Learning culture:
           1. What is it? 🤔
           2. A change of paradigm🤩
           3. What levers to rely on to develop it?🚀
           4. Tools to support the learning culture 🦾

Although the literature on the topic of learning culture is somewhat dated, the recent events surrounding the pandemic have highlighted the limitations of the current model.

It is now as part of a more profound change in the world of work that many companies are taking a serious look at the issue of learning culture. They recognize the role it has played in building a more resilient, flexible, and forward-looking company.

And for good reason. Who wouldn’t want a company where you can take the time to learn and make mistakes? Where learning makes sense because it is linked to the company’s goals and strategy? A company where learning is more focused on experience and “informality” than on “formal” training? And in which knowledge is available, ready to use and even adapted to the context of the employee and the company?

If large companies such as Apple, Microsoft or Google have shown that a learning culture has a strong impact on a company’s performance at different levels, companies of all sizes can start to develop this approach because, as we will see, it is above all a change of philosophy that is necessary.

Learning culture🤔

What is it?

A learning culture in an organization is a shared vision that learning is an important driver of growth for an organization. This culture manifests itself in a willingness to holistically value the learning process by aligning the needs of different stakeholders and leveraging education in different ways and contexts within an organization.

A change of paradigm

People who work in organizations without a real learning culture often associate the term “training” with a one-time, formal, and often compliance-related event. They often hear the famous phrase, “I can’t today, I’m in training. And that’s the problem. Learning is not addressed in a coherent way.

On the one hand, companies are often reluctant to invest significantly in training because they lack the means to amplify and quantify its impact over time on company performance. They may prefer to limit themselves to the bare minimum for fear that the labor market value of their employees will increase too much, while the cost of an underperforming employee may be much higher.

On the other hand, employees are often reluctant to be involved in the company’s training and to share their knowledge. They see it as something that gives them value and justifies their remuneration.

Both get little value from training and it fails to have a real impact on the company’s performance.

The learning culture attempts to reconcile these two aspects and create a virtuous circle based on 5 principles:

  • Training as a non-event, a reflex
  • Emphasis on Informal learning
  • Trial and error is essential to learning
  • The digitization of continuous knowledge
  • Human-centered

Learning culture, what levers to pull on ?

Toutes les entreprises, quelle que soit leur taille, peuvent mettre en place une stratégie de culture apprenante. Selon le contexte de chacun, il convient de se poser les bonnes questions afin d’utiliser les synergies pour maximiser l’impact du dispositif.

Formalise informal learning

Streaming platforms, social networks, articles, podcasts, mentoring, coaching, team activities, hands-on seminars… all these activities contribute to learning, support and reinforce the formal learning received by the employees. According to the reference model, the 70-20-10 model, only 10% of learning comes from formal learning.

By facilitating the sharing and curation of freely available online content, formalizing coaching sessions, creating micro-content, short videos…the informal can start to be “formalized”.

Involve your managers and subject-matter experts

Although a learning culture is something that is developed collectively, there are certain individuals within a company who can have a particular impact on the learning culture. These are managers and business experts.

They must embody the learning culture on a daily basis in supporting teams, developing skills according to needs (evaluation and follow-up), formalizing the various training activities, being mentors, digitizing their knowledge…

Develop a continuous competency-based approach

If we want to make training meaningful, we need to link it to concrete needs. Adopting a competency-based approach seems to be a good way to align the different stakeholders.

  • As an organization, what are the key skills gaps that, if left unaddressed, will be barriers to achieving the strategy? What are the skills we will need in the future to meet our long-term aspirations and vision?
  • As a learner, what skills are expected in my current position? What position can I move into? What skills do I need for this new position?
  • As a manager, do I have the necessary skills in my team to carry out this project or mission?

Formaliser une taxonomie de compétences (même simple) pour commencer a pouvoir répondre à ces questions de façon systématiques et aligner les objectifs sur une taxonomie commune un très bon moyen d’amorcer un changement vers une culture apprenante.

Trial and error

A common thread among many organizations that have had success in developing a learning culture is the way they view failure. Learning organizations give employees the space and confidence to try, fail and learn from their mistakes because they recognize the importance of experimentation in the learning process.

Creating a context in which employees have easy access to the knowledge they need to be confident in what they are doing and can call on the support of a business expert or manager to learn from them is one of the steps towards a learning culture.

However, the various stakeholders still need to have the tools they need to share content, manage skills, animate communities, etc.

Tools to support the learning culture: Learning Experience Platform🦾

While there is no magic formula for developing a learning culture, tools such as LXPs can provide a framework to easily address the challenges of a learning culture.

Here’s how.

A framework to address the learning culture in a holistic way

The Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is a learning platform that provides organizations with learning technology that enables them to address performance gaps at 3 interrelated levels:

  • At the employee level (individuals and teams): Facilitating access to content, delivering personalized learning experiences as well as incorporating innovative digital learning methods to optimize employee upskilling as well as enriching and giving meaning to work.
  • At the work level (operations, processes and communication): Facilitating access to content, delivering personalized learning experiences, and incorporating innovative digital learning methods to optimize employee skill growth and enrich and give meaning to work.
  • At the strategic level (organization and company): Enabling organizations to federate an entire learning ecosystem to, among other things, develop a learning culture as well as adopt a competency-based approach.

The LXP will therefore ensure the upward and downward convexity of the learning culture in the company in a consistent and self-reinforcing manner.

Learning modalities at the service of a learning culture

LXP specializes in the plurality of learning formats and modalities.

Whether it is a continuous skills development plan, collaborative and social learning, manager involvement, community creation, User-Generated Content (UGC)… The modalities that are important to the development of a learning culture are often covered by an LXP.

These modalities are captured and organized in a coherent way thanks to a number of automation and recommendation algorithms.

The learner at the center of an open ecosystem

Learning communities, mentoring, coaching, on-the-job training, micro-content, off-the-shelf catalogs, hands-on practice… these are no longer simple environments that employees have access to. They are learning ecosystems that are able to collect data related to these learning moments.

LXPs have a data architecture based on the xAPI standard to measure and ensure the consistency of the learning experience across the variety of modalities, sources and formats.

In short,

The first step towards a learning culture is a change in mentality towards learning and the realization that training is a major lever for growth.