27 January 2022

Matthew O'Connor

Marketing Manager

Move learning away from being a standalone activity to create a learning culture that’s truly part of your team’s daily workflow.

It wasn’t so long ago that workplace learning meant a day trip to HQ or a training centre, or hours in a classroom with a trainer. For most organisations, learning has now become something that can be done anywhere at a convenient time without the need for supervision via the use of a learning management system.

The next step in this progression is for workplace learning to become completely absorbed within each learner’s workflow, so that it no longer stands apart from the rest of their work. A true culture of learning that is ingrained within the organisation.

You don’t need to have seen too many detective shows to be able to conjure thoughts of the protagonist dodging that mandatory training course in order to get on with ‘real work’. Traditionally, the corporate suits have to drag our hero away from solving crime to get him to do what he’s supposed to do.

But what if he could carry on with solving his case and, almost unwittingly, complete bitesize chunks of learning at the same time? What if the learning was tailored towards the specifics of his case, so that even a stereotypical loose cannon copper would have to admit it was more of a help than a hindrance to their duties? What if it became part of the everyday norm, so it gradually became barely noticeable let alone noteworthy?


How can you create a learning culture in your organisation?

While there are no quick fixes, there are several things you can do to start developing a learning culture in your organisation and turn learning into something that comes naturally to your team. Let’s look at a few of those things…


Hire people who are ready to learn

Your future hires can go a long way towards overhauling or creating a learning culture. Learning and development is a lot easier with the right people in the role to begin with. Hire curious people. Hire hungry people. Hire people who have demonstrated their willingness (or ideally their determination) to grow and develop over time. Employing people whose personal interests and motivation are closely aligned to the requirements of the role and the values of your organisation is one way of getting people who are likely to be receptive to ongoing learning and development.


Live your learning culture

Lead by example. Be the change you want to see in your organisation’s learning culture. If you’re serious about other people adopting new ways of learning, you need to be showing them how and why to do it. You need to be reaping the rewards of doing so and encouraging others to follow you.


Give constructive feedback regularly

A 12-month review won’t cut it if you’re expecting learning to be an intrinsic part of your organisation. Your team members need to be getting meaningful feedback as frequently as possible in order to guide and drive their development. And often that will mean telling them things they are getting wrong. Don’t shy away from difficult interventions to address a gap in knowledge or skills. While this needs to be delivered delicately and in a way that encourages action rather than outrage, it is necessary.

Totara Perform‘s performance management platform contains several tools that are helpful in this regard. This includes automatically scheduled check-ins and appraisals to remind you to keep communication and feedback flowing. There is also the option for peer-to-peer feedback, so that colleagues can help to guide areas in which improvements can be made. With intuitive performance monitoring and a customisable performance review workflow builder, you can put in place a structure to keep your team learning and continuously improving.


Reward learning

If constructive feedback is the stick (albeit a very delicately applied one) it makes sense to have a carrot at your disposal, too. If you want your team to enthusiastically embrace learning, reward them for doing so. It might be as simple as awarding badges and certificates on your LMS to create a bit of friendly competition or you might offer perks and prizes to those who embody your learning culture.


Make learning a regular part of the day

As we said at the outset, learning as a separate, standalone activity is likely to be a source of frustration for team members and their managers alike. Why not integrate learning seamlessly within a regular working day. That’s exactly what a learning experience platform (LXP) like Totara Engage encourages. It offers several ways to improve engagement in learning for a more collaborative workplace and quicker skills acquisition. These include:


Creating learning playlists

Your team can curate and share learning playlists featuring articles, blogs, photos, podcasts and videos. In-house experts on particular topics can easily share knowledge throughout the organisation to encourage continuous learning. The platform allows you to guide learners along personalised learning pathways, picking up segments of valuable knowledge as they go.


Recommending relevant content

Suggest relevant learning content to each of your team members based on their role, interests and skills. Totara Engage’s recommendation engine will help you to source engaging learning content. Complicated subjects can be broken down into manageable chunks.


Bringing your team together

With collaborative workspaces and gamification elements that reward your team members for curating high quality content and engaging with the platform, Totara Engage is geared up to increase interactions between team members.


Talk to us about building a learning culture that makes learning part of your team’s workflow

Just fill out the form below if you’d like a Totara Perform demo, a Totara Engage demo or a chat about the features mentioned above.

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This year’s full platform refresh gives our users what they’ve been asking for and more: a significantly upgraded learning experience across web and app, bite-sized learning content that makes learning even more fun and engaging and a points system that rewards them for their investment in the platform. We’re really proud of this work, and we are excited to build on this year’s innovations going forward.

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A finance LMS for money transfer giant Western Union.

Sometimes you expect to be able to work with a platform straight out-of-the-box, but there are always quirks when it comes to adapting to your systems. Synergy Learning were instrumental for us in providing the development and consultancy we needed.

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We were impressed with the flexibility and the level of consultancy that Synergy Learning was able to provide. They were able to understand our requirements and create a user friendly learning portal for staff, and one that we can amend and be comfortable using without having to go back for minor changes.

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E-Learning Team

Save the Children's LMS, an example of an LMS for charities

Synergy Learning is always really responsive. The team is very approachable and communicative – they reach out to me a lot and stay in contact even when we don’t have ongoing work. Given a short deadline, they are always able to work to really tight timelines. They’re also very flexible when those timelines change.

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We would like to thank Synergy Learning for turning this project around so quickly. UHB is one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England and we are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, along with our colleagues across the rest of the UK. We are very proud to be launching this platform in the West Midlands and hope it helps alleviate some of the worries I know many colleagues have.

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