“Culture” is a buzzword that we hear thrown around a lot in business circles. But when asked how to describe company culture, most people have a hard time actually defining what culture means–to them or to their company. A company’s culture is the combination of the values, attributes, behaviors, and characteristics of an organization and the people who work within it. These shared aspects should dictate the company and people that work within it.
Every company has a culture, whether they know it or not. The difference between a good company culture and a bad one is usually intentionality. Companies who spend time creating a positive work culture intentionally and purposefully will always see better results than those who let the culture develop–and usually stagnate–on its own.
We believe that Culture comes from Core Values, period. The shared behaviors you are intentional about are what create your culture.
Our Core Values:
- Learning and Teaching
- Reliability and Trust
- Positive Attitude and Action Oriented
- Empathetic Guidance
Today we want to dive into the “Learning and Teaching” portion of our company’s culture because we believe that it trickles down to inform and enrich all the other areas of our organization’s culture.
The Benefits of Creating Company Culture Based on Learning and Teaching
Are you utilizing your employees’ strengths and skills to their full potential? When you view their collective and individual skills and knowledge base as static, you’re almost guaranteed to be missing out on opportunities to improve your company’s operational productivity, retention rates, efficiency, and scale.
When you’re creating company culture, certain buzzwords may spring to mind–professional, motivating, collaborative, challenging, fast-paced, high performance. Often, learning isn’t at the top of the list. The most common attitude from businesses is that culture is something that employees should do on their own time or come pre-equipped with.
But while learning opportunities like skills training, conferences, online courses, and traveling may be viewed by most companies as a perk, we believe that it should be considered an essential component of running a successful and profitable business.
The world around us is not static. Technology, process development, project management concepts, the evolution of marketing–all of these things affect your business whether you like it or not. Your workforce, your company, and your industry are changing and evolving around you. And the only way to ensure that you thrive instead of being left behind is to develop a mindset of constant improvement.
Investing in Knowledge Pays Interest
The average mid-sized business (100-500 employees) spends less than six minutes training and developing their employees every six months. For those of us who are too busy to do the math, that’s twelve minutes per year spent on training and continued education.
Further research tells us that three out of four employees do not feel as though their skills, talents, and strengths are
recognized, appreciated, or properly utilized.
That is 75% of the workforce who feel demoralized and dissatisfied because they are not being allowed to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Everyone wants to be good at their job–it provides a sense of accomplishment that engages and motivates. One-third of workers leave an organization after less than one year of employment. And 70% of those employees report that the amount of training and development offered influenced their decision to leave.
If you can’t retain top talent because they feel unchallenged, bored, and demotivated, you’re going to lose a lot of time and money re-recruiting. In fact, the cost of providing regular training, development, and other learning opportunities is negligible compared to the cost of onboarding multiple new employees every year.
Start with a solid onboarding process and make sure that you include access to quality education and support throughout your employees’ tenure. Sending them to relevant conferences, buying a company subscription to learning services like Great Courses or Lynda, bringing in monthly speakers, and subsidizing the cost of obtaining a higher degree or certification in their field can foster a sense of investment, belonging, gratitude, and motivation in your employees that keeps them growing with you–and for you–for much longer.
Innovation and Creativity Inspire Success
In many companies, employees are expected to complete their daily tasks in the manner in which they were trained and no more. But this leaves no room for questions, for creativity, for critical thinking and original ideas.
Learning cultures give the people who work for you the opportunity to work up to their potential. When they are constantly developing new skills and absorbing new concepts, their potential increases exponentially as time goes on, which can be a huge advantage for your company.
In a culture that values learning, innovation and creativity can flourish and employees are more likely to solve problems on their own and work independently. Being proactive and well-educated makes them more efficient and productive because they are able to examine their work critically and improve their own processes.
And because they feel inspired and valued, they’re much more likely to find meaning and fulfillment in their work, which means they’ll take ownership of it and stick around for much longer.
When you value teaching as well as learning, you can set aside time for employees to pass on their knowledge and educate their peers, spreading the benefits they’ve received.
A true learning culture enables its employees to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, analyze critically, and create the adaptability and capacity needed for meaningful change.
Quick Tips On How to Build Company Culture Around Learning
- Conduct a self-audit of your company and ascertain where the learning gaps and opportunities are. Ask for feedback from your employees about what they’d like to see.
- Lead by example and ensure that leadership is also investing in continued learning and teaching.
- Make learning habitual by setting aside designated times and putting on events for employees.
- Encourage coaching and mentoring across the company and implement internal networking events to foster connections.
- Recognize and celebrate individual and team learning–positive reinforcement is key.
- Learn from your mistakes. Failure is a part of learning, so create a culture of acceptance and support around failure that occurs as a part of trying something new.
Creating a learning culture is an ongoing, dynamic process and with perseverance and repetition, it will eventually become the backbone of your organization.
If you have any questions about creating company culture or marketing it to your employees, contact us at 501-214-9219. We’d love to sit down and help you develop an internal strategy to promote learning and teaching in your own company culture.