Companies that give their staff the latitude to learn job-specific skills––and the time to test and expand those learnings––see benefits like revenue growth, better talent acquisition and retention rates, and increased productivity.
A recent global survey revealed that 77% of workers want to upskill, and they’re hungry for a workplace culture that will support their learning journey.
Read on to discover:
What a culture of learning means
Why a culture of learning is vital for long-term goals
Why it's okay to establish a company culture that learns from failure
Companies around the world are experiencing powerful business opportunities thanks to technology. But if your workforce is short on the skills it takes to go digital, they’ll fall behind. In sectors facing a shortage of skilled workers, a culture of learning could close skill gaps and help your teams catch up to more tech-savvy organizations.
Providing coursework is not enough. Yes, learning new skills from classes or mentors is a perk, but being actively encouraged to experiment with new technology tools––and potentially streamline systems––is what’s really exciting. Supporting employees’ learning experiences, and providing the freedom to explore and apply learnings within the context of their job, can be transformative. The balance of support and license to query and test new ideas helps create space for people to figure out how to automate mundane tasks, simplify projects or apply design thinking principles that could improve customer experiences.
Strong cultures drive better business outcomes, and 72% of global business leaders believe that culture helps successful change initiatives happen. That includes upskilling. With more than a third of jobseekers willing to sacrifice salary for the chance to learn new skills, employers should focus their efforts on retaining their workers. Investing in solid upskilling programs that show that the business is betting on their people’s future success––as well as their own––is a good place to start. Creating a skilled workforce that's well-rounded and cross-trained can help increase an organization’s overall effectiveness.
Fostering a culture of learning can also increase customer satisfaction. Upskilling keeps your workforce up to date on trends and tech, allowing them to provide the best insights to clients and prospective buyers. And when customers are happy, they can become brand advocates.
When Thomas Edison was asked about developing the light bulb, which took him 14 months and many iterations, he said that rather than failing 10,000 times he found 10,000 methods that didn't work. The characteristics of a learning culture matter. Industries are moving and changing fast. A culture of learning and the innovation it can yield isn't possible without breaking a few eggs.
Fostering a culture of learning means adopting the attitude—from the top—that failures are learning opportunities that lead to breakthroughs and can increase your speed to insight and lead to innovation.
Failing forward is about understanding that learning is a process and skills application isn’t usually perfect out of the gate. Accepting mistakes as a cost of innovation also breeds transparency, trust and collaboration.
Related upskilling content
Forrester report: A future fit learning culture
Adapting learning strategies across experience levels
Building a collaborative learning culture
Stay ahead of the curve with PwC ProEdge, the revolutionary way to upskill your people and prepare your organization for tomorrow. This unique platform allows you to pinpoint critical skill gaps and effectively help close them with automatically generated personalized learning pathways. Leading curated content, coursework and hands-on learning empower your workforce to make an immediate impact at scale. ProEdge enables your people to perform at their highest level—giving them the power to help transform your entire organization.