In my last post, I wrote about how one way we can solve for engagement problems in the workplace is to create a culture of learning where managers empower employees to take ownership of their development and employees have the skills and tools to do so.
Let’s unpack that a bit.
How do you create a culture of learning?
Once again, it’s not something that happens overnight. Instead, it’s through micro steps over a period of time.
But it has to start with creating learner-centric trainings.
What are learner-centric trainings?
They are trainings that are built around the learner. Trainings that before being created ask the question: who is this for? and designing the training for that particular audience.
Learner–centric trainings also focus on key objectives tied to business outcomes you want the learner to be able to DO at the end of it, and providing opportunities for them to do it (discussion, assignments, games, etc.), not things that you want the learner to “understand.”
SIDE RANT: Please, not another “At the end of this training you’ll understand…” Because I have news for you: at the end of the training, your learner isn’t going to understand a single thing (other than that they wasted their time listening to a talking head for hours...) unless you give them an opportunity to practice something. Just because you tell someone something doesn’t mean they understand it.
Get your learner involved, they will learn, they will change, and it will be shown in the business outcomes.
Do this enough and your new super fancy way of training will be accepted by others in your organization.
Soon the days of four hour trainings using branded PowerPoint slides plastered with size 12 font will be gone. People start to like trainings and they ask for more, and more, and more!
From there, trainings become not just a way to learn new knowledge but a benefit to your organization, a key piece to your organization’s identity. People begin to seek out learning opportunities on their own and managers encourage it. People can't wait to come to work because they know every day will be a chance to learn something new - to develop themselves. Now that is engagement.
So how do you create a culture of learning?
It starts with you doing good work. Before you open up PowerPoint to create a training, do the good work of identifying your audience and identifying your goals, which for a little while you might have to explain to a few people, but overtime your work will speak for itself.
That’s called trust building.
And that’s how you create a culture of learning.