As technological change transforms nearly every facet of the enterprise, HR and talent development leaders are under increased pressure to accelerate both the pace and frequency with which their employees develop an array of soft and technical skills.
With good reason, employers are experimenting with the application of emerging technologies — adaptive, mobile, immersive and even virtual reality — to bridge skills gaps and engage learners across the globe. The advent of digital credentials is also helping organizations create more transparent career pathways as the labor market tightens and churn rates grow.
But the most transformative outcomes stem from transforming not just the how, but the why behind corporate learning. While learning tech can improve outcomes and engagement, learning culture can unlock a step-change in productivity across supply chains or transform customer service and sales outcomes. Executives that build a learning culture transform learning from occasional to immersive. They develop not just today’s skills, but aspiration to develop the competencies that will matter tomorrow.
Building culture is a challenge that intensifies for global organizations whose workforces are increasingly fragmented across multiple regions. Here are three ways that L&D can continually drive a global learning culture.
A learning culture starts at the top with C-suite executives and business leaders reinforcing the value of learning, not only for personal success, but for the success of the company. According to a LinkedIn report, 90 percent of executives say L&D is a necessary benefit for the company. However, only 8 percent of leaders see the business impact of L&D. It’s critical for L&D goals to align with business objectives and for learning leaders to partner with leadership to map specific skills gaps, co-promote learning programs and implement metrics to gauge success, which will ultimately drive engagement and demonstrate the value of the programs.
Create Transparent Pathways
The best global learning organizations are transparent about measuring learning along with performance, a tactic that often boosts both. Clearly articulate what skills and experience are required for promotions, lateral moves or departmental/regional transfers. By delineating goals for learners, you are recognizing learning hunger and commitment as a way to boost performance and productivity. Learning that starts with a defined end in mind is the lynchpin of a global learning culture.
Learning is inherently social. Make sure your digital learning experiences include tools to collaborate, from messages to comment boards, to helping colleagues recognize each other’s learning in a supportive way. This will also help them feel like they’re not learning in a lonely vacuum and increase regional camaraderie.
For people who feel overwhelmed by course options, social cues are like helpful filters. By seeing what colleagues in their department or tenure are learning, they can better decide what learning is right for them.
Fortunately, a mindset for renewable learning is not dependent on physical location, language or culture. By tightening relationships with business leaders, establishing transparent metrics and leveraging technology, learning leaders can make the world of learning a little more flat.