable learning experience? Request a free LMS demo of TOPYX Quick Start today.
3) CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/10/there-are-more-than-11-million-open-jobs-in-america-right-now.html#:~:text=The%20February%20jobs%20report%20%E2%80%9Cindicates,10%20months%20in%20a%20row.%E2%80%9D.
5,8) Training Industry. https://trainingindustry.com/articles/professional-development/creating-a-learning-culture-for-the-improvement-of-your-organization/#:~:text=The%20Advantages%20of%20a%20Learning%20Culture&text=Increased%20efficiency%2C%20productivity%20and%20profit,sense%20of%20ownership%20and%20accountability.