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One of the most common reasons that employees leave companies is a lack of career growth. Over a third of employees who quit their jobs did so because they weren’t learning new skills or improving performance. So if you’re running a company, and you want your people to commit for the long-term, you need to develop a learning culture. A recent study found that as much as 75% of employees feel that they are ‘on their own’ when it comes to developing and building on their skills at work.
As entrepreneurs, how do we stand out from the crowd, and create a culture in which the people on our team can feel that they are always improving and developing? We sat down with Justin Cobb, entrepreneur and global business consultant, to ask for some advice on creating a learning culture.
At most companies, information flows downwards from the top. At meetings, managers inform the staff of new policies and procedures. Memos are circulated to inform people of new information. But one of the most powerful things you can do to develop a learning culture is to let information flow both ways in your company. Sit down with your staff and take feedback and ideas from them. Let them know that their input and knowledge is valuable.
Business is aspirational. When you lead a business, the people who work for you are most likely aspiring to be like you. They see you in a successful position, and they know that the smart thing to do if you want success is to emulate the successful. So if you want them to be constantly learning and growing, then you should be too. If your team sees you keeping up to date on the marketplace, challenging yourself to do new things, and constantly reading and taking in new information, they’ll be inspired to do alike.
Many business owners are happy to recognize large account acquisitions, or hitting sales targets. But what about the less quantifiable successes of your people? Take some time to recognize and build up people who have learned new skills and increased their competency. Set these people up as an example for others, so they know that hitting targets is not the only way to show growth.
Building a strong learning culture can have measurable benefits for your business. When an employee grows, your organization grows. When your employees are successful, then so are you.