Developing a learning organization
A learning organization values both organizational growth as well as employee development. Such a learning environment aims to create a thriving company culture and hone employee’s skills. This implies allowing enough space for freedom and flexibility to experiment and set the ideal system. Here are some of the measures that a company can implement to develop a learning culture.
Strategized problem solving
Establishing a system is half the work done. Training programs and learning tools are salient assets for inculcating a problem-solving approach. The programs should focus on problem-solving techniques using practical solutions. It includes:
- Focussing on scientific methods for problem diagnosis
- Relying on data for decision making
- Utilizing statistical tools for data analysis
Employees’ minds should work towards finding the root cause of a problem in order to figure out the optimized solution. This is achieved when they are encouraged to think strategically.
Peer learning is a great way to disseminate knowledge to the younger workforce. Every organization has team members skilled in particular areas. The leaders and HR team can identify them and devise a strategy for effective dispersion of expertise. It can be accomplished through seminars, webinars, discussion sessions, etc. The process becomes smoother if the organization has a directory of SMEs to plan periodic knowledge-sharing sessions to enhance skills and experience.
Learning and growing is an ongoing process. The organizations need to ensure that there’s a perennial crossflow of knowledge. Every team member should have access to the right tools to bridge the gaps and enhance their skills. In return, each employee needs to be equally dedicated towards knowledge acquisition and growth. A slight change in the system can help amplify employees’ enthusiasm to learn. For instance, replace mandatory training sessions with self-assessment to help them identify gaps and create individualized training plans.
Mistakes are the biggest mentors for organizational learning. It’s imperative to allow critical thinking and cultivate innovative ideas - and making mistakes is a part of this process. Calculated risks and mistakes are critical for self-guided exploration. Just like an ML/AI-assisted tool’s tenet is taking continuous data to better its output, employees need to receive feedback from their mistakes to improve their performance. Learning from mistakes sets the foundation for a continuous improvement culture.
There are a lot of organizational fundamentals that textbooks cannot teach. These learnings come from experiences. One of the keys of experiential learning is to reflect on experiences (whether it’s a small change in the process, setting a new system, etc.) and analyze their impact. Such an analytical approach helps observe the technicalities and implement them in future.
The actionable insights fostered from the learning culture can guide the company in the right direction. It requires each individual to work collectively in the process of implementing, supporting, and cultivating the learning environment.