How Promoting a Learning Culture in Your Organization Will Attract and Retain Top Talent

The Great Resignation has changed the balance of power in the workplace. Over the last couple of years, a large number of people have decided to quit their jobs. Some cited a poor work-life balance as a reason behind the decision. Others complained of low pay and expressed that they didn’t feel they could advance in their jobs. Employees also often said that they left their jobs because they did not feel respected.

Employers are facing unprecedented turnover, and many places have shortages of qualified workers. One problem of concern is that businesses may not know how to build a learning culture in an organization.

According to, 86% of HR professionals surveyed said that recruitment is becoming more like marketing–they need to find ways to appeal to employees and prospective employees. Understanding what employees and prospective employees want from a company is the best way to find the top talent and keep that talent at your organization. Learning how to promote a learning culture in an organization is a good way to do this.

Focused diverse team collaborating on a project using a laptop in a library setting.

What Is a Learning Culture?

A lot of companies claim that learning is an important part of the company culture. However, the reality is that it’s often a lot of talk with little to no action. Some aren’t even entirely sure what learning culture examples would even look like. They just know to use the buzzword when recruiting.

A learning culture is a community of workers who all have a similar mindset that is focused on growth. It’s about wanting to learn new things and wanting to apply what has been learned to the organization. It’s about making things better and evolving. Typically, employees who are part of a work culture like this want to share their knowledge with others, too.

This is the ideal type of culture you want to create within your company. However, according to the Harvard Business Review, the truth of the matter is that “only 1 in 10 companies have a true learning culture, defined as a culture that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge, and shared direct learning toward the mission and goals of the organization.”

One of the examples of a learning culture that works is Google, who fostered a strong learning culture that works well for them. They accomplish this with good two-way communication and by sharing and learning amongst employees. They also learn from failures, and they often provide learning opportunities and courses for employees.

How a Workplace Learning Culture Attracts and Retains Top Talent

When people are looking for work, most of them are not just looking for a place to hang their hats during the day and bring home a paycheck. They are looking for career opportunities, even if it might seem to be a relatively simple job. They are motivated and looking for ways they can advance and better themselves. These types of employees are going to do wonders for the organizations that hire them and nurture their skills.

Having a true learning culture will make it easier for you to reach out to and attract new talent that you want to bring into your company. It will also mean that you have a much higher likelihood of retaining the employee.

A lot of companies have been dealing with a substantial amount of turnover during the past few years. Turnover often occurs because employees do not feel as though the company is investing in them. They wonder why they should stay at the company. They conclude that they should move on, and they start looking for different jobs. Even if they are still employed by your organization for a few months, they tend to have mentally checked out by this point.

The Problems of Employee Turnover

Turnover costs more than a lot of people imagine. How much do you think it’s going to take to replace an unskilled employee? It will generally be about 50% of that employee’s salary. If their salary was $30,000 per year, companies will often spend around $15,000 trying to find and onboard another employee.

It’s even worse when you start considering the cost of higher-skilled workers. These employees could be even more difficult to replace. In some cases, it could cost 150% of the employee’s salary to find and bring aboard a suitable replacement!

This adds up to wasted money that could have been saved if only companies invested in retaining their employees. Understanding how to promote a learning culture in an organization is a major part of that.

When your organization is willing to invest in employees, the turnover rate is reduced. It sounds simple, but many companies are taking a long time to learn this lesson because they feel that they can save money by not investing in their workers. Understanding just how much the turnover is costing should enlighten these companies. A little investment will go a long way.

4 Ways to Implement Strategies that Promote a Learning Culture

Below are some relatively simple but important ways that you can implement strategies to promote a learning culture.

Make Types of Opportunities Clear in Job Listing

Job descriptions, which are often written by the HR team or managers, need to be descriptive and let potential employees know what is needed of them and what they will be doing. However, you should also make sure the description also includes information about learning opportunities.

Why is it so important to put this into the job description? When potential employees see this, they know right away that your company invests in its employees. This will help you to attract the best types of employees that you want to hire and retain. Show them what you can do for them, and they will put forth their best.

Discuss Opportunities During the Interview Process

Although you want to discuss opportunities in the job description, you will find that you also need to talk about them during the interview process. Don’t leave it up to the interviewee to bring this up. If you feel this candidate has the potential to become a team member, discuss the opportunities the workplace offers.

Talk about the types of learning courses that are available, for example. This can give the interviewee a better idea of what they can expect if they choose to work for you. This type of information should be front and center, just like salary and benefits.

Actively Encourage Employees to Engage with Professional Development Opportunities

Make sure your current employees are nurtured. Encourage them to take advantage of the professional development opportunities your company offers based on not just their current job, but also their interests. 

However, it is not enough just to have professional development opportunities available for the employees. You will also want to make sure you provide the employee time at work to take these courses. Pay them for their time when they take the courses. Truly invest in them. 

Showcase Employees Who Complete Courses

If you want to encourage more of your team to take these courses to better themselves and to learn more about their work and the job they want, highlight the employees. Highlight them through internal announcements as well as showcasing their accomplishments on social media.

This shows people that you notice, and that you are paying attention to their development. It can often encourage more employees to take advantage of available opportunities.

What Else Can You Do to Retain Employees?

In addition to finding ways to promote learning, you will also want to listen to what employees have to say. What is it that they want from the workplace? Do they want more flexibility? Do they want some work-from-home options? Understand what your employees want, consider the feasibility of providing it, and then try to come up with a solution that appeals to as many as possible.

Further Resources

There are many ways you can implement strategies to promote a learning culture. Consider checking out some training opportunities and courses from KnowledgeCity, such as the training course for Recruiting High Potentials. This course helps you to find better methods of internal and external recruitment, to better understand the onboarding process, and more.

Check out all of the online courses available to find options that may suit your employees. Some of the options include courses on negotiation, creative thinking skills, strategic planning, and contracts.

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