Next generation learning: are your employees involved?

Unless you release the energy of the people around you, you are setting yourself up to fail. Creating an organisational culture of learning will have a powerful impact on growth.

Brand Learning asked more than 900 business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs - what do you believe is most important for your company to grow?

Two factors stood head and shoulders above all others:

  1. The happiness of customers and,
  2. The talent and effectiveness of your people

It stands to reason that the strategic choices we make about where and how to play must be rooted in an insightful understanding of our customers. It is also clear that delivering against these choices requires capable and motivated people. What is now different is how to go about this. 

In practice, the best companies are constantly tuning their capabilities to create a growth-ready organisation, energised by involved employees and fuelled by momentum-driving leaders in order to deliver customer happiness. They have an unwavering focus on customer experience, a shared purpose and joined-up ways of working.

Unless you release the energy of the people around you, involve them and empower them, you are setting yourself up to fail. Alarmingly, as stated in the Gallup, State of the Global Workplace Study, only 13% of the world’s 1.3bn full time employees consider themselves to be involved in their business.

With learning at the core of our business, we asked ourselves what the implications of these findings are for learning design. What can the role of learning be in releasing the energy of our people? What needs to change?

To achieve this shift towards a learning organisation requires the business to adopt a learning culture through which appropriately designed learning experiences can live and breathe. Based on our research findings, literature reviews and our own experiences of working across a diverse range of clients, we believe there are three core pillars that underpin a learning culture.


Like so many things in life, it starts with having people whose behaviours set an example and model what others should seek to emulate and follow. We refer to leadership, not simply as the Leader or CEO of the business, but anyone within the organisation who leads other people and therefore influences positively or negatively the value that learning is perceived to bring to the growth and health of the business.

Ways of Working

These are the processes & systems whether codified or not that enable, support and encourage learning within the organisation.


These are typically the less tangible aspects of the working environment, simply ‘how things get done around here’ which provide the oxygen or air in which learning thrives or is throttled.

An examination of these three pillars and the extent to which any given organisation fosters a learning culture will vary, as will the necessary strategies or actions required to address any shortcomings. Here are some practical questions you can ask to both assess and diagnose areas for potential improvement:

  1. Is asking questions encouraged?
  2. Are employees who learn new skills valued?
  3. How clearly defined are decision-making processes?
  4. Do employees have influence over their jobs and tasks?
  5. Are there projects that will stretch people and develop them?
  6. Are mistakes and failures reflected upon and valued as learning opportunities?
  7. Is learning new knowledge and skills viewed as a positive use of people’s time?
  8. Do people believe the L&D opportunities offered are of high value?
  9. Do employees take active responsibility for their own personal development?
  10. Are leaders & teams open to hearing bad as well as good news?

If you can't positively respond to all of these questions then there is room to improve.

To find out how Brand Learning can help you improve your learning culture and lift your organisation’s capabilities, please get in touchYou may also like these films, perspectives and resources on Learning.

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Brand Learning: Inspiring people. Lifting Capabilities. Growing organisations.
We work with companies across the world to lift the performance of their teams to drive growth