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How Brand Training can Improve your Learning Culture

Company cultures that value open communication and transparency can easily foster engagement and loyalty among employees. Moreover, showing a commitment to the growth of individuals can help to attract and retain top talent. However, one of the biggest challenges in shaping company culture — particularly a culture of learning — is getting leadership to actively support and enable their employees. So, perhaps we must first devote our attention to shaping the values and behaviors of our leaders with brand training.

Encouraging a culture of learning with a focus personal development will do wonders for your company brand, employee development, and reputation. By enabling your employees to grow within your company, you are not only more likely to keep your top talent but be 22% more profitable, according to research by Gallup. Today’s employee wants to feel valuable and encouraging continued education and a culture of learning within your company is one good way to do that.

Using Brand Training to Overcome Poor Learning Culture

Having good management in place to direct the learning and development of the rest of your workforce is critical. Good managers attract candidates, drive performance, engagement, retention, and play a key role in maximizing your talents’ contributions. But what exactly is the role of management in enabling learning? Short of allocating time and money, leaders can both model learning values and motivate their employees to follow suit.

Applying Motivational Theories to Promote Learning Culture

When it comes to employee engagement and motivation, there are several theories from studies of education and psychology that give some insight.

Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory suggests employees are motivated by two independent factors: Motivators and Hygiene. Motivator factors are what light fires under your employees and encourage them to work harder. For example, a motivator that plays on social factors might involve being recognized for a job well-done or progressing within their career. Hygiene factors, on the other, hand are things that can lead to dissatisfaction at work such as poor salary, lack of benefits, and bad relationships at work.

First, you have to understand that some hygiene factors can’t be remedied with brand training. Salary, for instance, will impact motivation regardless of a positive learning culture. However, brand training can show employees that their organization and leadership values their individual growth. Beyond that, custom eLearning activities that build knowledge around the importance of learning can help to shape the values of leaders, as well as offer tips on how to enable employee development within the daily tasks of their employees. Hertzberg’s theory also emphasizes building positive relationships between employees, and the role of social reinforcement in learning. And this is particularly important for leaders that have an influence on their employee’s engagement and learning consumption. Applying this theory, the better you can develop managerial/employee relationships the better your learning culture will develop.

The Hawthorn Effect is another prudent way to look at building a culture of learning within your company. This theory suggests employees work harder if they know they are being watched — but not in a creepy, lurker kind of way. This theory was built around research that was done at Western Electric in the 1920’s and ‘30’s which found an increase in employee productivity when they knew they were subject of attention.

There are several ways the Hawthorn Effect can be used both within your brand training, and larger employee training and development initiatives. For instance, consider creating social cohorts for continuous learning. Having accountability within a group setting can influence employees to engage in their personal growth. You can also train your leaders to have conversations aimed at getting to know their employees as people and find out about the learning paths or job goals that are important to them. Use that information to help build a supportive and productive culture where employees feel encouraged to grow in their roles within your business.

Creating Internal Influencers

Keep in mind that the influential employees in your organization aren’t limited to management. Internal Influencers can be employees with numerous workplace friendships, or those that engage in clubs. Singling these employees out to become models of your learning culture values will go a long way to engaging the rest of your workforce while driving positive changes company-wide.

Internal Influencers are typically peer-nominated and receive recognition and respect for their ability to energize teams, get things done, solve problems, or communicate well with their peers. They have an innate ability to build a community-like culture of learning by working alongside senior leadership and communicating needs and desires to the rest of their colleagues.

Brand Training Best Practice

Generally, brand training is the vessel that does most of the work in communicating company values. Though it can certainly be used to educate both new hires and tenured employees on the importance of a culture of learning, leaders will be vital in any transformation. So, make use of your management and internal influencers to help shape company values and behaviors around continuous employee development.