When looking to improve your company’s culture, look first at your approach to professional learning. Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows them you are invested in not only their overall health, but their future. Creating a workplace with learning and development opportunities matters: 87% of millennials say it’s important in a job. It’s one of the factors which makes your employee feel important. Workplace culture, workplace flexibility, and perks all play a role in keeping employees happy and engaged. But building a culture of learning is often overlooked by the management.

The opportunity to learn and grow is the number one thing that inspires the employees and makes them want to work harder. Learning was even more important to these generations than the nature of the work itself or getting a raise. To truly enjoy their jobs, employees must feel that their employers respect them and will provide them with what they need to be successful in both their professional and personal lives. To build this culture of learning, there are a few best practices that can help.

Come Up With On-Demand Learning Opportunity

Over the past several years, on-demand learning solutions have not only evolved but have also witnessed incredible changes in the way they are adopted. According to The Top eLearning Statistics And Facts For 2015 You Need To Know, nearly 42% of global Fortune 500 companies apply some kind of technology to help provide employees with more organized learning sessions, and it is expected that the figure will rise steadily in future.

Social and Interactive Learning 

Learning does not happen in Isolation. This is not how learning works, this is certainly not how we learn and grow our skill-set in our everyday lives. Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but rather within an interconnected social network. There is a need to understand the importance of social interactive learning experience. More than half of employees say they value collaborating with instructors and other learners in forums, groups, or a Q&A session while taking an online learning course. Interaction makes learning more effective.  A learner interactive with the material and his/her peers or instructors will earn more from courses. 

Process Improvement Champions 

Activating managers is an energizing way to help employees take the time to learn. When managers are engaged, then so are their teams. Champions make managing their people a priority, not an afterthought. They make time for getting to know firm members and building strong working relationships with them. Specific guidance provided by a manager helps the employee to improve or progress certain skills in their respective roles. By ensuring that managers understand the value of learning and make it a priority, it will be ingrained in the organization.

Soft Skills Training 

Soft skills are traditionally challenging to teach. Distinguished from the hard skills of technical knowledge and abilities, soft skills examples include communication, leadership, critical thinking, listening, adaptability, teamwork, punctuality. Building a culture of learning isn’t just about helping employees build hard skills, it’s also about focusing on uniquely human skills that everyone needs, regardless of industry or job. Employers shouldn’t forget that employees recognize the need to build their skills. As more Millennials (and the generation behind them) enter the workforce, employers are increasingly concerned with the lack of soft skills in the pool of potential employees. By supporting learners in the moments that matter to their careers and making learning a valuable use of their time, you’ll not only have happier employees but retain them as well.