Helen Barraclough, Global Education Manager – Customer Success at global small business platform, Xero, reveals three ways that businesses can create a thriving learning culture for their employees.
“The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organisation’s learning culture”, according to a recent Bersin report on how learning cultures can empower businesses to be successful.
Findings from Xero’s Future of Small Business Report reveal that the pandemic has led to ten years of innovation and technological adoption taking place in just 90 days. This disruption has led to a shift in demand for human expertise – in fact, the World Economic Forum suggests we are on the brink of a ‘Reskilling Revolution’ as we’re required to work more intimately with intelligent machines, data and algorithms.
To put this into context, a recent report from LinkedIn has revealed that the most in-demand skills today didn’t even appear on their list three years ago. Now more than ever, there is a premium on employees with the intellectual curiosity to adapt and develop new skills.
Encouraging a learning culture at work is essential to attract top talent, give employees the necessary tools to become successful and thrive as a business. But how can you create a thriving learning culture for your business?
Here are the three biggest changes that you can make to your business to do just that.
Learning cultures are all about having a growth mindset, meaning it’s important for your employees to seek out and engage with new information whenever possible. Collective knowledge is a powerful thing, and actively sharing it among your employees should be encouraged.
One way to do this is to ensure that your team is able to ask each other questions without feeling self-conscious. In fact, tough questioning should be welcomed as a constructive process.
There are other ways to grow your business’ collective knowledge, too – engaging with feedback, acknowledging opinions (especially the ones that challenge your own), asking for help and sharing frequent updates on the business are all equally effective.
This active sharing of information will enable your employees to learn about the business and how it works on an ongoing basis, ultimately developing your business’ learning culture.
Find the right tools
When it comes to creating the perfect learning culture at work, having the right tools can supercharge your business’ development.
There is now no excuse for even a small business owner not to have the best insights and control over every part of their business, from marketing and customer acquisition, to customer service, financial performance and staff wellbeing. There truly is accessible technology for everything.
Even learning to stay on top of your finances – the thorn in the side of so many small businesses – is made easy with cloud accounting software like Xero, which has over 1000 apps for you to choose from to build a personalised toolkit for your business.
Finding and implementing the right tools will result in a culture that empowers your employees to develop their understanding and productivity in new areas – in turn, this will nurture your business’ learning culture.
Perhaps the biggest way for your employees to learn is through failing. Failures are natural for any business – especially in the early days – and the ability to adapt and overcome them is essential for your growth.
By accepting and even embracing failure as a business, you will create a culture that enables your employees to use failure constructively as a stepping stone towards success, while learning how to improve for next time.
Creating a vibrant learning culture at work will enable you and your team to stretch each others’ capabilities and thrive. This article has explored the three key ways for you to nurture this kind of culture – from encouraging questions from your team, finding the right tools to supercharge your skill development, and celebrating failures as opportunities to learn.
But ultimately, the most important aspect of creating a learning culture is openness. By being open to new ways of thinking and challenging old approaches, you can unleash and maintain a growth mindset among your employees that accelerates your business’ potential.
Author: Helen Barraclough, Global Education Manager – Customer Success