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Build a Culture of Learning

A culture of learning, or learning culture, is one in which employees continuously seek, share, and apply new knowledge and skills to improve individual and organizational performance. The importance of the pursuit and application of learning is expressed in organizational values and permeates all aspects of organizational life.

Characteristics that define learning cultures can vary, but talent development leaders described such essential traits as closely aligned business and learning strategies, organizational values that affirm learning’s importance, and an atmosphere in which learning is so ingrained that it simply becomes “a way of life.” In such organizations, agility is more evident and change is not only embraced but exploited, while employees develop growth mindsets and seek out new opportunities to learn and to share knowledge with their colleagues.

While we know you want the best for your organization, studies show that only 31% of organizations have a culture of learning.

Having a culture of learning is a hallmark of high-performance organizations.

  • Top companies are almost 5xs more likely than lower performers to have extensive learning cultures.
  • High performers are nearly 2xs more apt to say their learning functions help meet organizational business goals.

Robust cultures of learning are distinct hallmarks of organizations that consistently produce the best business results.

From the ATD report, Building a Culture of Learning: The Foundation of a Successful Organization

Develop Learning Across Your Entire Organization

From the Experts: Insights, Reports, and Whitepapers

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It’s less about output and more about the difference that learning makes for individuals, teams, and the entire organization.

You can help shape a culture of continuous learning and development. Here are 10 ways to accomplish that (members-only content).

Better performance is only possible with a culture that supports and acknowledges employees for their development. Here are four steps for promoting a culture of learning for your employees.

“By their very nature, organizations that have a learning culture are on a continuous-improvement path. Developing people is simply how they operate. It’s ingrained and integrated in daily processes. It’s how you do things as a firm, as an organization. It’s how you think. And that drives the type of impact you see—you have better market share, increased retention, and employees who want to be there. You have a better opportunity to impact the market and the issues that are top of mind for your clients because you’re focused on bringing the best of the organization to those clients. Leveraging the full power of the organization comes about through optimizing a culture of learning and development.”
—Renee Romulus, Booz Allen Hamilton