What are the Ways to Create a Positive Learning Environment

What are the Ways to Create a Positive Learning Environment

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Learning never stops, no matter how old or experienced we get. There’s always something more to learn, and there are always ways to better ourselves. In the workplace, we can usually only do that if there is a positive learning culture. If training is often greeted with a collective groan, it’s time to consider what you can do better.

Positive learning environment examples are usually those that keep training relevant and beneficial to all staff. However, building a great culture around learning and development goes a lot deeper than that. This article will give you some tips on how to ensure everybody benefits from your training programs.

Make training relevant

One of the biggest complaints that staff usually have about training is a lack of relevance. This often occurs when you implement blanket training modules for everybody to complete, regardless of their role. Of course, some forms of mandatory training are required in most workplaces. It could be training to do with diversity, mental health or other courses that help to create a good working environment.

However, when it comes to more technical training or even professional development courses, there should never be a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, it may sound great to have everybody trained in certain aspects of leadership. But the reality is that some people don’t have aspirations to move into leadership. They’re happy doing what they’re doing, or they may have other career goals.

It’s not just the scheduling of courses that needs to be considered though. The content within courses should be relevant for everybody. For example, try to stay away from using scenarios that are specific to one area of your business, especially if everybody is attending the training. All examples and situations discussed in training should be more generalised so that everybody can relate.

Provide staff with space in their schedule

Another problem that crops up in workplaces is that people get scheduled for training courses but they’re still expected to manage their daily workloads to perfection. If you take people out of their roles for half a day or even a couple of hours, you need to understand that productivity will be a bit lower that day. It’s a trade-off to give your staff the training they need.

This is where virtual classes and e-learning can be very beneficial. There’s less time away from the desk, and it’s easier to stagger people’s attendance so that all vital work functions can still be completed each day. If you want staff trained well, make sure they can attend sessions without stressing about the work that’s piling up in their absence.

Keep training content engaging

People quickly lose interest in training when the content is engaging. As an example, if your training sessions mostly involve somebody reading information to participants, they’ll zone out almost immediately. And while people are willing to forgive one poor training session, if the trend continues it spoils the whole learning culture of the workplace.

When people start to dread training sessions or go into them with negativity, this feeling spreads throughout the employees. To improve the learning environment. You need to make sure that people get some value from training.

When planning your sessions, try to encourage plenty of active participation, interactivity and leave room for discussion. This prevents sessions from becoming stale and boring for participants. If they’re engaged, they’ll learn more and they’ll also have good things to say when discussing training with other staff members.

Provide multiple training delivery methods

Another way to improve the learning culture in your workplace is to use a variety of delivery methods. Remember, everybody has different learning preferences. Some like to just read information and take it in. Others prefer a group environment with discussion and activities. Some just like to work through training modules at their own pace.

Some of the popular delivery methods include:

• Self-paced e-learning
• Virtual classrooms
• Facilitated in-person training

By offering a good mix, you’ll ensure that everybody has their preference accounted for. You won’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but they will appreciate the variety of sessions.

Give staff some control over their learning

As we touched on earlier, mandatory training is essential in some cases. Whether it’s diversity training or onboarding, there are always some non-negotiables in the annual training calendar. But not all training sessions should exist purely to benefit the business. A focus on training that staff really want to participate in goes a long way toward creating a positive learning environment.

This is where it pays to know your staff. Talk to them about their training wants and needs. You might find that some people are really committed to advancing through the company into leadership roles. Others may have their sights set on working in a particular department. You can arrange training that helps people achieve those goals.

In some cases, they may want to develop skills that will benefit them well into the future, such as personal development, time management, project management, resolving conflict and many more. Many companies are hesitant to provide this training for fear of staff members looking elsewhere for jobs. Losing staff is an unavoidable reality at some point, but if you look after them and their training needs, they’ll usually be happier, more fulfilled and more loyal.

Discuss learning and development in monthly meetings

One way to understand your staff members’ training needs is to make it a regular point of discussion in monthly meetings. All businesses operate differently when it comes to monthly catch-ups or performance meetings, but if you don’t’ already have some sort of regularly scheduled meeting with staff, it’s probably time to start.

These monthly meetings are where you can find out how they’re going and whether they need any specific help with their work. This leads to the identification of learning and development needs, and you can organise training accordingly. But it’s not just about helping them do their job better.

As we touched on before, a monthly meeting is a great chance to understand someone’s long-term goals and aspirations. If you can facilitate training to help them achieve those goals, you’ll end up with terrific staff engagement.

Define the links between training and career advancement

When communicating with staff about training, whether it’s in regular emails or even at the start of training sessions, people need to see why the training matters. Right at the start, we discussed ensuring the training is relevant. Here’s your chance to communicate that widely to the workplace.

Sometimes, people struggle to see how training benefits them. They understand that training needs to benefit the business too, but there’s always a question of, “What do I get out of this?”. In your communications, make careful links to why certain training sessions can help people advance their careers.

This can be as simple as making the training objectives clear at the start of each session. Just tinker with the wording a little, and you can let people know exactly what they should be able to do with the skills or knowledge they gain during training.

Inclusive training sessions and content

Last, but absolutely not least, is inclusivity. The modern workplace is diverse, comprising people of different backgrounds, orientations and beliefs. As such, you need to ensure that training sessions speak to everybody. Most companies are quite good at managing social awareness these days, but it’s always something to be mindful of.

Images, videos and even the general content of your training sessions should be sensitive to all cultures, religious beliefs, sexual orientations and genders. It’s all part of making the learning environment positive and comfortable for all staff.