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Creating a learning culture in your team: 5 quick tips to get you started

We’re living through times of rapid change. You and your team must continue to learn, if you want to continue to be successful. Here are 5 quick tips for creating a learning culture in your team (all at no cost!).

1. Learn how to learn

Don’t assume that your team knows how to learn! Learning itself is a skill, you can learn how to learn.

Here’s one great opportunity to do that, a free course from Learn how to learn. This course takes you through learning how to learn, the Pomodoro Technique (which is a great way to improve productivity too) and the value of meta learning. It includes video, exercises and bonus materials.

Attend the course yourself and share what you’ve learnt with your team (training is a great way to consolidate your learning too!). Or encourage your team to participate in this course and discuss the learning in your team meetings. It’s a great first step towards creating a learning culture.

2. Remember to unlearn too

In times of rapid change creating a learning culture involves a focus on unlearn too. Take a look at our post, Learn, unlearn, relearn: a cycle of success for you and your team. Discuss with your team what is ‘no longer true’, and what needs to be unlearnt as well as learnt.

In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy. J. Paul Getty

One way of reinforcing this is to take time to keep up with relevant trends. These may be tech trends, industry trends, consumer trends… whatever is relevant to the performance of your team. Make trends a ‘once a quarter’ topic of your team meetings. Perhaps you can take it in turns within the team to bring trends to the meetings, or allocate each type of trend to a team member to monitor.

3. Don’t just focus on work

We can’t expect to be learners at work, but disinterested in learning outside of work. Encourage your team to make learning part of their life. Discuss their interests and create opportunities for team members to share their ‘out of work’ interests and passions.

If you have some team members that are less open to new experiences, ask them when was the last time you did something for the first time? And discuss with them the benefits of doing new things and stepping into new experiences. This is a great way to encourage people to become learners and create a learning culture.

4. Tap into the tech

There is plenty of tech out there to help make learning easier. Take some time to explore and find what is most relevant to you and your team.

  • Learning portals such as Coursera, Udemy and edX
  • Learning apps, here are 10 free learning apps that will help you learn almost anything
  • And don’t forget good old Kindle (the desktop download is free). Yes, reading books is still useful!

Or ask your team to explore and come back with recommendations for their own learning and what they think would be useful for the whole team.

5. Make learning collaborative

Take the time to make learning collaborative, this is integral to creating a learning culture (as opposed to a group of individuals who learn). Book your boardroom, get lunch in, take some time with your team to discuss what they’ve learnt over the past 3 months.

This could be work related, life related, or you could have different topics each time.

Consider the following topics:

  1. What have we learnt about our customers’ needs?
  2. What have we learnt about the marketplace?
  3. What have we learnt about our competitors?
  4. What have we learnt about our changing world?
  5. What have we learnt about ourselves?
  6. What have we learnt that gives us hope for the future?

The potential topics are literally limitless! Make the sessions light, not too serious. Having fun with learning, in a collaborative setting, is a great way to create a learning culture.

Creating a learning culture – in summary

Creating a learning culture takes a little time, but it’s fun and endlessly rewarding. Use these 5 quick tips to get you started.

  1. Learn how to learn, and encourage your team to do the same
  2. Remember to unlearn too
  3. Don’t just focus on work, become a team of learners about life!
  4. Tap into the tech, particularly learning apps, it makes learning much easier
  5. Make learning collaborative, get together with your team and discuss what you’ve learnt

The greatest thing you can do as a leader of your team is to help them grow. Fundamental to this is creating a learning culture within your team. Good luck!

Colin Bates

Colin Bates

I'm at my best when helping people to learn, grow and succeed. This might be facilitating a training program, coaching a colleague, or sharing advice with my kids. I'm also an introvert by nature, and love to read, reflect and write. Hence this blog!