How to Encourage a Culture of Continuous Learning on a Shoestring Budget

This post by Stephen Loy originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.

Every organization needs to develop a culture of learning to continually innovate and improve its products and processes. If that’s not enough motivation by itself, consider this: Your competitors are already doing it. “Without a development program, your competition is learning and leaving you two steps behind,” says Regina Leingang, leadership development consultant with Baton Rouge General Medical Center and president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the Association for Talent Development.

Also, not only will learning keep you at the top of your game and ahead of the competition, it can be a retention tool for employees. “People want to see their companies investing in them,” and they feel special when chosen to attend classes or get additional skills, Leingang says.

And the best part? All this training doesn’t have to be expensive, she says. Here are some tips Leingang uses to provide high-quality learning on a budget.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is an easy and inexpensive solution to upskill your employees. This can involve a formal cross-training program in which employees train one another on their specific jobs, or less formal options, Leingang says.

“Make learning a part of your culture by having learning moments whenever anyone gets together,” she says. At the hospital where she works, each unit has a daily huddle, Leingang says. They share patients’ stats and changes, but also anything new they’ve learned about specific processes, including ways to improve and mistakes to avoid.

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