Visit a competitor’s workplace. Watch your child’s soccer practice. Or have coffee with a nearby construction crew.
You don’t have to be a sociologist to notice that every organization has its own ways of dealing with human relationships, making decisions and getting things done. This amalgam of behaviors is called organizational culture.
This culture grows out of the vision, values and leadership of each group. Strong organizational cultures nurture a connection between members that crosses artificial boundaries like departments, geography or rank. Strong cultures nurture engagement and loyalty and have an important impact on the metrics that organizations value.
Why Building a Strong Organizational Culture Is Valuable
Analyzing a 10-year sample of employee surveys and business results from the Queen’s University Centre for Business Venturing, researchers found that organizations with an engaged culture enjoyed these benefits:
- 65% greater share-price increase.
- 26% less employee turnover.
- 100% more unsolicited employment applications.
- 20% less absenteeism.
- 15% greater employee productivity.
- 30% greater customer satisfaction levels.
In an engaged workplace, employees are happier. Their customers are, too. In workplaces with weaker, less cohesive cultures, the metrics might a darker picture.
Culture is not destiny. Both strong and weaker cultures can be enhanced. Since behavior emanates from values and mindsets, and training facilitates shifts in mindset, training can help drive cultural change in the workplace.
That doesn’t mean cultural change is easy. To support employees as they practice the desired model of behavior, it’s important to offer the necessary resources to evolve and accomplish the task.
One of the essential resources is the digital learning and communication capabilities of a modern learning management system (LMS).
How Online Learning Can Help Build Your Workplace Culture
An LMS makes it simple, convenient and scalable to deliver the online learning that will support and strengthen your workplace culture. What’s more, the LMS can help measure progress and compliance. Here’s how:
1. Make learning a priority.
People naturally look to their leadership for behavior to model. Through the strategic vision expressed by leaders and by living a daily practice of learning, they can demonstrate the idea that learning is a daily habit for everyone and a top priority of the organization.
For example, to show support for training, leaders can coach and mentor learners. They can also be learners themselves, actively benefiting from online training.
2. Make training easily accessible.
Receiving training should be as easy as turning a faucet. To eliminate barriers to training, make access easy with a cloud-based mobile-ready LMS. Your teams will have the convenience of online learning anytime, anywhere, through any mobile device.
To ensure that training begins effortlessly, choose an LMS with an intuitive interface. By having a dedicated training space, you highlight the importance of the personal and professional growth of your employees.
3. Initiate recruits right away.
Day 1 is the best time to introduce your recruits to the values and ways of your organization. Unfortunately, some organizations don’t take full advantage of the onboarding period. Remember, a good online onboarding program can benefit you in the following ways:
- Relieve some of the training pressure on your busy employees.
- Reduce the risk of inappropriate actions by your recruits.
- Ensure consistency of training.
- Kickstart and support the learning habit with recruits at the beginning.
- Support employee retention. Employees who feel unintegrated are more likely to leave (nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within the first six months).
To simplify your onboarding program, count on your LMS to help you easily manage all in-person and online training activities from one cloud location.
4. Use storytelling and microlearning.
Every organization has a history, such as origin stories or tales of big successes or failures. The major figures in these stories may have displayed behavior that was rewarded or not. By telling good stories in your online training, you can vividly convey the values and lauded behaviors of your organization. So whenever possible, take advantage of storytelling structures when designing your training content.
Keep in mind that your learning modules will appear on small screens of mobile devices and that learners will be studying in distracting environments. To adapt to these situations, microlearning — a series of short learning modules — works much better than one longer session.
5. Make learning fun.
To help make learning about your workplace culture an engaging experience, take advantage of your LMS’s gamification features.
These features add game-like elements, such as progress-tracking, and rewards (e.g., badges and certifications) for achievement. You can add these components to individual elements of your learning path — like content modules and quizzes — or you can design the entire learning path as a gamified journey of knowledge or skill acquisition.
6. Recognize learner achievements.
People need recognition like flowers need water. To build a thriving workplace culture, recognize the investment of time and effort your people put into acquiring the skills and knowledge that support the achievement of the organization’s goals.
Ensure that your workplace has regular and respected rituals for recognition and reward. In this spirit, your LMS can award badges and certifications to recognize achievement, and thus contribute positively to morale and the momentum of a strengthening culture.
7. Track and measure employee learning.
How is your training impacting your learners and workplace culture?
Only by tracking their online progress in real time will you understand what you’re doing well, how your people are responding to the training and what elements should be improved.
Because every interaction with your LMS leaves a trail of data, you can track, for example, the progress of various groups or individuals, the time they’re spending on courses, their individual learning histories, the activities they’re not completing and so on.
To simplify this tracking, dashboards allow your learning and development (L&D) team and organizational leadership to review this progress as it’s happening and make the necessary adjustments.
For deeper insight into your online learning activities, use LMS reporting and analytics tools. These tools help generate reports and export data to spreadsheet applications that allow you to manipulate the information.
Strengthening workplace culture will always be a challenging task. Your leadership’s commitment to the goal is important, but so is having the right resources to support your team. To reduce the degree of difficulty, a modern LMS will make a world of difference.