How can L&D influence learning culture? – LT Exchange 2019

by | Feb 28, 2019 | Articles, Featured, General, Interviews, Resources

With only 23% of learning practitioners successfully developing a learning culture within their organisation, it is clear more needs to be done to help inform the industry on how they can meet this goal.

Drawing on insight that Laura Overton, CEO and founder of Towards Maturity, shared at a roundtable chat at the Learning Technologies exhibition, this short blog looks to provide you with 3 practical ideas that can help you influence the learning culture within your company.

Photo by Gaelle Delmas-Watson @GaelleDWatson

Note before we proceed, that the question is talking about the role of L&D as influencers of culture as opposed to the creators of culture. Within the discussion Laura emphasised that “modern workers are establishing their own culture of learning,” regardless of L&D’s involvement. As such, it is the responsibility of the L&D professional to shape and influence what this culture looks like. But how?

Practical idea 1: Encourage managers to support learning

One of the learning professionals in the discussion, Ellie, complained: “there is no support from senior leaders and managers”. This was the common consensus around the table and within our Health Check sample too, as only 33% of practitioners reported that senior managers demonstrate a commitment to learning.

The role managers play in establishing a learning culture should not be ignored since over 30% of learners say their managers opinion is most likely to encourage them to get involved with online learning. Therefore, it should be a priority for L&D to influence the perception and value of learning in the eyes of the manager.

Practical idea 2: Embrace your own learning, before focusing on others

Overton highlighted that often learning professionals don’t make time for their own learning – they are too busy trying to encourage others. This is problematic as often professionals are trying to encourage learning they have never experienced. Remarkably, only 61% of L&D professionals would recommend online learning to others based on their own experience.

Only when learning practitioners themselves have established their own culture, can they help influence the wider organisation. Laura, quoting Ghandi, argued we need to “be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Practical idea 3: Involve learners in the design of learning solutions

Wendy, another participant in the chat, highlighted the disconnect she felt with learners as “they understand the value of learning, but just aren’t doing it”. To overcome this, Laura explained how learners need to be engaged in the design process of learning. After all, change happens through dialogue, not an LMS. In organisations where learners are involved in the design of the most appropriate learning approach, they are 15% more likely than the average to be developing the learning culture within their organisation.

Lessons learnt:

Although learning cultures come into fruition naturally, learning practitioners play a vital role in shaping what this looks like. The scale of the task can at times feel overwhelming, but remember a key tool is your ability to influence how others, and even yourself, view learning.

Interested in hearing more about influencing learning culture? Why not speak to one of our analysts! Contact us on [email protected]

Watch out for more highlights from our LT Exchange programme 2019 over the coming weeks!

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