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October 7th, 2022 · 3 min read

How mature is your organizational learning approach?

blog header graphic for organizational learning article

What is organizational learning?

  • Learning about your ideal customer profile and modifying your product or solution based on those findings.  
  • Implementing quarterly knowledge-sharing forums where teams are encouraged to share wins or opportunities and outline an action plan for the following quarter. 
  • Launching a workforce education program that offers a variety of relevant learning options to upskill and reskill your employees.
  • Rolling out a mentorship program that connects junior- and senior-level employees from different teams. 

The importance of organizational learning

  • Attracting top talent: In today’s competitive job market it’s especially important for companies to maintain their status as an employer of choice. Offering workforce education attracts the next generation of team members by delivering them with the potential for unlimited growth opportunities. Meanwhile, you also raise the bar overall for your talent pipeline. 
  • Increased employee job satisfaction, engagement and productivity: Workers today seek out learning and development opportunities. A recent survey showed that 80% of employees say access to learning opportunities helps them to feel more engaged on the job. And employees who like their jobs are up to 44% more productive than their disengaged peers.
  • Lowered turnover rates: Putting time into understanding what helps your workforce feel engaged can lead to better retention, which means less time and money flowing into costly turnover operations.
  • Bridging skills gaps: With the high demand for talent and the shortage of skilled labor, countless industries are experiencing unprecedented skills gaps. Organizational learning is key for keeping up with this rapidly changing work environment and addressing these gaps before they can impact your business negatively. Employees gain valuable, relevant skills while employers future-proof their companies to succeed.
  • Increased organizational adaptability: By prioritizing continuous learning, your company can keep pace with the unfolding future and implement necessary changes as they arise. Big shifts in technology and culture become a part of the day-to-day rather than massive and time-consuming overhauls. 

The fundamentals of organizational learning

  • Create knowledge
    Collect, generate or build new and relevant information that’s relevant to the business. 
    For example, let’s say you’re a Chief Learning Officer that rolled out a new L&D initiative six months ago. To “create knowledge,” you might solicit feedback from employees to understand how satisfied they are with the new program. In this way, you’re gathering knowledge about a specific subject related to your business.
  • Retain knowledge
    Create practices and procedures that support the implementation of the information that you gathered. 
    Running with the same example from before, taking steps to show that you are implementing changes to your L&D program based on the feedback you received is an example of retaining knowledge in this context.
  • Transfer knowledge
    Observe the effects of your implemented changes and construct new strategies and initiatives based on those observations. This is the point at which learning actually happens. 
    In this example, you would track metrics relevant to your L&D program to see if the changes made an impact. Then, you would document and share your findings with the rest of the L&D team and perhaps other stakeholders within your organization. 

How to integrate organizational learning into company culture

Get executive buy-in

Enable learning by making it easily accessible

Open up communication and collaboration

Think creatively about learning opportunities

Experiment with different techniques

Organizational learning propels your business forward

You can address talent development challenges