Our team hosted a panel discussion with our coaches and clients on the importance of a learning culture within an organization and how to build it. You can watch the discussion below:
We often hear that companies struggle to find the right talent. According to a report published by Manpower Group last year, 7 in 10 companies believe they have a talent shortage.
When discussing the various people strategies used to tackle the talent shortage — or skills gap, many companies look at the 4 B’s: Build, Buy, Borrow, and Bridge. But what does each model entail?
Build: Companies build their talent in-house by investing in learning and development programs to grow their talent pipeline and upskill their existing and future workforce.
Buy: When the labor market is tight, companies go to the external market to find talent that cannot be found internally within a short time frame.
Borrow: Companies foster an internal and external community of talent of freelancers, contractors, and temporary workers who work full or part-time to complement internal team.
Bridge: Companies help employees move on from or move up within the organization. Can be an internal or external transition.
The proper blend of these models is the key to a successful talent strategy. Companies need to buy talent when needed, borrow talent to support the existing team, bridge when necessary, and most importantly, build a talent pool with the skills needed for today and tomorrow. Last week, we discussed the many benefits of building a culture of learning within organization. It can increase employee engagement; retention; and performance, improve sales and customer retention, lower recruitment spend, mitigate tribal knowledge, and much more.
With much evidence to support how beneficial developing your talent pool can be within your organization, how exactly do you go about building this culture of learning? We’ve outlined some steps you can follow below:
1. Assess your current situation and figure out where you need to be
The first step is to figure out where you are currently with the employees you do have. What existing skills and talent do you have? What are your gaps? Once you get a better understanding of what you currently have vs. what you need, you can start to work out how you’re going to get there. What tools and resources should you utilize to fill in the gaps?
2. Research an L&D solution
There are a lot of different tools out there today to help companies upskill their employees. Do your research and figure out what’s going to be the best learning and development solution. You want to make sure that with whatever solution you provide your employees, it’s highly personalized, motivating, applicable to their work, and repeated. Be sure they are set up for success.
3. Get buy-in from stakeholders
Build a business case to ensure that other stakeholders understand the “why” behind your solution. Talk to leaders and employees and ask them what their goals are and how they are going to achieve them. Use their feedback to support your initiative, by showing how your plan will help them reach their goals. Outline your program, the timing, etc. and justify why you are running things this way. Then, be sure to emphasize what your expected outcome will be of the program. What metrics are you going to keep track of to determine the success of the program? Retention rate? Team performance? Employee satisfaction? There are a lot of ways you can track performance. Be sure to collect feedback before, during, and after the program is in place to ensure you know how everything is going. This will help sell your case, now and in the future when you want to renew it.
4. Bring your employees lifelong learning
Provide your employees with the tools and resources they need to continue their education. With the rise of automation, human skills such as communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, etc. are becoming increasingly important, so ensure that your employees are able to learn both hard and soft skills through their development program. Learning platforms with training modules, professional coaching, etc. provide great opportunities to develop different skills.
5. Start employees early
Companies that provide their employees with lifelong learning opportunities should involve them as soon as they are hired. Prepare young staff for future challenges by providing them with the tools they need to be successful today and tomorrow. This will help your company remain agile as the future of work evolves.
Building out a learning culture can take time and be costly, however, the benefits for the organization are tremendous. By investing in your employees’ future, you are investing in your company’s future and ensuring that you are on a long-term path of growth and success.