Last updated: 28.09.21

Changing Company Culture to Foster Learning in 2021

As the world has become more disconnected after COVID-19, company culture within the workplace has dramatically changed. Remote and hybrid working is now the norm and fostering a team culture virtually, is even more difficult than it was within a face-to-face environment.  

During the pandemic, organisations used this time to upskill their staff using online training. As many businesses now enter a new hybrid working model, what can we do as a Learning and Development (L&D) professionals to create a company culture that still encourages curiosity and self-directed learning, post-pandemic?  

Accepting the “new normal” 

The first step is to identify what new habits and norms have emerged over the last two years. Look for ways in which your team has improved, how they function and what worked well whilst operating during the pandemic. Work with your team to do this as they might see things from a different view having worked virtually for so long. 

Instilling the same company values and principles you had pre-pandemic will no longer be necessary as the values will have changed and developed. The idea of collaboration and working together towards a common goal whilst overcoming similar challenges are now the key themes, and these concepts need to be addressed in a new company culture.  

Encouraging Self-Directed Learning 

It is important that everyone within your organisation feels confident enough to put their head above the parapet from time to time to challenge, request and suggest. You can foster this in small ways through your practice. For example ,what do you do when someone requests yet another training course to be added to your lengthy catalogue?  

If your organisation uses any communication tools such as Microsoft Teams or Facebook Workplace, create a channel that allows knowledge and resource sharing. Staff have tons of knowledge and experience throughout the business, so do what you can to encourage them to share their knowledge and resources in their topic area.’ 

Share this channel of communication with the rest of the team/business and you will be pleasantly surprised how collaboration and knowledge sharing becomes frequent, fostering a culture of self-directed learning.  

I did it my way… 

Exercising choice and control over learning is known to produce higher levels of engagement with the subject matter. Choice and control are also a motivating factor resulting in wider benefits to the business, so why not explore different options available? 

For Learning and Development (L&D) teams using a learning management system (LMS), can you encourage the learners to self-register? This is ideal when working with large workforces and staff working virtually, as it gives them the chance to investigate the features available on the system in their own time and find what works for them. 

What about accessible learning? This option will allow your staff to be curious and browse learning, having control over which courses (outside of mandatory requirements!) they can access. 

Lead by Example 

A leader’s behaviour, in particular what they do day to day, can influence the performance of their team. The more senior the leaders are, the more influence they can have on staff across the business.  

So, keeping this in mind, encourage the senior leadership team and other managers across the business to knowledge share through social communication tools, learn new skills through online courses or take on tasks outside of their comfort zone. Formal learning will always be needed; however, the more you can show discipline and curiosity through your actions, outside of formal learning, the more likely it is to inspire teams to do the same. 

Ultimately, company culture continues to evolve and change as many businesses transition from home working to a hybrid working model. Embedding and fostering a learning culture within this can be daunting; however, implementing these steps can help you adopt a new modernised culture that encourages curiosity after a difficult two years.  

For any bespoke or online training requirements, contact one of our Learning and Development Consultants to discuss how we can help you with your learning requirements here.